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Working as a Naturalist

Like you must have already guessed, a naturalist job is related to nature. Similar to biologists, naturalists study living organisms, their impact on one another, and how they affect their surroundings. Naturalists often have in-depth knowledge about wildlife, animals, and plants. Their job requires some level of study. In fact, most of what they do involves observing potential genetic links and doing so without carrying out any genetic analysis.

If you are thinking of starting your career as a naturalist, keep in mind that you must first get a strong foundational knowledge of ecology, biology, chemistry, geography, and math. Degree options like wildlife management, geoscience, etc., can help you gain proficiency in this area.

Seeing that naturalists deal with plants and animals, they can work in different places. Even so, most naturalists find employment in government-owned establishments like state and federal parks, EPA, and NPS.

They can also work in private-owned scientific and technical consulting companies. Some work in the educational sector as teachers, while others get hired into the medical industry as researchers. Depending on where they find work, a naturalist's salary ranges from $39,180 to $97,390.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a naturalist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.07 an hour? That's $43,831 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 1,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Naturalist Do

There are certain skills that many naturalists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed management skills, physical stamina and speaking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a naturalist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.7% of naturalists included nature programs, while 10.2% of resumes included cultural history, and 8.5% of resumes included cpr. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the naturalist job title. But what industry to start with? Most naturalists actually find jobs in the non profits and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Naturalist

If you're interested in becoming a naturalist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.0% of naturalists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.9% of naturalists have master's degrees. Even though most naturalists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a naturalist. When we researched the most common majors for a naturalist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on naturalist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a naturalist. In fact, many naturalist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many naturalists also have previous career experience in roles such as volunteer or research assistant.

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Average Salary$43,831
Job Growth Rate3%

Naturalist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Naturalist

Volunteer
12.4 %

Top Careers After Naturalist

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Naturalist

Naturalists in America make an average salary of $43,831 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $69,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$43,831

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range56k - 88k$71k$70,865
Yuba City, CA
Salary Range51k - 96k$71k$70,652
Reno, NV
Salary Range43k - 81k$59k$59,444
Houston, TX
Salary Range34k - 65k$48k$47,717
Waukesha, WI
Salary Range28k - 52k$39k$38,716
$28k
$96k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Seasonal Naturalist
Seasonal Naturalist
City of Aurora
City of Aurora
01/09/2021
01/09/2021
$31,30501/09/2021
$31,305
Seasonal Naturalist
Seasonal Naturalist
City of Aurora, Co
City of Aurora, Co
01/08/2021
01/08/2021
$31,30501/08/2021
$31,305
Naturalist
Naturalist
Loundoun County Government
Loundoun County Government
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$46,48810/29/2020
$46,488
Naturalist
Naturalist
State of Indiana
State of Indiana
01/23/2020
01/23/2020
$30,65801/23/2020
$30,658
Naturalist
Naturalist
Wisconsin State Government
Wisconsin State Government
01/23/2020
01/23/2020
$22,95701/23/2020
$22,957
See More Recent Salaries

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Naturalist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Naturalist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Naturalist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Naturalist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Naturalist Demographics

Gender

female

62.0 %

male

34.7 %

unknown

3.3 %

Ethnicity

White

92.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

2.9 %

Black or African American

2.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.1 %

French

13.6 %

German

4.5 %
See More Demographics

Naturalist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

67.0 %

Masters

16.9 %

Associate

6.7 %

Top Colleges for Naturalists

1. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Naturalist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.7% of naturalists listed nature programs on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and physical stamina are important as well.

  • Nature Programs, 12.7%
  • Cultural History, 10.2%
  • CPR, 8.5%
  • Natural History, 6.1%
  • Lesson Plans, 4.7%
  • Other Skills, 57.8%
  • See All Naturalist Skills

Best States For a Naturalist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a naturalist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, New Jersey, and New York. Naturalists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $70,552. Whereas in California and New Jersey, they would average $64,286 and $59,983, respectively. While naturalists would only make an average of $59,749 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Naturalist Jobs:
14
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
3.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Naturalist Jobs:
22
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
3.35
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Naturalist Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
3.36
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Naturalist Employers

1. Missouri Department of Transportation
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$40,105
Naturalists Hired: 
15+
2. Wildlands
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$46,289
Naturalists Hired: 
14+
3. Camp Lincoln
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$33,702
Naturalists Hired: 
10+
4. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$36,893
Naturalists Hired: 
8+
5. New England Aquarium
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$81,513
Naturalists Hired: 
5+
6. Audubon Companies
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$60,870
Naturalists Hired: 
5+

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