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The outlook for naturalists is expected to be good in the coming years. Growing public concern about environmental issues, as well as an increasing need to contend with wildfires in the West, will increase demand for naturalists. However, this trend could be offset by government cutbacks in funding for nature programs. Reduced government spending on education may indirectly affect the demand for naturalists, as school districts would have less money to spend on outdoor education and recreation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment opportunities for all conservation scientists, including naturalists, are expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2024. Despite the limited number of available positions, the number of well-qualified applicants is expected to remain high.

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