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The outlook for naturalists is expected to be fair in the coming years. While a growing public concern about environmental issues may cause an increased demand for naturalists, 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 about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018. Despite the limited number of available positions, the number of well-qualified applicants is expected to remain high.