What does he like about the environment and conservation?
Does he want to be outdoors or is he fine working in an office environment?
Plenty of options but the majority of the jobs will not be high paying without several years of experience and most likely a graduate school degree.
Some major options:
GIS (Geographic Information Systems)- software mapping for Environmental Management *** (Hot area for jobs)
Environmental Science (Resource Management)- more emphasis on Science related issues with the Environment
Environmental Studies- more emphasis on the political, social and economic aspects of the Environment
As a parent of an Environmental Science major, I understand your concern about paying for a college degree and having them work at low paying jobs.
Older son’s passion was fisheries and outdoor field work, unfortunately the entry level jobs were low paying for the first few years especially if they are state or federal agencies. He gained some great experience but decided to leave the fisheries behind and work for a private consulting firm as an Environmental Biologist. He still does a minimum of field work, but he now is in the office issuing permits and doing environmental impact reports. It pays the bills for now and again he is gaining good experience in the policy area of his field along with working with many more other animal species other than his beloved fish. His career path will be slow and steady as he gains more experience but he loves what he does so that is important.
The college degree to me is a long term investment and as long as he is happy, we figure the money was well spent.