How to Get a Job in Wildlife Conservation
So you want to work in Wildlife Conservation?
Wildlife conservationists work to preserve the habitats of animals and plants. Their typical job duties include studying water, plants and soil, as well as striving to prevent environmental degradation caused by commercial or industrial activities, or natural events like bushfires. Part of managing and protecting the various environments to ensure that they’re safe for the plants and animal species that live there involves making sure habitats are free from diseases and harmful insects or bacteria. Wildlife conservationists are commonly employed by local, state and federal government departments.
To gain an entry-level job in this field you will typically need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, wildlife biology, agricultural science or a related field. You may major in those topics, or you could choose concentrations in biology, forestry or zoology, to name a few. Some programs feature fieldwork as a degree requirement, in which case you’ll conduct scientific field research for course credit.If you are seeking an advanced position you may need a Master’s degree.
Some of the positive aspects of working in this field include the ability to find work in many different geographical locations and the satisfaction of knowing you are improving the environment. Plus if you like getting outdoors you will probably enjoy the fieldwork aspect of the role. Some other aspects to bear in mind include the physically demanding nature of the work and that it is a highly competitive industry.
Types of jobs in the Wildlife Conservation industry include:
- Parks and conservation worker
- Environmental science and protection technician
- Parks and conservation technician
- Conservation scientist
Five key skills that will help you score a job in the Wildlife Conservation industry:
- Enthusiastic, passionate and committed
- Confident and able to use hand and power tools when necessary
- An understanding of health and safety when working with tools or undertaking practical works
- A positive and friendly approach
- A willingness to learn, develop and undertake training
Interview and Job Hunting tips
- Most wildlife conservationists work long hours, in difficult conditions, and are paid less than many of their friends or family. You really need to love and be passionate about the job and be prepared to highlight this in the interview.
- As it is a highly competitive industry you need to create opportunities for yourself by volunteering, attending meetings or events, asking people in the field for advice and networking as much as you can.
- Most people working as conservationists are highly educated. Find out what the people in your chosen field tend to study and be prepared to put some serious and time effort into studying if you want to get ahead in this field.
- Be prepared to give some great examples about how you have demonstrated your skills for wildlife conservation, even if this is your first proper job in the field. This is where your study experience, volunteering or work experience can come in handy.