What Degree Is Required to Work in Wildlife Conservation?
If you're passionate about the environment and the animals that inhabit our earth, you may find a wildlife conservation career to be very rewarding. With a wide array of career opportunities available in the field, educational requirements vary based on position. Your dream job may only require a bachelor's degree, though you may also need to complete graduate-level study. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Careers in Wildlife Conservation
A variety of job opportunities exist within the field of wildlife conservation. You may choose to study animals in their natural habitats as a conservation scientist or wildlife biologist. If you wish to educate others about conservation issues, you might find a rewarding career as a speaker at a zoo or an instructor at a junior college. Additionally, a number of nonprofit wildlife conservation agencies employ writers, graphic artists, communications specialists, web designers and managers to help further raise awareness about current conservation issues.
Important Facts About Careers in Wildlife Conservation
|Wildlife Biologists||Wildlife Policy Analysts||Wildlife Educators|
|Median Salary (2015)||$49, 863*||$54,657* (policy analysts)||$74,580** (postsecondary biological science teachers)|
|Key Skills||Technical writing, environmental compliance||Data analysis, project management, research analysis||Speaking, writing, critical thinking|
|Work Environment||Laboratory, office or outdoor setting||Office setting||Zoos, outdoor wildlife facilities, schools|
|Similar Occupations||Biologist, environmental science||Environmental policy||Environmental education|
Source: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Degrees for Wildlife Biologists
Wildlife biologists study wildlife behaviors, habitats, genetics and population dynamics to learn more about the environmental effects of current or future land use. To begin a career as a wildlife biologist, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a biological science field, such as wildlife science, ecology or environmental science. With a bachelor's degree and the appropriate amount of experience, you can pursue voluntary certification credentials through The Wildlife Society. While an undergraduate degree is sufficient for entry-level careers, some positions may require a master's degree. A Ph.D. is often required for independent research positions and advanced administrative roles.
Degrees for Wildlife Policy Analysts
If you're interested in working with wildlife professionals to seek change in policies and regulations to further conservation efforts, including the protection of endangered species, you might consider pursuing employment as a wildlife policy analyst. The majority of policy analysts work for government, legislative and nonprofit agencies. Most positions require you to have a master's degree in wildlife or conservation biology. Advanced degrees in conservation biology, natural resource management and other related fields are also often accepted.
Degrees for Wildlife Educators
The minimum degree required to teach wildlife conservation at the collegiate level, including community colleges, is a master's degree. A doctorate is typically needed to teach at universities. However, a bachelor's degree may be enough to find a job educating others about wildlife conservation at national parks and zoos. For some wildlife educator positions, a degree may not be required.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: