What Are Some Popular Careers in Wildlife Management?

The field of wildlife management offers job opportunities that combine science with nature. Whether you're employed in conservation or working for a parks and recreation department, you'll spend most of your working days outdoors. If you want a career where you can care for wild animals either up close or at a distance, read on to see some possibilities. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Wildlife Management Career Summary

Wildlife management is a field of study that encompasses many careers in ensuring the health and safety of wildlife populations. If you like the outdoors, you may want a wildlife management job, such as a wildlife biologist, wildlife range manager or a wildlife refuge manager. If you prefer the indoors, you may want to become a teacher. Many jobs require a bachelor's degree in wildlife management, biology, wildlife biology or zoology, and college teaching positions require a graduate degree, typically a doctorate.

Important Facts About Wildlife Management Careers

Key Skills Observation, critical thinking, outdoor skills, physical and emotional stamina and stability, communication, interpersonal skills
Entry-level Education Associate's degree
Certification Wildlife biologist certification is available through The Wildlife Society, and a wildlife management graduate certificate is available through colleges.
Work Environment Office setting, laboratories, outdoors, remote locations

Wildlife Biologist

If you choose wildlife biology as a career, you'll spend your time observing and working with animals, collecting data and compiling information in ways that help protect wildlife and natural habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers entry-level employment for those with a bachelor's degree in wildlife management or a related field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wildlife biologists and zoologists were expected to see an 8% employment opportunity increase from 2016-2026. The BLS reported that the mean salary for zoologists and wildlife biologists was $66,250 annually in May 2017.

Wildlife Range Manager

Range managers frequently work with farmers and ranchers to help optimize the number of cattle that can graze on a section of land without depleting the soil and destroying rangeland. If you become a wildlife range manager, you will work with teams of scientists to restore lands that have been over-cultivated or somehow damaged.

The BLS predicted a 6% employment increase for conservation scientists and foresters, which includes range managers, from 2016-2026. Specifically, a 6% increase in conservation scientist jobs and a 5% increase in forester jobs was expected. Conservation scientists had a mean annual salary of $65,320 in May 2018, and foresters had a reported a mean annual salary of $61,710 in May 2017.

Wildlife Refuge Management

Wildlife refuges are public lands designated by the state or federal government for the propagation of wildlife. A bachelor's degree in wildlife management or a related subject may qualify you to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the field of refuge management. Your first job in refuge management may be as a wildlife refuge specialist. This position includes a range of duties, from collecting information on wildlife to educating people on conservation issues.

Environmental Science Teacher

If you're passionate about wildlife and have a desire to share that enjoyment with others, you might want to consider a career teaching environmental science. This is also an option for those who love wildlife but may not be able to work outdoors for prolonged periods. Environmental science is usually taught at the college level, and you may need to have a doctorate to qualify for these positions. High school teaching jobs require a bachelor's degree, teacher training and state certification.

The BLS projected an employment increase of 10% from 2016-2026 for environmental science college professors. The mean salary for postsecondary environmental science teachers was $87,660 annually as of May 2017.

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:

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