Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlands Mgmt.

Managing a fishery, forest or wildland requires intimate knowledge of the natural sciences, as well as an understanding of government administration. Explore undergraduate and graduate degree programs in related areas of study, like natural resources management, that can prepare you for a job as a fishery, forestry or wildlands manager, and get career information, too.

Is Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlands Management For Me?

Career Overview

The management of fisheries, forests or wildlands falls into the category of natural resource management and requires dual expertise in the natural sciences and government administration. As a natural resource management professional, you'll strive to conserve and maintain wildlife populations and resources through scientific research, regulation development and enforcement. Tasks include identifying and correcting man-made problems affecting ecosystems while managing private and public lands for purposes of economics, recreation and conservation.

Depending on the degree program you choose, you'll have various job options. According to PayScale.com, the most popular job titles for those with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Wildlife and Fisheries Science are zoologist, wildlife biologist, environmental scientist, research scientist and environmental staff scientist. For those with a B.S. in Forestry Management, some of the most popular careers are forester and geographic information systems forester. Conservation scientists, such as range managers and soil conservationists, make up another part of the natural resource management workforce.

Employment

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of 2012, zoologists and wildlife biologists had a median annual wage of $57,710, while for environmental scientists and specialists it was $63,570, and for conservation scientists it was $61,100 (www.bls.gov). Foresters in the same reporting year had a median annual wage of $55,950. According to the BLS, in 2012, the majority of conservation scientists and foresters worked for government agencies at the combined federal, state and local level.

Jobs for zoologists and wildlife biologists are expected to increase at a rate of 5% from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. The employment increase for environmental scientists and specialists is predicted to be 15% during that same period; it's estimated to be 1% for conservation scientists, and 6% for foresters.

How Can I Work in Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlands Management?

Undergraduate Education

If you're interested in working in fisheries, forestry or wildlands management but don't have time for an advanced degree, an associate's degree in wildlife management may get you started in an entry-level position as a park aide or wildlife aide. To work as a forester, you'll generally need a bachelor's degree in forestry or a related major, such as natural resources and environmental management. These programs are typically science-based and focus on applied natural and social sciences in addition to management skills and techniques. You may expect to take classes in geology, chemistry, biology, math, physics, botany, ecology, general economics and statistics.

Graduate Studies

Zoologists and wildlife biologists generally require a more advanced degree in biology or a related field. Forest resource master's and doctoral degrees are also available. In these programs, you'll typically specify your research interest, which may be one of a number of different areas, including ecological restoration, fisheries and wildlife science, forest science, soil science, natural resources policy or human aspects of management. A master's degree program generally requires you to write a thesis. To earn a Ph.D., you'll need to write and defend a dissertation related to your area of research.

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