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Wildlife Conservationist: Salary, Duties, Outlook, And Requirements

Are you the kind of person that loves taking care of the environment and protecting animals and plants?

If you are, you might find the job of a Wildlife Conservationist really interesting.

More and more animals become endangered or go extinct every year and Wildlife conservationists are on a rescue mission to save them. 

These professionals work in a variety of industries to protect animals, plants, and the environment by managing natural resources and habitats. They help to sustain the preservation of the ecosystem including rainforests, grasslands, oceans, and so on. 

In this article, we will be exploring all there is to know about the salary, duties, career outlook, and requirements of a wildlife conservationist.

Salary For A Wildlife Conservationist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wildlife conservationists make up to an average of $67,000 per year.

In some locations with more wildlife and opportunities for conservation, a wildlife conservationist has the potential to make over $100,000 per year.

Salary also depends on the employer you work for. Most wildlife conservationists are employed in local, state, and federal government positions and their wages vary. 

For instance, in the state of West Virginia, wildlife conservationists earn around $50,000 annually while wildlife conservationists in Alaska and Massachusetts earn over $80,00 annually. 

Average Annual Salary By State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$59,680
Alaska$82,450
Arizona$63,390
Arkansas$60,260
California$78,390
Colorado$73,260
Connecticut$72,190
Florida$53,080
Georgia$64,160
Hawaii$78,140
Idaho$68,190
Illinois$66,600
Indiana$55,240
Iowa$63,320
Kansas$58,350
Kentucky$56,290
Louisiana$71,050
Maine$60,530
Maryland$81,170
Massachusetts$92,830
Michigan$72,370
Minnesota$68,450
Mississippi$73,860
Missouri$69,210
Montana$68,060
Nebraska$56,770
Nevada$68,350
New Hampshire$65,800
New Jersey$85,730
New Mexico$61,920
New York$76,020
North Carolina$66,930
North Dakota$73,330
Ohio$61,760
Oklahoma$58,590
Oregon$77,370
Pennsylvania$66,940
South Carolina$56,020
South Dakota$57,960
Tennessee$69,920
Texas$77,330
Utah$59,380
Vermont$72,440
Virginia$70,710
Washington$81,310
Wisconsin$61,110
Wyoming$65,570

Job Duties Of A Wildlife Conservationist

Wildlife conservationists protect and manage the environment to ensure that it is safe for the species (plants and animals) that live there. Their job is to care for and protect the wildlife systems. A wildlife conservationist has quite a number of duties or obligations. Some of them include;

  • Studies the soil and water
  • Ensures that habitats are free from diseases and harmful insects
  • Works to protect the habitats from fire
  • Ensures that the soil is not contaminated and that water supplies are fresh and potable
  • Educates the public on the importance of caring for wildlife and the environment as a whole
  • Works hand in hand with the government and private organizations to make sure that conservation efforts are complying with regulations
  • Monitors different animal populations and conducts research experiments to find ways to manage the animals effectively
  • Checks and monitors pollution levels 
  • Examines the human impact on certain habitats and resources
  • Planting seeds and removing trees when necessary
  • Maintains the facilities and campgrounds
  • Foresters oversee the health and sustainability of national forests

Your exact responsibilities or duties depends on the specific role you play in wildlife conservation. If you are a forest and conservation technician, you are likely to work under the supervision of a conservation scientist or forester, collecting data about natural habitats, like forests, and tracking the movement of wildlife. 

Environmental science and protection technicians are usually supervised by environmental scientists as they conduct tests and gather samples to determine environmental pollution.

Read more:

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for conservation scientists will grow faster than average from 2019-2029. Most new jobs were expected at the federal, state, and local levels because of an increased need to prevent and mitigate forest fires.

The chart below is an overview of different career paths in wildlife conservation.

WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTCONSERVATION SCIENTISTCONSERVATION TECHNICIAN
Degree RequiredBachelor’s degreeBachelor’s degreeAssociate’s degree
Education Field of StudyWildlife biology, zoology, ecologyForestry, land management, environmental scienceForestry
Other RequirementsN/ALicensure required in some statesN/A
Job Growth (2020-2030)5% for all zoologists and wildlife biologist*6%*1% for all forest and conservation technicians*
Median Salary (2020)$66,350 for all zoologists and wildlife biologist*$64,020*$38,940 for all forest and conservation technicians*
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Jobs Are Available In Wildlife Conservation

There several job titles available in Wildlife conservation. Some of them include;

  • Forest and Conservation Worker
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technician
  • Forest and Conservation Technician
  • Conservation Scientist and Forester.

Although these job titles are different, they work to achieve a common goal which is to conserve wildlife habitats and natural resources necessary for wildlife populations. 

All the positions listed above require outdoor work and the government employs a large number of these professionals at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Educational Requirements Of A Wildlife Conservationist

Typically, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for an entry-level career as a wildlife conservationist. You can have your bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, or any other related field. 

If you seek to move up in your career, you will need an advanced degree (master’s or doctoral degree) and job experience. 

Wildlife conservationists who are interested in conducting research or teaching or educating others about wildlife conservation require a master’s or doctoral degree.

With an associate’s degree in forest management or wildlife management, you can become a Technician in Wildlife Conservation.

If you are interested in becoming a Forest and Conservation Worker position, you can qualify with just a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, a 2-year associate’s degree will increase your chances of employment. 

Conservation Scientists and Foresters are required to have a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in either biology, zoology, forestry, environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, wildlife biology, or any other related field. 

You can also consider having a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation. In the BSc program, you will study the sciences, enroll in courses like conservation biology, wildlife ecology, genetics, wildlife management issues, diversity of life, evolution, chemistry, and botany, and possibly go on fieldwork where you will be carrying out scientific field research. 

Pros Of Wildlife Conservationists Careers

Being a wildlife conservationist has some great benefits. They include the following; 

  • Wildlife conservationists enjoy generous government benefits (74% of conservationists work for federal, state, and local governments) 
  • As a wildlife conservationist, you can secure a job in many different geographical locations
  • You make a living by improving the environment
  • You can work both in the office and the field

Cons of Wildlife Conservationist Careers

The following are some downsides of the job of a wildlife conservationist;

  • Because wildlife conservationists work in different environments and weather conditions, their job can be physically demanding. 
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 3% job growth for 2012-2022 which means that the jobs are highly competitive. 
  • In times when there are natural disasters, wildlife conservationists have lbng workdays
  • Wildlife conservation is a very competitive field in the Western States.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some careers related to Wildlife Conservation that requires a bachelor’s degree include Microbiology, Environmental Science and Specialists, and Agricultural and Food Scientists. 

Microbiologists are responsible for examining how various microorganisms live and interact with their environments. They study the growth, interactions, and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites and their vectors. 

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.  They clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste. 

Agricultural and food scientists aim to increase the efficiency of food and other agricultural product manufacturing through research and experiments. They invent new food products and develop new and better ways to process, package, and deliver them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Wildlife Biologist?

Communication skills.
Critical-thinking skills.
Emotional stamina and stability. 
Interpersonal skills. 
Observation skills.
Outdoor skills. 
Problem-solving skills.

What Is The Highest Paying Wildlife Job?

Wildlife Biologist.
Veterinarian.
Animal Nutritionist.
Animal Care Specialist.
Wildlife Conservationist.
Zoologist.
Conservation Officer.
Conservation Biologist.

What Is A Conservationist Career?

Conservationists are responsible for protecting things, places, biological life, and ecosystems. Although conservationists are employed in a wide range of disciplines, they have the same job description.

Is There A Demand For Conservationists?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for conservation scientists and foresters will grow by 5% from 2020 to 2030.

What Skills Are Needed For Wildlife Conservation?

Communication skills.
Critical-thinking skills.
Emotional stamina and stability. 
Interpersonal skills. 
Observation skills. 
Outdoor skills. 
Problem-solving skills.

What College Has The Best Wildlife Biology Programs?

University of Maine (Orono, ME)
Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)
Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)
Utah State University (Logan, UT)
University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)
Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)

Is Wildlife Biology A Hard Major?

Wildlife biology is challenging and competitive but very rewarding. The BLS predicts that this field will grow by 5% over the next decade. 

How Do You Become A Wildlife Conservationist?

Once you’ve cleared your Class XII board exams with science subjects, you can go for a BSc course in Veterinary Science, Agriculture, Forestry, Environmental Science, and Biological Sciences. Then, you can pursue an MSc course in Wildlife Conservation.

How Many Years Does It Take To Be A Wildlife Biologist?

Before you can become a wildlife biologist, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree which takes four years to complete and includes classes on biology, ecology, wildlife management, chemistry, physics, statistics, and conservation.

What Can I Do With A Degree In Wildlife Conservation?

ecological surveying.
habitat management.
species conservation.
environmental education.
conservation planning.
conservation policy.
International consultancy.
community-based conservation projects.

What Degree Is Best For Wildlife Conservation?

You require a bachelor’s degree in a biological science field, such as wildlife science, ecology, or environmental science in order to begin a career as a wildlife biologist. You will need to take courses like environmental law, wildlife management, and environmental ethics.

Conclusion

We believe it’s safe to call wildlife conservationists protectors of the environment. These eco-conscious superheroes are responsible for ensuring the continuity of endangered species and maintaining a balance in the ecosystem.

So, there you have it, the salary, duties, career outlook, and educational requirements of a wildlife conservationist.  If you wish to pursue a career in Wildlife conservation, do well to consult this guide. 

We hope this article has been helpful. Kindly share and leave a comment in the section below.  

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