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 within the field, educational requirements vary based on position. Your dream job may only require a bachelor's degree, though you may also wish to complete graduate-level study. Schools offering Environmental Science 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 and educate the public about contemporary conservation issues and policies.
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.
Wildlife Policy Analyst
If you're interested in working with wildlife professionals to propose changes to policies and regulatory guidelines 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.
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. Common education requirements for such wildlife educators include a bachelor's degree in biology, environmental studies or zoology.
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