Do you love animals? Interested in becoming a hero for wildlife? Looking at a second career? Consider wildlife conservation! There is no job more rewarding, challenging or interesting. Here are some tips and tricks to consider for your job in the field of wildlife conservation. Perhaps it can help you find your dream job! Remember though, It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle!
Whether you pursue formal or informal education, it is important that you are educated, well-rounded, open minded, passionate and enthusiastic about wildlife and conservation. If you have access to formal education, study hard and get good grades. However, it is important to note that a degree alone will not make you a wildlife conservationist.
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give. – E. O. Wilson
Wildlife conservationists work with a diversity of species, cultures and in many different environments around the globe. Prepare for this and spend your free time gathering experiences, absorb information you are passionate about, and travel as much as possible. Life experience can become job experience.
Also, it is rare that you will land your “dream job” first. Volunteering or working low paying jobs may be what you need to do in order to have the qualifications required to move forward in your career. The more experience you have, the more desirable you will be for hire. Love reptiles? Work with fish. Love mammals? Take a job with birds. Diversify your skill set and challenge yourself. Sometimes when you work with another taxa, you will learn considerably more by crossing into a new field of study.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall
There’s a saying, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” This can be very true. Wildlife conservation is a competitive field and there are many educated and experienced individuals who are already out there looking for jobs. Therefore, networking is truly key. Travel to conferences, keep in touch with people you meet, attend events, learn people’s names, be respectful and be a responsible person to work with. Always be positive, smile, and laugh. It will take you places.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead
Now that you have those things in mind, now you have to apply for a job! Below is a list of jobs and internships in the field of biology and hopefully they can be of use to you. Good luck!
Conservation Job Board
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board
Archives of ECOLOG-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU
Guide to Careers in Animal Behavior
Archbold Biological Station internship program
Primate Research and Conservation Jobs and Interns
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Other sites of interest
Leadership Programs and Fellowships
Conservation Leadership Programme
Rockwood Leadership Institute
National Wildlife Federation Ecoleader Initiative
Afrixalus dorsalis, Ghana
Should we add something to the list? Let us know!