Wildlife Biologist: Job Description & Career Info
Wildlife biologists require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.
Wildlife biologists study genetic origins and life processes of animals. Many work as educators or field researchers. Prospective candidates may enter the field with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Wildlife Biology or a related undergraduate degree in an area such as biological science. Many positions require advanced degrees.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in wildlife biology or related field for entry-level jobs; master's degree or Ph.D. is required for upper-level positions|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||5% (zoologists and wildlife biologists)|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$57,430 (zoologists and wildlife biologists)|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Job Description for a Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife biologists research and monitor plant and animal habitats in a given region to determine various environmental and population dynamics. For example, wildlife biologists may observe the effect of pollution on a population's health or analyze the predator-prey relationship for a specific species within an area. During this process, these professionals may be responsible for collecting data and looking out for repeating animal behavior patterns. Once their studies are done, they may begin formulating conclusions and publishing their results.
Aside from field work, wildlife biologists may frequently work in medical labs, planning and conducting experiments. Topics may range from advancing knowledge on the spread of bacteria or other microorganism-related diseases to conducting government-funded research on a particular ecosystem. Those heavily involved in research departments may also focus on topics in biotechnology and disease control.
Wildlife biologists frequently work for government agencies, university research departments and private companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2013, the median annual salary for a wildlife biologist or zoologist was $57,430 (www.bls.gov). The top-paid ten percent earned $95,460 or more. The BLS also noted that job opportunities for zoologists and wildlife biologists were expected to increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022.
Required Education for a Career in Wildlife Biology
While completing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology or a similar field is sufficient for some positions, most wildlife biologists hold at least a master's degree and more often a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Required courses for prospective wildlife biologist include zoology, biology and ecology. Students may also need to complete a certain number of credits in organic chemistry and statistics. Concentrations within the field range from land conservation to microbial ecology.
Related to Wildlife Biologist: Job Description & Career Info
- Recently Updated
Find out how to become a certified wildlife biologist. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the...
Fully online programs in wildlife biology are not common due to the necessity of fieldwork in the education process; however,...
Read about the country's best wildlife biology schools and programs, through which students can learn about wildlife...
Learn about the curriculum and program prerequisites for earning a master's degree in wildlife biology. Find out about...
- Online Wildlife Biology Degrees by Program Level
- Wildlife Biology Major: Information and Requirements
- Top Wildlife Biology Graduate Programs: List of Schools
- Best Business Degree Programs - Arlington, VA
- Top Healthcare Administration Degrees - Phoenix, AZ
- Top University with a Hospitality Management Degree - Bakersfield, CA
- Best Degree Programs in Human Resource Management - Portland, OR