Wildlife Conservationist: Salary, Duties, Outlook and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a wildlife conservationist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Commonly employed in local, state and federal government, wildlife conservationists work to preserve the habitats of plants and animals. Their job duties include studying soil and water, as well as striving to prevent wildfires. Entry-level jobs in wildlife conservation typically require a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, environmental sciences, agricultural science or a related field. Those seeking advanced positions might need a master's degree.

Required Education Bachelor's degree related to wildlife biology for entry-level; master's degree for advancement
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)1% for all conservation scientists*
Average Annual Salary (2013) $63,330 for all conservation scientists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary for a Wildlife Conservationist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), conservation scientists, including wildlife conservationists, made an average annual salary of $63,330 in May 2013 (www.bls.gov). Wages varied greatly by type of employer. For example, conservation scientists working for the federal government earned an average of $74,440 per year, while those working for state governments made a mean of $52,410 annually.

Job Duties

A wildlife conservationist protects and manages various environments, such as forests and grasslands, to ensure that they're safe for the species and plants that live and grow there. This involves making sure habitats are free from diseases and harmful insects, as well as working to protect them from fire.

A wildlife conservationist also might check to make sure that soil is not contaminated and that water supplies are fresh and potable. Additionally, he or she might educate the public about the importance of caring for wildlife and the overall environment.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, job opportunities for conservation scientists in general were forecast to grow by 1% from 2012-2022, which was slower than the average projected for all careers. Most new jobs were expected at the federal, state, and local levels because of an increased need to prevent and mitigate forest fires.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree typically is the minimum requirement for an entry-level career as a wildlife conservationist. Those aspiring to work in this field might choose an undergraduate program in wildlife biology or a related field, such as natural resources, agricultural science, or environmental sciences. Topics covered in these programs might include diversity of life, wildlife management issues, genetics, evolution, and biology. Those who plan to pursue advanced positions in wildlife conservation might benefit from a master's degree program.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • MS in Environmental Sciences & Policy

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Fisheries Sciences and Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Fisheries Sciences and Management
        • Forest Sciences
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Fisheries Sciences and Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Mississippi State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Forest Technologies
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
        • Wood Science and Paper Technologies
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Tennessee include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Arizona include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Wildlands Science and Management General
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics