What does a Wildlife Biologist do?
Wildlife Biologists typically work for non-profit organizations, research laboratories or government agencies to learn more about animal species and provide valuable information about their role in an ecosystem. They work closely with other Wildlife Biologists to conduct research and perform tests on ecosystems. Their job is to help classify animal species, interact with species up close and write scientific reports based on their findings to inform those in their field and members of the public. They may also be responsible for traveling for their job to study species in their natural environments.
Wildlife Biologist skills and qualifications
A Wildlife Biologist primarily has skills in the sciences. However, Wildlife Biologists should also have:
- Strong analytical skills to analyze data
- Science skills, especially about animal and environmental subjects
- Math skills to weigh, measure and compute
- Problem-solving skills to analyze data
- Computer skills to process data
- Equipment skills with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to find their location and that of animals
- Communication skills to speak with people about research, their experiences and advocacy for the environment
Wildlife Biologist salary expectations
The average salary for a Wildlife Biologist in the United States is $62,976 per year. This is the average, but compensation varies depending on bonus packages. The salary estimates are based on salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Wildlife Biologist employees and users as well as being collected from job advertisements on Indeed.
Wildlife Biologist education and training requirements
A Wildlife Biologist requires a bachelor’s degree for the minimum education. Government and other employers prefer a master’s degree or doctorate. Biologist degrees usually require coursework in basic biology, wildlife conservation and management. Population dynamics, animal behavior, ecology, genetics, zoology, animal anatomy and physiology are critical for biologist education. A background in botany, demographics and statistics, chemistry and wildlife or environmental law is useful to biologists. Certification, such as the Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB), is available from The Wildlife Society.
Wildlife Biologist experience requirements
To advance beyond entry-level Wildlife Biologist positions, a person interested in going further in their career must have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. Several years of experience are useful for someone working as a Wildlife Biologist. Work in facilities of an accredited institution such as zoos and aquariums belonging to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is important. Belonging to an institution that has been USDA approved under the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty and the Marine Mammal Protection Act is essential.
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