Wildlife Biologist: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Wildlife Biologist

Published Aug 10, 2009

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Wildlife Biologists earn bachelor's degrees in wildlife management with classes in mammalogy, zoology, animal management and mathematics. A Wildlife Biologist may work with wild animals such as birds, fish, and mammals, or with environments such as wetlands and prairies. Wildlife Biologists work for governmental agencies or private groups such as the Conservancy.

Wildlife Biologist Career Summary

Wildlife biology is the field that studies wild animals and their habitats. A Wildlife Biologist may survey eagle populations or study the migratory flights of birds. Wildlife Biologists study diseases, behaviors, origins and life processes of wild animals. A Wildlife Biologist may collect and study biological information to help determine the impact on the environment from human use of land and water habitats, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Educational Requirements for a Wildlife Biologist

The U.S. Geological Survey, under the U.S. Department of the Interior, states that scientists who work in wildlife biology are trained in wildlife biology, as well as zoology, botany, chemistry and mathematics. Most employers, such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the United States Department of Agriculture Forestry Service, require at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. The U.S. Geological Survey requires applicants to have at least nine semester hours in subjects like mammalogy, animal ecology, wildlife management and ornithology. The U.S. Forestry Service seeks applicants who hold a bachelor's degree with emphasis on biology and ecology. A Wildlife Biologist who wishes to advance to management or supervisory positions should consider earning a Ph.D.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Wildlife Biologist

Internships allowing a prospective Wildlife Biologist to gain experience are often available through colleges. The Wildlife Society, www.joomla.wildlife.org, offers the Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB) credential to biologists with appropriate education and five years of experience. Certification may be required by some employers, but not for most entry-level positions. Entry-level Wildlife Biologists with enough education but less than five years of experience can become an Associate Wildlife Biologist (AWB). The Wildlife Society maintains a registry of certified Wildlife Biologists. Organizations or companies looking for a Wildlife Biologist can search the registry to find a suitable applicant.

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