Nature is breathtakingly beautiful, and it is home to numerous animal species, each with its own set of colors, characteristics, requirements, and behaviors. A Wildlife Biologist creates and applies specialist information about the origin, genetics, diseases, and life history of animal species, as well as assists in the preservation and protection of endangered species. These scientists are also important in controlling the process of animal adaptation to changing climatic circumstances around the world.
Similar Job Titles
- Animal Biologist
- Animal Scientist
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Wildlife Biologists do?
A Wildlife Biologist would typically need to:
- Study the characteristics of animals, their interactions with other species, reproduction, population dynamics, diseases, and movement patterns
- Design and carry out experimental studies and research with animals in captivity under controlled laboratory conditions or in their natural habitat
- Gather biological data for analysis; collect, store and prepare specimens for laboratory analysis
- Identify, record and monitor animal species; study and analyse the impact of human activity on wildlife and their habitats
- Manage large data sets using statistical software; forecast changes in habitats or population using modelling software
- Develop and recommend wildlife conservation plans to policymakers and the public
- Take necessary steps to protect human activities, such as airport operations and agriculture, from wildlife and invasive species
Write scientific reports, articles, and papers sharing and explaining research findings; present research findings to the scientific community and the public
- Supervise animal care; manage animal movement and enclosures; provide rehabilitation care and release wild animals into their natural habitat
- Research and implement ways to improve the breeding programs for wild populations of land and aquatic animals
- Use geographical information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), sonographs, systems to monitor terrestrial locomotor activity, and other software & equipment
- Collaborate with other experts to educate the public; teach in field or research centres; manage volunteers, assistants, and support staff.
- Stay current with relevant research, policies, and legislation
Standard Work Environment
Wildlife biologists often work in offices or laboratories, but they also spend a significant amount of time in the field monitoring and studying animals in their natural habitats.
You may be required to go to remote regions as part of your fieldwork. Depending on the research, Wildlife Biologists may be required to participate in a global trip. Some also work as zoology professors or at zoos, observing and caring for the animals.
A Wildlife Biologist often works full-time and for 40 hours or more each week. However, the hours may vary based on the sort of work. Regular work hours in industry, research, and higher education are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fieldwork hours may be erratic and extended. Wildlife biologists who research nocturnal animals may have to work at night. Working evenings, weekends, or public holidays is not uncommon in conservation.
Seeking a new job may appear difficult. Wildlife biologists can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies.
Wildlife Biologists are generally employed by:
- Government Agencies
- Wildlife Parks, Zoos & Aquariums
- Conservation Organisations
- Animal Charities
Aquaculture & Animal Nutrition Companies
- Environmental Consultancies
- Environmental Protection Agencies
- Chemical Companies
- Petroleum Industry
- Colleges & Universities
- Professional Schools
Research Institutes & Foundations
- Science Centres, Libraries & Museums
- Management, Scientific & Technical Consultancies
- Medical Research & Healthcare Facilities
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional organizations and groups, such as the International Society of Zoological Sciences, are essential for Wildlife Biologists who want to further their professional growth or interact with other experts in their industry or occupation. Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Fieldwork can be physically demanding due to extreme weather conditions and inhospitable terrains
- Emotionally stressful due to limited social contact
- Safeguarding yourself against wild animals, which may cause injury or illness
- Dealing with mundane stressors; competing within the industry
- Tackling dangerous, toxic chemicals and diseased specimens in lab settings
Suggested Work Experience
Each academic program in which a future Wildlife Biologist enrolls usually includes a term of supervised experiences, such as an internship.
Volunteer labor, such as perusing surveys for state biologists or working on research projects, should be considered by aspirants. Look for paid or unpaid summer internships, year-long placements as part of sandwich degree courses, co-op programs, or any other sort of job to obtain practical experience while in college or shortly after graduation. Look for positions in non-profit and government organizations. Such experiences may qualify for college credit and aid in networking. They may also provide you with the opportunity to submit research papers and proposals, which may lead to employment or admittance to a master’s degree program.
To demonstrate your devotion to course providers and possible employers, read about the profession and interview experts in Wildlife Biology. Job shadowing might also help you gain a better grasp of the needs of this profession.
Wildlife biologists are often required to be well-versed in the outdoors. Experience driving a tractor, boat, or ATV (all-terrain vehicle), operating a generator, or fending for yourself in isolated regions is advantageous. Make sure you have all of the appropriate licences.
Typically, an aspiring Wildlife Biologist must have a bachelor’s degree in zoology, wildlife biology, marine or environmental biology, ecology, or a related scientific field, or complete coursework in these areas as part of a biology degree.
Prospective Wildlife biologists must have a diverse and well-rounded scientific background, which can be obtained by taking courses in botany, chemistry and physics, anatomy, wildlife management, and cellular biology. Individuals interested in a specific animal group can also attend lessons in herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) or ornithology (the study of birds) (the study of birds).
Habitat analysis and conservation approaches are commonly used in animal biology programs. Because Wildlife Biologists are expected to perform complicated data analysis, courses in mathematics and statistics are also required. You will be able to use advanced computer software, such as geographic information systems (GIS) or modeling software if you are familiar with computers.
A master’s degree is the minimal need for higher-level investigative or specialized scientific employment. A Ph.D. is required for careers in teaching and independent or university research. Ph.D. researchers benefit from computer programming and statistical software expertise.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
Wildlife biologists do not require any certification or license to accomplish their job. Relevant certification, on the other hand, proves your proficiency in a skill area, often by job experience, training, and passing an examination. It can help you stand out in a competitive employment market, carry a large wage premium of up to 18%, boost your prospects of progression, and allow you to become an independent consultant if obtained from an objective and reputable organization.
Projected Career Map
Career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications. Workers who consistently deliver above-average results may be eligible for advancement every two to three years.
Wildlife Biologists engaged in conservation and field research typically have an uncertain professional path, with limited opportunities for advancement. Larger organizations may have more formal opportunities than smaller ones. Your willingness to travel or change responsibilities may help you advance from entry-level positions like zoological assistants or field assistants to managerial ones. With expertise, a Wildlife Biologist may be able to take on more responsibility and fulfill it with greater independence. Your level of responsibility is exactly proportionate to your educational level. Planning and organizing projects, as well as acting in an advising or managerial position, will all aid in career advancement.
Working in a university may lead to advancement from Researcher to Lecturer, and subsequently to higher-level positions such as Senior Lecturer, Professor, or Head of Department. A Wildlife Biologist with a Ph.D. can direct independent research and control the direction and substance of projects. You can lead a team of professionals and scientists if you have a solid foundation.
It is possible to advance to the position of Senior Researcher or Manager in the industry. A Wildlife Biologist in a senior position must be more concerned with the organization and team management than with fieldwork.
You could also work as a freelance Consultant for government agencies or businesses if you specialize in a specific subject. Opportunities in conservation and fieldwork may arise overseas.
You could branch out into adjacent fields such as industry or medicine. Wildlife biologists may also pursue writing and broadcasting careers.
Applicants with a master’s degree, in addition to the required abilities, experience, and education, have the highest career possibilities. Geographic mobility and outdoor abilities will also help you stand out in the employment market.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Wildlife Biologist in developing personal skills and competency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. It enables you to always improve your skills, regardless of your age, employment, or degree of expertise.
You might need to take the initiative to pursue new chances and responsibilities. Career progression can be aided by upskilling yourself through training courses funded by your work. Mentorship from senior professionals might be arranged through your workplace or you can arrange it yourself.
Certain professional bodies and institutes offer training, conferences, and events. Independent training and activities are held by particular organizations for specialist fields of zoology. Help from a senior can be offered through your employer, or you may have to seek it out on your own.
Certain professional bodies or institutes provide training, conferences, and events. There are specialized zoological societies that hold their training and events.
A postgraduate qualification, such as a master’s degree, can help you broaden your knowledge. If you have a particular interest in the animal species you want to research, you can specialize in that area of zoology through a Ph.D. degree. Part-time or distance learning programs may also be available.
While some Wildlife Biologists analyze the structure of deceased animals, others do tests on live animals in natural or controlled habitats. Wildlife Biologists are usually identified by the sort of animal they investigate.
Wildlife Biologists are becoming increasingly vital as humans’ influence on animal existence and survival grows. They investigate, comprehend, and explain the genesis and evolution of many species, as well as their anatomy, physiology, behavior, habitats, and effects on human existence.
Advice from the Wise
A Wildlife Biologist’s salary is low in comparison to other occupations. Be sure you have an unwavering affection for animals, a strong desire to learn about their life processes and environments, and a strong desire to achieve. Wildlife biology will then be a meaningful career for you.