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Wildlife and Fisheries Major Careers

Wildlife and Fisheries Career Information

Area

Employer

Conservation

  • Resource/range management
  • Wildlife/fisheries biology
  • Education/interpretation
  • State/Federal wildlife agencies
  • Wildlife refuges
  • Federal land management agencies
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National and international environmental/ conservation agencies
  • Zoos, aquariums and other collections of animals
  • Universities and colleges
  • Non-governmental organizations, e.g. Trout Unlimited, Wild Turkey Foundation
  • Practice excellent communication skills.
  • Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals.
  • Advanced degrees are often required in these positions, especially for research and teaching.
  • Gain extensive laboratory and research experience.
  • Supplement curriculum with additional science courses in relevant areas (e.g. genetics, animal behavior, microbiology)
  • Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work.
  • Gain work experience in area of interest through internships, summer jobs, or part-time work

Law Enforcement

State/federal wildlife and land management including:
  • Fish and Wildlife Agency
  • National Park and Forest Services
  • Land Management Bureau
  • Department of Justice
  • Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals.
  • Be prepared to complete additional officer training as prerequisite for entry-level jobs.
  • Seek internships or related summer jobs to gain experience.
  • Attain experience with firearms, boat safety, and first aid training.
  • Develop public speaking and conflict management skills through coursework or experience.
  • Complete a minor in criminal justice.
  • Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work.
  • Be prepared to relocate to areas with abundant natural resources.

Aquaculture

  • Hatchery Operations Management
  • Aquarium Operations Management
  • Research
  • Quality Control
  • Private commercial fish farms
  • Shellfish operations
  • Government hatcheries
  • Public and private aquariums
  • Non-profit research facilities
  • Inspection organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Gain work experience through internships, co-ops, or summer or part-time work.
  • Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in water.
  • Practice good communication and problem solving skills.
  • Exercise close attention to detail.
  • Gain extensive laboratory and research experience for research positions.
  • Supplement coursework with business minor.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Non-classroom Education
  • Research
  • Universities and colleges
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Nature centers and parks
  • Certification is required for K-12 schoolteachers, and Ph.D. is needed for universities and colleges.
  • Gain experience working with students through tutoring, interning, or volunteering.
  • Learn to work well with all types of people.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.

General Information and Strategies

  • As an undergraduate, seek laboratory experiences such as research projects, volunteering with professors, summer jobs, or internships.
  • Participate in research programs sponsored by environmental and government organizations.
  • Consider a certificate program or specialized master’s program to qualify for research technician positions.
  • Earn master’s degree for greater variety and autonomy on the job. Earn a Ph.D. to work on high-level research projects, to direct research programs, to enter high levels of administration, and to teach at four-year post-secondary institutions. Postdoctoral fellowships may also be required.
  • The wildlife and fisheries degree can be good preparation for a career in healthcare such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science, but professional degrees and licenses are also necessary to practice in these fields.
  • Combine an undergraduate degree with a degree in law, business, education, information science, or other discipline to expand career opportunities. Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.
  • Learn to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations, and read related journals to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.
  • Secure strong relationships and personal recommendations from professors and/or employers.
  • Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. The federal government is the largest employer of scientists.
  • Gain experience with grant writing and fundraising techniques. Often research must be funded in this manner.

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