Students in an associate's degree program in wildlife management engage in hands-on learning and study topics such as biology, botany and ecology while learning methods to enhance natural resources. Fields of study include forest technology and fish and wildlife management. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. A background in biology, earth science, and math could help students gain admission.
Associate's Degree in Wildlife Management
The typical associate's degree program takes two years to complete and includes some general education courses in composition, math and humanities along with focused studies in wildlife management and natural resources. Class topics may include:
- Basic field skills
- Techniques in wildlife management
- Protecting the forests
- Law and ethics in wildlife management
- Fundamentals of fish culture and hatchery methods
Popular Career Options
For people who are interested in the maintenance, cultivation and protection of wildlife and natural resources, earning an associate's degree in wildlife management can open the doors to an entry-level career. Individuals who earn this associate's degree are prepared for jobs such as park and wildlife aide and natural resource technician. Technicians work with environmental scientists, setting up for research or fieldwork and then assisting in tracking results.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for forest and conservation technicians to decline by 6% from 2014 to 2024. The mean wage for this group of technicians was $38,260 in May 2015.
Some credits from a wildlife management associate's degree program can transfer into a related bachelor's degree program. There are many colleges and universities that offer bachelor's and master's degree programs for those interested in moving into professional research and management jobs in wildlife management.
Professional organizations can offer opportunities for both certification of professional experience and continuing education from courses and workshops. The Wildlife Society, for example, offers several credential programs including one for wildlife technicians. It requires that technicians have taken certain courses, have at least three years of experience and subscribe to a code of ethics.
For entry-level jobs in wildlife management, students will need at least an associate's degree. These programs prepare students for jobs as technicians, further education in a bachelor's or master's degree program, or professional certification.