Masters in Wildlife Biology: Salary & Jobs

Graduates with a master's degree in wildlife biology will be qualified for several different scientific and environmental careers. We discuss some of these available careers, their median salaries and expected job growth rates.

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The skills and knowledge learned in a wildlife biology degree program are very relatable and applicable to several other careers in the natural sciences. While not all of these careers deal directly with animals, most, if not all, have some connection with and/or impact on wildlife. Find out about a handful of the relatable careers for graduates with a master's degree in wildlife biology.

Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Wildlife Biology

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $60,520 4%
Foresters $58,700 8%
Conservation Scientists $61,810 7%
Environmental Scientists and Specialists (Including Health) $68,910 11%
Microbiologists $66,850 4%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Descriptions

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

A natural career choice for graduates of a wildlife biology program is that of a zoologist or wildlife biologist. These scientists usually need a master's degree for more advanced and research-oriented positions as they conduct various experiments to study animals. They may focus their studies on animal behavior, characteristics, social interactions and more, as well as examining how humans have impacted the habitats and ecosystems of these animals. Their findings can be used to help improve conservation efforts for a particular species and are usually reported in scientific papers for the public and other scientists.

Foresters

Some foresters choose to pursue a master's degree to work in managerial positions, and various course topics in wildlife are typically a part of the program's curriculum. These professionals are likely to encounter wildlife and perform forestry activities that affect wildlife as they clear land or perform controlled burns in areas to promote tree growth. Foresters look for the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to remove timber from an area and will closely monitor the regeneration of the area. They usually oversee the work of other forestry and conservation workers.

Conservation Scientists

Similar to foresters, some conservation scientists earn master's degrees to advance their careers. These professionals also supervise various conservation activities that likely impact the wildlife in a particular area, and therefore, a background in wildlife biology may prove beneficial. These scientists work to preserve natural resources in parks, forests and other outdoor areas, as well as improve the land quality of these areas. They ensure that all conservation activities comply with current regulations, create land-use contracts and work closely with landowners to protect the environment.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

A master's degree may be needed for an environmental scientist or specialist to advance, and a background in wildlife biology can provide these professionals with a unique perspective on the various environmental issues they investigate. Typically these scientists make observations and collect water, soil, air or other biological samples from a particular area to analyze for pollution and other contaminants. If pollution is detected, they work to clean up the area and research possible solutions to prevent further contamination and problems. Their work often has implications for human health so they will often provide information to officials about potential health risks.

Microbiologists

Graduates with a degree in wildlife biology who are also interested in laboratory work and/or studying microorganisms that may be found in the wild and elsewhere may consider a career as a microbiologist. Microbiologists may need a master's degree to advance in their study of bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi and more in research projects aimed at learning about these microorganisms and how they interact with their environments. These scientists also play a part in developing new drugs to combat these microorganisms, as well as perform different laboratory services to treat illnesses. They must stay updated on current findings in the field and present their own findings in technical reports.

A master's degree in wildlife biology can be utilized by several different scientific careers, most of which aim to conserve and protect the environment and/or wildlife in some way. A master's degree usually qualifies these graduates for advanced positions in these careers.

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