Are you interested in a career where you'll get to work with animals and preserve their natural habitat? If that's what intrigues you, being a wildlife manager may be a terrific career choice. Overseeing research, dealing with problematic animals, and maintaining the land are some of the many duties a wildlife manager partakes in.
Many wildlife managers work for state and federal governments to handle public land. They supervise hunting on the land, keep track of the animal populations housed on these lands, and ensure that the habitat is suitable for the wildlife population. Some wildlife managers collect data and prepare research to aid in decisions about how to manage wildlife. A bachelor's degree in a relevant field is required, and many wildlife managers have graduate-level education.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in wildlife management or a related field|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||2% (fish and game wardens)|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$52,780 (fish and game wardens)|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Wildlife Manager Duties
Wildlife managers take the necessary steps to keep animal populations well-maintained. When an animal is threatened, they work to preserve their habitat or food supply. They control nuisance animals. Many make sure that hunting is conducted in the healthiest way for the hunted animal's population. Since all of these duties have an impact on public and private land, wildlife managers educate the public and respond to requests for aid and information about an area's wildlife.
Wildlife manager jobs can be demanding because their duties are often conducted outdoors where they have to contend with the unreliability of wild animals. When animals are hurt or sick, they often turn aggressive, and wildlife managers have to be prepared to deal with such a scenario. Depending on the climate, the weather can pose an extra challenge as well.
Wildlife Manager Requirements
According to the BLS, the majority of jobs in the conservation sciences field, including wildlife management, are held with State or Federal government (www.bls.gov). Whether a position is in the private or government sector, the education requirements are the same. Because of the knowledge needed to be successful as a wildlife manager, a bachelor's degree in an environmental or wildlife field, such as wildlife management, is required. Postgraduate study is helpful to those who wish to teach or conduct research. In addition to having a formal education, job candidates must be physically fit, with some positions requiring applicants to pass a physical fitness test.
Wildlife Manager Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2015 that the majority of fish and game wardens at that time earned from $34,620 to $76,510 per year. BLS statistics for zoologists and wildlife biologists, a category that could also encompass some wildlife managers (especially those not employed by the government), reflected a general salary range of $39,180 to $97,390 per year in 2015.
As a wildlife manager, your job is monitor animals and preserve their habitats. This is a very physically demanding job, so you must be in good shape. A preference for the outdoors is also helpful, as that is where the work primarily takes place. A bachelor's degree in environmental studies or a related field is the minimum education required.