Wildlife conservation and management is an exciting field for those who love animals and want to help them by finding ways to preserve their habits. Wildlife conservationists and managers also develop ways of helping humans, animals, and plants coexist. They study the environment, pollution, animal disease processes, natural resources, animal behavior, and much more. This information is used to ensure that wild animals and their habitats thrive while balancing this with the needs of the human population. With a degree in wildlife conservation and management you open the door to dozens of different types of jobs.
Associate Degrees in Wildlife Conservation and Management
Students can earn an associate of science degree in wildlife conservation and management in only two years. An associate degree gives students the basic skills needed for an entry level position. To earn this degree, students will take courses such as:
- Earth Science
With an associate degree in wildlife conservation and management, the student can get jobs in national parks, nature conservations, and government agencies. This degree will open opportunities to work assisting wildlife officials. Technician positions are also available to associate degree earners. Duties include observation, collecting data, and improving habitats. Associate degree holders may also give educational guided tours in parks, monitor park visitors, and enforce park rules. The expected salary of an associate degree wildlife conservation and management major ranges from $23,000 – $29,000.
Bachelor Degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management
Students can expand their opportunities with a bachelor degree in wildlife conservation and management. With this degree, individuals can be employed by government agencies, wildlife societies, and private sector companies.
A wildlife conservation and management bachelor degree prepares students for management level positions. They will oversee research projects, interpret data, and implement policy. They are involved in decisions concerning hunting and fishing regulations, wildfire management, and public safety concerning human / animal interaction. In the private sector, bachelor degree earners can work as educators and consultants. With a bachelor degree in wildlife conservation and management, students can expect to earn $30,000 – $50,000 per year, with a national average of $43,000.
Students who earn a bachelor degree in wildlife conservation and management will take advanced mathematics and science classes including:
- Natural Habitat Management
- Animal Anatomy
- Population Management
With a master degree in wildlife conservation and management, students will enjoy the top managerial, research, and educational positions in the wildlife management field. Professionals holding a master degree work in animal genetics and disease research, create environmental safety policies, and implement conservation and wildlife laws. They are also qualified to teach at the university level. These students may also find employment holding government and private positions concerning wildlife conservation and management. The average salary for these professionals begins at $50,000 per year and can go up exponentially with experience.
Wildlife conservation and management master degree students take classes in:
- Environmental Law
- Wildlife Law
- Disease in Wildlife
- Environmental Modeling
- Environmental Forensics
- Natural Resource Economics
These classes can be taken online, in the classroom, or a hybrid of both. They also include field and laboratory work.
Every year the human population grows and requires more space and natural resources. This results in a higher incidence of conflict between people and wildlife. Additionally, stricter management of natural resources is required to ensure continuance. These factors result in a greater need for wildlife conservation and management professionals.
There was a time when only a few schools offered these degree programs, but today there are many educational options for students who wish to earn a wildlife conservation and management degree. This is a small sample of the top schools offering this area of study:
University of Alaska – The main campus is located in Anchorage. Here students can earn a bachelor of science degree with concentration in conservation biology. This degree can lead students into a master or doctorate degree in the field of wildlife conservation and management.
Missouri Western State University – Located in St. Joseph, Missouri, this university offers a bachelor of science degree in wildlife conservation and management. This program meets the requirements for certification as a wildlife biologist. The school is accredited by the Certification Program of Professional Wildlife Biologists of the Wildlife Society.
University of Arizona – Both bachelor and master of natural resources in wildlife conservation and management are offered by the University of Arizona. This school is located in Tucson, and offers classes online and on campus.
University of Idaho– This University offers bachelor of science degrees in ecology and conservation biology, wildlife resources, rangeland ecology and management, forest resources and several other degrees related to the field of wildlife conservation and management. These degrees allow specialization in this field of study.
Private institutions – There are also several private universities which offer wildlife conservation and management degrees, including:
- Penn Foster Career School – career diploma
- Colorado Technical University – doctorate degree
- University of Phoenix – bachelor of science
- Kaplan University – bachelor of science and master of science degrees
With a degree in wildlife conservation and management, students can explore many careers such as wildlife management, biology, and education. They can also work in environmental forensics, natural conservation, and public relations. The opportunities are almost unlimited, and are both exciting and rewarding.