What does a Wildlife Biologist do?

Learn all about Wildlife Biologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Wildlife Biologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A wildlife biologist is someone who studies wild animals and their habitats. They may track the movements of animals, collect data on their behavior, or study how humans impact wildlife populations.

Wildlife Biologist job duties include:

  • Conduct field studies to collect data on physical and biological characteristics of land, water, air, and plants
  • Plan and direct wildlife research projects
  • Gather data using methods such as trapping, netting, and radio telemetry
  • Analyze data to identify trends and relationships
  • Write scientific reports and papers
  • Give presentations to groups such as landowners, government officials, or students
  • Work with people to develop conservation plans
  • Manage wildlife habitat
  • Train other biologists or technicians in field techniques
  • Supervise work crews engaged in habitat improvement projects

Wildlife Biologist Job Requirements

A wildlife biologist typically needs a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology or a related field. Some jobs may require a master’s degree or doctorate. Certification from The Wildlife Society is available for those who meet certain education and experience requirements. Experience working with wildlife in a professional capacity is also generally required.

Wildlife Biologist Skills

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Math
  • Statistics
  • GIS
  • Computer science
  • Field work

Related: Top Wildlife Biologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Wildlife Biologist

There are many steps that one must take in order to become a wildlife biologist. The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field such as ecology or zoology. After completing an undergraduate degree, many people choose to obtain a master’s degree in wildlife biology. Although it is not required, a doctoral degree may be beneficial for those who wish to pursue a career in research or teaching at the university level.

The next step is to gain experience working with wildlife. This can be done through internships, volunteer work, or entry-level jobs with state or federal agencies, environmental consulting firms, or non-profit organizations. It is important to get experience in the field of wildlife biology in order to learn about the day-to-day duties of a wildlife biologist and to gain the necessary skills for the job.

Once you have obtained a bachelor’s degree and gained some experience working with wildlife, you can apply for jobs as a wildlife biologist. Many states have natural resource agencies that hire wildlife biologists to manage fish and wildlife populations. There are also many private companies that employ wildlife biologists to conduct environmental impact studies or to develop conservation plans for private land owners.

If you are interested in conducting research on wildlife, you can apply for jobs with universities, government agencies, or private research organizations. Wildlife biologists who work in research positions typically design and conduct studies on topics such as animal behavior, habitat use, or population dynamics. Those who work in government agencies may be involved in developing policies to protect endangered species or managing public lands. Private research organizations often hire wildlife biologists to study the impact of human activities on ecosystems.

Teaching is another option for those with a passion for sharing their knowledge about wildlife biology with others. Wildlife biologists can find employment teaching at the collegiate level, working as extension educators with state natural resource agencies, or teaching outdoor education courses for youth groups.

No matter what career path you choose as a wildlife biologist, it is important to have a strong foundation in biology and be passionate about working with and protecting animals and their habitats.

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