How To Become a Wildlife Biologist

Zoologists and wildlife biologists typically need at least a master’s degree for higher level investigative or scientific work. A Ph. D. is necessary for most independent research and university research positions. Coursework in life and physical sciences often includes academic, laboratory, and field work.
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Pursue a master’s degree for advanced positions.
  3. Complete a Ph. D. for high-level research jobs.
  4. Create a resume.
  5. Cultivate important skills.
  6. Consider a professional certification.

Becoming a wildlife biologist can be a rewarding and exciting career path. This field of study involves the scientific study of native and non-native wildlife, as well as the management of wild environments. The responsibilities range from protecting and preserving habitats, to conducting research and surveys, to educating the public on the importance of conservation and respect for the environment. Wildlife biologists can work in a variety of settings, from private businesses and research centers to state and federal agencies. A career in this field requires a combination of education and practical experience, so it’s important to understand what it takes to become a wildlife biologist. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the necessary steps to pursue a career as a wildlife biologist, from the educational requirements to the opportunities and resources available. With the information provided, readers should gain an understanding of what it takes to become a wildlife biologist, and have the knowledge to move forward in their career journey.

How To Become A Wildlife Biologist

Average salary for wildlife biologists

Wildlife biologists usually have full-time jobs. Their experience and location both affect their earning potential.

What does a wildlife biologist do?

Animal experts known as wildlife biologists are dedicated to protecting wildlife and their natural habitats. Many deal with specific species or animals from particular geographical areas. They collaborate with other scientists in teams where they frequently share information and ideas. Wildlife biologists are responsible for the following tasks:

Wildlife biologist requirements

Wildlife biologists typically need a graduate degree and a specific set of skills, according to employers. Some wildlife biologists also have a professional certification. Here are the common requirements:


Wildlife biologists must possess at least a bachelor’s degree to work in this field. Classes in biology, ecology, wildlife management, chemistry, physics, statistics, and conservation are part of this degree’s typical four-year curriculum. The most common majors for wildlife biologists include:

Many experts in this field are also Masters of Wildlife Biology graduates. This degree program can prepare wildlife biologists for advanced positions and typically lasts two to three years.

Furthermore, the majority of wildlife biologists who carry out independent or academic research are doctoral-level scholars. A Ph. D. typically requires two to four years to complete and includes coursework in computer programming, geographic information systems, and statistics applications.


Most employers require wildlife biologists to undergo on-the-job training programs. Depending on the business, training might last a few weeks, a month, or even longer. Internships or employment as a research assistant are two additional training options.


Although professional certifications are not required, many wildlife biologists choose to get one to show their dedication to the industry and to boost their earning potential. The Wildlife Society administers the two most common certifications:


Wildlife biologists need the following abilities to be successful in their work:

How to be a wildlife biologist

To become a wildlife biologist, follow these six steps:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

first, complete a bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, or zoology. You typically need four years to get this degree.

2. Pursue a masters degree for advanced positions

Consider pursuing a Masters in Wildlife Biology if you want to prepare for a position in the industry that requires more experience. This graduate degree can typically be obtained in two to three years. These programs often provide more research and field study opportunities.

3. Complete a Ph.D. for high-level research jobs

Get a doctorate in wildlife biology if you want to work as an independent or academic researcher. You need two to four years to complete a Ph. D. You might get the chance to work on independent research projects and compose a scientific dissertation that might be published.

4. Create a resume

Make a resume after finishing the academic requirements for this field. Include your education and any relevant experience from a career in statistics or scientific research.

5. Cultivate important skills

Take the time to develop the essential skills you’ll need for this career as you begin to gain work experience. For instance, you might think about looking for a mentor in your industry to learn about their methods of observation and reporting.

6. Consider a professional certification

Consider obtaining a professional certification from The Wildlife Society to demonstrate your dedication to the industry. Obtaining a certification as an Associate Wildlife Biologist or Certified Wildlife Biologist may also help you be eligible for higher-paying jobs.

Wildlife biologist frequently asked questions

Read the following responses to frequently asked questions about wildlife biology to gain more knowledge about working in this field.

Where do wildlife biologists work?

Typically, wildlife biologists split their time between working in labs, offices, and the field. They typically use computers to analyze data and run statistical modeling programs when working in offices. In laboratories, they monitor and study animals. When working in the field, they observe and track wildlife.

What hours do wildlife biologists work?

Many wildlife biologists keep regular hours during regular business hours or start at nine in the morning. m. to 5 p. m. They might put in longer hours in the field, including on the weekends and in the evenings. When researching nocturnal animals, wildlife biologists might also need to work through the night.

What advancement opportunities are available for wildlife biologists?

Beginning wildlife biologists may want to work as researchers for private or scholarly institutions. Wildlife biologists can direct research initiatives and secure funding for their projects as they gain experience in the field.


Is a Wildlife Biologist a good career?

Careers in wildlife biology are very rewarding, but the field is difficult and competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry will expand by 5% over the ensuing ten years. The majority of wildlife biologists need a master’s degree, but doctorates are also frequently obtained.

How do I get started in wildlife biology?

Wildlife Biologist Duties & Responsibilities
  • Conduct census projects, research studies, and complex data analysis.
  • Study ecosystems.
  • Trap, tag, or relocate animals for conservation purposes.
  • Develop land and water use plans.
  • Work to save endangered species.
  • Evaluate the impact of commercial ventures on local wildlife.

What do you do as a Wildlife Biologist?

The typical Wildlife Biologist salary is $54,709 per year, or $26 per hour. 3 per hour, in the United States. The bottom 10% of that spectrum, or $36,000 for the bottom 10%, earns about that much annually, while the top 10% earns $82,000.

What is the highest salary for a Wildlife Biologist?

The typical Wildlife Biologist salary is $54,709 per year, or $26 per hour. 3 per hour, in the United States. The bottom 10% of that spectrum, or $36,000 for the bottom 10%, earns about that much annually, while the top 10% earns $82,000.

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