Conservation Biologist

A conservation biologist works to monitor and protect the animal and plant species throughout the planet. These biologists might work to determine whether or not a species is reaching the point of endangerment or they might monitor a species to determine how they react or adapt to environmental changes over time. These careers are often employed by scientific organizations or political affiliations to gather facts pertaining to the impact of environmental changes. A few position titles within such organizations may be environmental specialist, land health assessment lead, or wildlife technician. In order to be eligible for such careers, you must first possess the appropriate education.

Education & Experience

Most conservation biologists will complete an undergraduate degree in biology, ecology, or zoology. If you do not have a degree in this area and have another scientific background, you should consider taking additional coursework in environmental sciences such as those previously mentioned, as it is essential to have a comprehensive understand of nature, the environment, and biology in general. If you wish to conduct research, it is likely you will be required to complete a master’s degree. Anyone seeking a career in conservation should begin volunteering the moment they know this is their path in life. Experience provides you with a better understanding, increased knowledge, and a highly sought-after skill base, which all directly influence your potential for employment and pay scale.

Salary Expectations

As with any career, the public sector and nonprofit organizations often cannot pay as well as a private company. Each organization will have benefits the others may not. You must choose which is right for you. A starting salary will be around $36,000; whereas, after having worked in the field for several years, you could earn up to $60,000. Most people make between $16 and $24 per hour. As with any career, people with degrees and more experience will earn a higher salary. If you wish to maximize your earning potential, seek out regions where environmental studies are frequent and many organizations conduct research such as the Northwest or in ecologically-unstable countries.

The future of a conservation biologist is expected to remain somewhat secure. Jobs are expected to increase at a rate of 5% over the next several years due to increased political pressures and environmental changes. This job will continue to change and be in demand alongside the environmental changes of tomorrow.