How do you become a wildlife biologist?


Quick Answer

To become a wildlife biologist, an individual must possess at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in biology with a concentration in wildlife biology or zoology, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. To obtain a position higher than entry level, it is best to possess a master's degree or a doctorate in biology.

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Full Answer

In addition to the basic educational requirements, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that it is beneficial to have strong critical thinking, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Experience operating farm equipment, such as tractors, and intermediate to advanced outdoors skills are also beneficial. Depending on the position, wildlife biologists may also be required to provide their own sustenance in a primitive environment. Typically, the higher-level positions with more freedom and research responsibilities require more advanced degrees. Commensurate experience, however, is often also a requirement.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's qualifications for a basic non-research wildlife biologist includes a degree in biological science. Additional credentials include nine semester hours in wildlife subject matter (mammalogy, ornithology, animal ecology and wildlife management), 12 semester hours in zoology (general zoology, vertebrate zoology and comparative anatomy) and nine semester hours in botany or another similar plant science.

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