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Wildlife Farm Worker Career Profile

How do I become a wildlife farm worker?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

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UPDATED:

16 January 2024

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What is a Wildlife Farm Worker?

Wildlife Farm Workers work in one of the many privately owned or sponsored animal farms where specific wildlife species are kept for primarily entertainment and education.

Cow 1

Why do we call these places Wildlife Farms?

There is no specific name for places where people breed and display wildlife species on a small scale for entertainment and education (except for zoos, which are large places and specialize in many species).

What is the difference between an Animal Sanctuary, an Animal Farm, Wildlife Park and a Wildlife Farm?

The main difference is in the purpose of the establishment:

  • Sanctuaries are privately owned and funded places where animals are brought to live and should be able to retire in peace, respected and protected.
  • Animal Farms are the general name given to agricultural farms where farm animals are bred and sold.
  • Wildlife Parks or Safari Parks allow visitors to drive through and observe animals in their natural habitats.
  • Wildlife Farms are places where the owners breed specific species in order to show them to the public for entertainment and educational purposses. Animal Farms are like miniature zoos.

What are the different kinds of Wildlife Farms?

These Farms may specialize in specific species, such as:

  • Butterflies
  • Larger insects, such as beetles and stick insects that people can interact with
  • Rabbits (or mostly called bunnies)
  • Exotic Birds such as parrots
  • Monkeys
  • Snakes
  • Frog and Toads

Alternative Names

Wildlife Farms have different names around the world, depending mostly on purpose, location or whatever sounds interesting. The most common words included in the names are:

  • Park
  • World
  • Garden
Examples are Butterfly Garden, Reptile Park, Monkey World and many more!

Career Categories

The Wildlife Farm Worker career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Animal Care
  • Wildlife Conservation

What does a Wildlife Farm Worker do?

With which Groups of animals does a Wildlife Farm Worker work with?

Critters List Icon OZT
Critters
Mammals List Icon OZT
Mammals
Birds List Icon OZT
Birds
Reptiles List Icon OZT
Reptiles
Amphibians List Icon OZT
Amphibians
Insects List Icon OZT
Insects

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Wildlife Farm Worker work?

A wildlife farm worker may work with a variety of individuals and groups, both within and outside the wildlife farm setting. Here are some key stakeholders with whom a wildlife farm worker may collaborate:

Supervisors and Managers:

Wildlife farm workers typically report to supervisors or managers who oversee the daily operations of the facility. They may receive instructions, guidance, and feedback from these higher-ups.

Colleagues:

Wildlife farms often have a team of workers responsible for different aspects of animal care, habitat management, education, and administration. Collaborating with colleagues is essential for smooth operations.

Veterinarians:

Wildlife farm workers may work closely with veterinarians to monitor the health of the animals, address medical concerns, and implement healthcare plans.

Educators and Interpreters:

If the wildlife farm offers educational programmes, workers may collaborate with educators and interpreters to develop and deliver content for visitors, school groups, and other educational initiatives.

Conservationists and Researchers:

Some wildlife farms actively participate in conservation efforts and research projects. Workers may collaborate with conservationists and researchers to contribute to broader wildlife conservation goals.

Government Authorities:

Wildlife farms are often subject to regulations and may need to work with local or national government authorities to ensure compliance with laws related to animal welfare, conservation, and public safety.

Visitors and Tourists:

Wildlife farm workers frequently interact with visitors and tourists, providing information about the animals, leading tours, and contributing to the educational experience of the public.

Animal Welfare Organizations:

Depending on the nature of the wildlife farm and its practices, workers may interact with or receive guidance from animal welfare organizations to ensure ethical treatment and care of the animals.

Sponsors and Donors:

If the wildlife farm relies on external funding or sponsorship, workers may engage with sponsors, donors, or philanthropic organizations to secure financial support for the facility.

Effective communication and collaboration with these various stakeholders are crucial for the successful functioning of a wildlife farm and achieving its goals, whether they are focused on education, conservation, or a combination of both.

What are the different specialisations or career directions that a Wildlife Farm Worker can venture into?

Wildlife farm workers play an important role in caring for wildlife species kept on privately owned or sponsored animal farms for entertainment and educational purposes. As they gain experience and expertise in wildlife care and farm operations, there are various specialisations and career directions they can explore within the field of wildlife management and conservation. Here are different paths that a wildlife farm worker can venture into:

Animal Care Specialist:

Specialise in the care and welfare of wildlife species kept on the farm. Animal care specialists are responsible for feeding, watering, grooming, and providing enrichment activities for animals. They monitor animal health, administer medications as directed by veterinarians, handle animal transports, and maintain clean and safe enclosures for the animals.

Wildlife Educator/Interpreter:

Transition to a role focused on wildlife education and interpretation for visitors. Wildlife educators develop educational programmes, guided tours, and interactive experiences to teach visitors about wildlife species, their habitats, conservation challenges, and the importance of wildlife protection. They may also conduct outreach programmes in schools and at community events.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant:

Assist in wildlife rehabilitation efforts for injured or orphaned wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitation assistants work with licenced rehabilitators to provide temporary care, medical treatments, and rehabilitation activities for wildlife in need. They follow rehabilitation protocols, monitor animal progress, prepare animals for release back into the wild, and educate the public about wildlife conservation.

Habitat Management and Environmental Conservation:

Focus on habitat management and environmental conservation initiatives on the farm. Habitat management specialists work to create and maintain suitable habitats for wildlife species, including vegetation management, water resource conservation, and habitat enhancement projects. They may also participate in wildlife habitat restoration efforts in collaboration with conservation organisations.

Wildlife Breeding and Conservation Coordinator:

specialise in wildlife breeding programmes and conservation initiatives on the farm. Breeding and conservation coordinators work to preserve endangered or threatened wildlife species through captive breeding programmes, genetic management, and reintroduction efforts. They collaborate with wildlife experts, conservationists, and regulatory agencies to implement conservation strategies and support species recovery goals.

Animal Training and Enrichment Specialist:

Develop skills in animal training and enrichment techniques for wildlife on the farm. Training and enrichment specialists design and implement enrichment programmes to promote natural behaviours, mental stimulation, and physical activity for animals. They may also train animals for educational demonstrations and interactive experiences with visitors.

Visitor Experience and Tourism Coordinator:

Manage visitor experiences, tours, and educational programmes related to wildlife on the farm. Visitor experience coordinators plan and coordinate guided tours, workshops, hands-on activities, and special events to engage visitors, raise awareness about wildlife conservation issues, and promote ethical interactions with wildlife in captivity.

Wildlife Health and Disease Management:

Specialise in wildlife health management and disease prevention on the farm. Wildlife health specialists monitor animal health status, conduct health assessments, implement biosecurity measures, manage disease outbreaks, collaborate with veterinarians for diagnostics and treatments, and develop health protocols to ensure the well-being of wildlife populations.

Wildlife Research Assistant:

Assist in wildlife research projects conducted on the farm. Wildlife research assistants support researchers in data collection, sample collection, behavioural observations, field surveys, and experimental studies related to wildlife behaviour, ecology, physiology, or conservation. They may also assist in data analysis and reporting on research findings.

Farm Operations and Management:

Advance to roles in farm operations, administration, or management within the wildlife farm. Farm managers oversee daily operations, staff supervision, budgeting, facility maintenance, regulatory compliance, and strategic planning to ensure the farm’s success in wildlife care, education, and conservation efforts.

These specialisations and career directions offer wildlife farm workers diverse opportunities to contribute to wildlife conservation, education, and farm operations while pursuing fulfilling and impactful careers in the field of wildlife management and conservation on private or sponsored animal farms.

What does a Wildlife Farm Worker focus on?

The main focus of a Wildlife Farm Worker is to assist in maintaining the health of resident animals. A good knowledge and understanding of the various animals and their behaviour is recommended. One Zoo Tree has information on all these breeds to help you learn more about them. Just visit the specific animal page in the main menu at the top of this page.

What are the daily tasks of a Wildlife Farm Worker?

The daily tasks of a wildlife farm worker can vary depending on the specific type of wildlife farm and the animals it houses. However, here are some common tasks that wildlife farm workers may perform on a day-to-day basis:

Animal Feeding:

Provide appropriate and scheduled meals for the wildlife species, ensuring that their nutritional needs are met.

Habitat Maintenance:

Clean and maintain enclosures or habitats to create a safe and comfortable environment for the animals.

Health Monitoring:

Observe the animals for signs of illness or distress, report any concerns to supervisors or veterinarians, and participate in routine health checks.

Enrichment Activities:

Plan and implement environmental enrichment activities to stimulate the mental and physical well-being of the animals.

Visitor Interaction:

Interact with visitors, answer questions, and provide information about the wildlife species. Lead tours or presentations as needed for educational purposes.

Training:

Some wildlife farms may engage in animal training programs for various purposes, such as behavior management or educational demonstrations.

Record-Keeping:

Maintain accurate records of animal behavior, health, and daily activities. This information is valuable for monitoring the well-being of the animals and supporting research or conservation efforts.

Public Programs:

If the wildlife farm offers educational programs, workers may participate in organizing and delivering these programs to schools, community groups, or the general public.

Cleaning and Sanitation:

Ensure that the facilities, equipment, and tools are clean and sanitized to maintain a healthy environment for both animals and staff.

Assisting with Breeding Programs:

If applicable, participate in breeding programs by monitoring reproductive behaviors, assisting with mating processes, and caring for newborns.

Safety Procedures:

Follow safety protocols to ensure the well-being of both staff and animals. This may include handling procedures, emergency response plans, and equipment maintenance.

Collaboration with Colleagues:

Work collaboratively with other wildlife farm workers and team members to accomplish daily tasks and ensure the overall success of the facility.

It’s important to note that the specific duties can vary based on the type of wildlife farm, the species being cared for, and the overall goals of the facility, whether they are focused on conservation, education, or a combination of both. Additionally, the tasks may be influenced by the size and resources of the wildlife farm.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does a Wildlife Farm Worker work?

Wildlife farm workers, also known as wildlife technicians or wildlife caretakers, may work in various settings such as wildlife rehabilitation centers, sanctuaries, or wildlife parks. Their responsibilities often involve caring for and managing wildlife populations in captivity. While the specific tools and technologies used by wildlife farm workers can vary depending on the facility and the species being cared for, here are some common tools and technologies they may utilise:

Animal Handling Equipment:

Handling gloves, nets, catch poles, and restraint devices are used for safely handling and transporting wildlife.

Enclosures and Habitat Management Tools:

Equipment for constructing and maintaining enclosures, including fencing materials, gates, and locks. Tools for habitat management such as rakes, shovels, and pruning shears for maintaining vegetation and landscaping within enclosures.

Feeding and Watering Equipment:

Food bowls, automatic feeders, and watering systems are used for providing food and water to wildlife in captivity. Tools for preparing and distributing specialized diets or supplements as prescribed by wildlife veterinarians or nutritionists.

Environmental Monitoring Devices:

Instruments for monitoring environmental conditions within enclosures, including temperature, humidity, and lighting levels, to ensure the well-being of wildlife.

Medical and Veterinary Equipment:

Basic medical supplies such as first aid kits, bandages, and antiseptics for providing initial care to injured or sick wildlife. Veterinary equipment such as scales, thermometers, and stethoscopes for monitoring the health of animals and assisting veterinarians during examinations.

Transportation Equipment:

Vehicles such as trucks, trailers, or vans equipped with appropriate animal transport crates or containers for safely moving wildlife between facilities or to release sites.

Communication Tools:

Two-way radios, cell phones, or walkie-talkies for communicating with other wildlife farm workers, veterinarians, or emergency responders.

Educational Resources:

Educational materials such as books, videos, or training manuals to learn about the biology, behavior, and care requirements of different wildlife species.

Safety Gear:

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, boots, and safety glasses to protect against potential hazards associated with working with wildlife.

Data Collection and Recording Tools:

Notebooks, tablets, or computer software for recording observations, tracking feeding schedules, and maintaining records of medical treatments or behavioral assessments.

Capture and Restraint Equipment:

Traps, nets, and snares for capturing and relocating wildlife, particularly for rescue or relocation efforts.

Educational and Enrichment Devices:

Enrichment items such as puzzle feeders, climbing structures, or toys to provide mental stimulation and behavioral enrichment for captive wildlife.

Wildlife farm workers are trained to use these tools and technologies safely and effectively to ensure the welfare of the animals under their care and to support conservation efforts aimed at protecting wildlife populations.

The work environment of a Wildlife Farm Worker

Where does a Wildlife Farm Worker work?

The working environment and places of employment for a wildlife farm worker can vary depending on the type of wildlife farm and the specific responsibilities of the worker. Here’s a general overview of both indoor and outdoor aspects of the job:

Indoor Working Environment:

Administration Buildings:

Wildlife farms may have administrative offices where workers handle paperwork, record-keeping, and coordination of various tasks.

Educational Facilities:

If the wildlife farm offers educational programmes, there may be indoor spaces designated for presentations, workshops, or classrooms.

Animal Holding Areas:

Indoor enclosures or barns may be used to house certain animals, especially during extreme weather conditions or for specific species that require controlled environments.

Laboratories:

In facilities engaged in research or conservation efforts, there might be laboratory spaces for analysing samples, conducting studies, or participating in breeding programmes.

Meeting Rooms:

Workers may participate in meetings with supervisors, colleagues, or external stakeholders to discuss animal care, conservation initiatives, or other relevant topics.

Outdoor Working Environment:

Animal Enclosures:

Much of the daily work for wildlife farm workers involves outdoor tasks, including cleaning and maintaining the various enclosures or habitats where the animals are kept.

Habitat Areas:

Workers may be responsible for managing natural habitat areas within the wildlife farm, ensuring that they are suitable for the animals, and promoting natural behaviours.

Visitor Areas:

If the wildlife farm allows public access, workers may spend time in outdoor areas interacting with visitors, leading tours, and providing information about the animals.

Educational Displays:

Outdoor spaces may be dedicated to educational displays, signage, or interactive exhibits where workers engage with visitors to enhance their understanding of wildlife conservation.

Breeding Facilities:

Outdoor spaces may be designated for breeding programmes, including specific enclosures for mating pairs or areas where newborns are cared for.

Agricultural Areas:

Some wildlife farms may have agricultural components for growing food for the animals, and workers may be involved in tending to these areas.

Safety Checkpoints:

Workers may perform routine safety checks of outdoor areas to ensure that enclosures are secure and protocols are followed to prevent accidents or escapes.

Environmental Enrichment Spaces:

Outdoor areas are often used for implementing environmental enrichment activities to enhance the well-being of animals.

Places of Employment

Butterfly Farms:

These farms typically feature a controlled environment where visitors can observe and interact with various species of butterflies. The farms often provide information about the life cycle of butterflies and their importance in ecosystems.

Snake Sanctuaries:

Facilities dedicated to snakes, where visitors can learn about different snake species, their behaviour, and their role in the ecosystem. Some snake sanctuaries may also offer educational demonstrations and handling sessions.

Monkey Retreats:

Wildlife farms that focus on primates, such as monkeys, and provide educational experiences about their behaviour, habitat, and conservation. Visitors may have the opportunity to observe and learn about different monkey species.

Aviaries:

Facilities dedicated to birds, where visitors can observe various species of birds in large enclosures resembling their natural habitats. Aviaries often focus on education about bird behaviour, migration patterns, and conservation.

Reptile Gardens:

Similar to snake sanctuaries, reptile gardens showcase a variety of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, turtles, and crocodiles. Visitors can learn about reptile behaviour, anatomy, and conservation.

Aquariums:

While not traditional farms, aquariums can be considered wildlife facilities where visitors can observe and learn about marine life. Educational programmes often focus on marine conservation and the importance of protecting ocean ecosystems.

Insectariums:

Facilities dedicated to insects, where visitors can explore exhibits showcasing a variety of insect species. Insectariums often highlight the ecological roles of insects and their importance to biodiversity.

Wildlife Educational Parks:

These parks may feature a combination of different wildlife species, providing a broader educational experience for visitors. Parks may include guided tours, interactive exhibits, and educational programmes.

What is the average annual salary of a Wildlife Farm Worker?

Salaries for wildlife farm workers can vary widely based on factors such as experience, education, specific job responsibilities, and the economic conditions of each country or region. Additionally, salaries can be influenced by the size and type of the wildlife farm, as well as the level of demand for such positions. It’s important to note that the figures provided are general estimates and may not represent the entire range of salaries in each country or region. 

United States:

The average annual salary for wildlife workers in the USA can vary widely, but it may range from $30,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on factors such as experience and location.

Canada:

In Canada, the average annual salary for wildlife workers can range from CAD 35,000 to CAD 60,000 or more, depending on various factors.

United Kingdom:

In the UK, the average annual salary for wildlife farm workers might range from £18,000 to £30,000 or more.

India:

In India, salaries for wildlife workers can vary widely. Entry-level positions may have salaries ranging from INR 2,00,000 to INR 5,00,000 annually.

Australia:

In Australia, the average annual salary for wildlife workers can range from AUD 50,000 to AUD 80,000 or more, depending on factors such as experience and location.

New Zealand:

In New Zealand, wildlife worker salaries may range from NZD 40,000 to NZD 60,000 or more per year.

Nigeria:

In Nigeria, salaries for wildlife farm workers can vary widely. Entry-level positions may have salaries ranging from NGN 500,000 to NGN 1,500,000 or more annually.

Kenya:

In Kenya, salaries for wildlife workers might range from KES 300,000 to KES 800,000 or more per year.

South Africa:

In South Africa, salaries for wildlife workers can vary, but they may range from ZAR 100,000 to ZAR 300,000 or more annually.

South America:

Salaries for wildlife workers in South America can vary by country and region. In general, they may range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per year, depending on factors like the country’s economic conditions and the specific role.

Europe:

In Europe, salaries for wildlife workers can vary widely by country and region. Entry-level salaries may start around €20,000 to €30,000, while more experienced workers may earn higher salaries.

Southeast Asia:

In Southeast Asia, salaries for wildlife workers can vary based on the specific country and local economic conditions. Entry-level salaries may range from a few thousand to several thousand dollars per year.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research or consult with local employment resources for the most accurate and up-to-date salary information in each specific country or region.

Can a Wildlife Farm Worker be promoted?

Promotion levels for a wildlife farm worker can vary depending on the organization’s structure and the opportunities for career advancement. However, here are three general promotion levels with associated aspects related to education, responsibilities, and certification:

Entry-Level Wildlife Farm Worker

Education:

High school diploma or equivalent.
Some positions may require basic coursework in biology, zoology, or a related field.

Responsibilities:

Daily care of animals, including feeding, cleaning, and observation.
Assisting with habitat maintenance.
Participating in educational programs and visitor interaction.

Certification:

Basic certifications in animal care or related fields may be advantageous but are not always required at this level.

Senior Wildlife Farm Worker/Animal Care Specialist

Education:

Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, wildlife management, or a related field.

Responsibilities:

More in-depth animal care responsibilities.
Leading and supervising junior staff.
Involvement in breeding programmes and conservation initiatives.
Developing and implementing enrichment activities.

Certification:

Possession of relevant certifications in animal care or specific species management.
CPR and First Aid certification may be required.

Supervisor / Team Leader

Education:

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant field.
Continuing education or specialised training in management and leadership.

Responsibilities:

Overseeing day-to-day operations of the wildlife farm.
Managing staff schedules and performance.
Developing and implementing policies and procedures.
Collaborating with higher management on strategic planning.

Certification:

Management or leadership certifications.
Any specialized certifications related to wildlife conservation or farm management.

Manager/Director of Wildlife Programmes

Education:

Master’s or advanced degree in biology, wildlife management, or a related field.

Responsibilities:

Overall responsibility for the wildlife farm’s success.
Developing and implementing long-term strategies.
Engaging in fundraising and partnership development.
Representing the organisation in conservation and educational forums.

Certification:

Relevant certifications in leadership and wildlife conservation.
Participation in professional organizations related to wildlife management.

What kind of difficulties may a Wildlife Farm Worker face?

Wildlife farm workers face a range of challenges in their profession, encompassing physical, safety, environmental, emotional, and administrative aspects. Here are some challenges they may encounter:

Physical Demands:

Wildlife farm work often involves strenuous physical activities such as lifting heavy objects, building and maintaining enclosures, and handling large animals. This can lead to physical fatigue and the risk of injuries.

Safety Concerns:

Working with wild animals always carries safety risks. Wildlife farm workers may face the danger of bites, scratches, kicks, or other injuries from the animals they care for. Implementing proper safety protocols and training is crucial to mitigate these risks.

Variability in Working Conditions:

Wildlife farm workers may need to adapt to various weather conditions, ranging from extreme heat to cold. Additionally, the nature of the work may require them to be outdoors for extended periods, exposing them to environmental challenges.

Emotional Challenges:

Caring for wild animals can be emotionally taxing. Witnessing illness, injury, or death among the animals can be distressing. Additionally, forming bonds with the animals and then having to part with them for various reasons can be emotionally challenging.

Business Management:

Running a wildlife farm requires effective business management skills. This includes budgeting for animal care, maintaining facilities, and managing staff. Financial challenges can arise due to the high costs associated with maintaining the health and well-being of wild animals.

Regulatory Compliance:

Wildlife farms are subject to various regulations and permits, and compliance with these can be complex. Ensuring adherence to wildlife conservation laws, animal welfare standards, and other regulations is crucial, and non-compliance can lead to legal issues.

Continuing Education:

Staying up-to-date on the latest research, conservation practices, and animal care techniques is essential. Wildlife farm workers need to engage in continuous learning to provide the best care for the animals and to adapt to evolving industry standards.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

Wildlife care often does not adhere to regular working hours. Emergencies, animal births, and other unexpected events may require workers to be on call or work irregular hours. This unpredictability can affect work-life balance.

Public Relations and Education:

Wildlife farm workers may need to interact with the public, educating them about conservation, animal behaviour, and the challenges faced by wildlife. Handling public relations effectively while managing the stress of public scrutiny is crucial.

Environmental Sustainability:

Balancing the needs of the wildlife farm with environmental sustainability is a challenge. This includes managing waste and energy consumption and ensuring that the farm’s operations do not have adverse effects on the surrounding ecosystem.

Overall, being a wildlife farm worker requires a diverse skill set and the ability to navigate through a multitude of challenges to ensure the well-being of both the animals and the business.

Future Growth and Possibilities

The annual growth in this sector remains positive.

Here are some general trends and factors that may influence the future of the wildlife farm industry:

Growing Interest in Conservation and Education:

Increased awareness and concern for wildlife conservation may drive the demand for wildlife farms focused on education and conservation efforts. Public interest in understanding and protecting wildlife could contribute to the growth of educational programmes in these facilities.

Expansion of Ecotourism:

The growth of ecotourism and interest in sustainable travel may lead to increased visitation to wildlife farms as people seek educational and eco-friendly experiences.

Advancements in Animal Welfare Practices:

Ongoing improvements in animal welfare practices may influence the industry, with an emphasis on providing better living conditions for animals in captivity.

Technological Advancements:

Integration of technology, such as virtual reality and online educational platforms, may enhance the educational aspects of wildlife farms, reaching a broader audience.

Global Efforts in Biodiversity Conservation:

International initiatives and commitments to biodiversity conservation may contribute to the growth of wildlife farms involved in breeding and conserving endangered species.

Environmental and Climate Concerns:

Increasing awareness of environmental issues and climate change may lead to a greater focus on wildlife conservation and habitat preservation, creating opportunities for wildlife farms involved in such initiatives.

Research and Data-Driven Practices:

Growing emphasis on research within wildlife farms may lead to the implementation of data-driven practices for better animal care, breeding programmes, and conservation strategies.

Collaboration with Conservation Organizations:

Collaboration between wildlife farms and established conservation organisations may become more common, facilitating joint efforts in species preservation and habitat protection.

It’s essential to consider that unforeseen events, such as global economic changes, policy shifts, or public health crises, can impact industry trends and job market projections. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to refer to industry reports, government agencies, and reputable sources for wildlife conservation and management.

Availability of Jobs

Good

Which Skills are required by a Wildlife Farm Worker?

The skills required for a career as a Wildlife Farm Worker can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills
40%

Career Skills

  • Animal handling and care techniques
  • Ability to give educational talks to the public
  • ​Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills
60%

Which Subjects must I have at School to prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Wildlife Farm Worker?

Minimum educational requirements

Many entry-level positions on wildlife farms may require a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Biology:

Develop a strong foundation in biology to understand the principles of life, ecosystems, and animal physiology.

Ecology:

Study ecology to understand the relationships between organisms and their environments, which is crucial for wildlife conservation.

Animal Science:

Gain knowledge in animal science to understand the anatomy, physiology, and behaviour of animals, which is essential for caring for wildlife.

Environmental Science:

Explore environmental science to understand the impact of human activities on ecosystems and to grasp principles of conservation.

Mathematics:

Develop basic math skills for data analysis, measurements, and calculations related to animal care and habitat management.

Communication and Education:

Enhance communication skills and consider courses in education if you plan to engage in public education or outreach programmes.

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree:

While some positions may only require a high school diploma, pursuing higher education in biology, zoology, wildlife management, or a related field can enhance your qualifications for more specialised roles.

Master’s Degree (Optional):

For leadership positions, research roles, or advanced management positions, a master’s degree in a relevant field could be beneficial.

Optional Short Courses:

Animal Care and Handling:

Short courses on animal care and handling can provide practical skills for working with wildlife.

Wildlife Rehabilitation:

Courses in wildlife rehabilitation can be valuable if you’re interested in roles that involve caring for injured or orphaned animals.

Conservation and Habitat Management:

Short courses focused on conservation and habitat management provide insights into practices that contribute to wildlife conservation.

First Aid and CPR Certification:

Obtain certification in first aid and CPR, which may be required for roles involving animal care and visitor safety.

Environmental Education:

Consider short courses related to environmental education if you plan to be involved in educational programmes or guided tours.

Study Duration

The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to go.

Possible Path(s):

Here’s a suggested career preparation path for a high school student interested in pursuing a wildlife farm worker career:

  1.  Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Participate in career guidance sessions to gain insights into various wildlife-related careers. These sessions can provide valuable information about the skills, education, and experiences needed for different paths.

2.  Research Possible Careers:

Conduct thorough research on careers related to wildlife farming. Explore various roles within the field, such as wildlife caretaker, conservationist, or zookeeper, to identify specific areas of interest.

3.  Explore Educational Paths:

Research educational programmes related to wildlife management, animal science, or conservation biology. Look for colleges or vocational schools that offer relevant courses and degrees.

4.  Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the educational path for wildlife farming. Subjects such as biology, environmental science, and agriculture can provide a solid foundation.
Obtain a High School

5.  Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic success and graduate with a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6.  Learn about Animals:

Gain knowledge about the specific types of animals you may work with in wildlife farming. Understand their behaviour, habitats, and nutritional needs.

7.  Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the job market directly, pursue further education (such as a college degree or vocational training), or start a business. Consider your long-term career goals.

8.  Gain Experience:

Seek opportunities for hands-on experience through volunteering, internships, or mentorship programmes at wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, or conservation organisations. This practical experience is valuable for building skills and networking.

9.  Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Engage in extracurricular activities related to wildlife, such as joining a nature club, participating in environmental projects, or volunteering for animal-related events. This can enhance your passion and showcase your commitment to potential employers or educational institutions.

10.  Join Professional Associations:

Consider joining professional associations related to wildlife conservation or animal care. Being part of such organisations can provide networking opportunities, access to resources, and a sense of community within the field.

11. Gain specialised skills:

Acquire specialised skills relevant to wildlife farming, such as animal husbandry, habitat management, or first aid for animals. These skills can set you apart in the competitive job market.

12. Network with Professionals:

Attend conferences, workshops, and networking events to connect with professionals in the field. Building a network can provide valuable advice, mentorship, and potential job opportunities.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

Depending on your chosen path, enter the job market with gained experience, complete tertiary studies, or consider starting a wildlife-related business.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about industry trends, advancements, and new research. Pursue continuing education, certifications, or workshops to enhance your knowledge and skills throughout your career.

By following this career preparation path, a high school student can lay a strong foundation for a successful career as a wildlife farm worker.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

A stepping-stone career refers to a job or position that serves as a transitional or intermediate step towards a long-term career goal. Individuals may take on a stepping-stone job as it requires minimum education or finances to enter, or to gain relevant experience and develop skills, or to make professional connections that will ultimately help them progress towards their desired career path.

These interim positions may not be the ultimate or dream job, but they provide valuable learning opportunities and contribute to the individual’s overall career development. Stepping-stone careers are often seen as a strategic approach to building a successful and fulfilling professional trajectory, allowing individuals to gradually move closer to their desired roles or industries.

A career as a wildlife farm worker can provide individuals with a diverse set of skills and experiences that can be transferable to various related fields. Here are some potential career paths that individuals might pursue after gaining experience as a wildlife farm worker:

Training and apprenticeship

The specific on-the-job training and apprenticeship requirements for a wildlife farm worker can vary depending on the employer, the nature of the wildlife farm, and the specific responsibilities of the role. However, here are some common elements that may be part of the training process:

Introduction to Wildlife Farm Operations:

Overview of the wildlife farm’s mission, goals, and operations. Familiarisation with the types of animals kept on the farm.

Safety Protocols:

Training on safety procedures when working with wildlife, including proper handling techniques and the use of personal protective equipment.
Emergency response training in case of animal escapes, injuries, or other incidents.

Animal Care and Husbandry:

Learning the basics of animal care, including feeding, grooming, and monitoring health. Understanding the specific needs and behaviours of the wildlife species on the farm.

Enclosure Design and Maintenance:

Training on building and maintaining enclosures to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals.
Understanding the principles of creating naturalistic environments for wildlife.

Environmental Enrichment:

Learning how to provide environmental enrichment to promote the physical and mental well-being of the animals. Implementing strategies to encourage natural behaviours.

Health Monitoring and Veterinary Care:

Training on monitoring the health of animals and recognising signs of illness. Understanding the basics of veterinary care, including administering medications and assisting with veterinary examinations.

Record-Keeping:

Learning how to maintain accurate records of animal care, health observations, and any significant events. Understanding the importance of record-keeping for regulatory compliance.

Customer Interaction (if applicable):

Training on interacting with visitors or customers, providing information about the wildlife, and ensuring a positive visitor experience.

Wildlife Conservation and Education:

Understanding the farm’s role in wildlife conservation and education. Learning how to communicate conservation messages to the public.

Equipment Operation:

Training on operating equipment used on the farm, such as tractors, feeding equipment, or tools for enclosure maintenance.

Team Collaboration:

Learning to work effectively with other team members, including communication and collaboration skills. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of different team members within the wildlife farm.

Regulatory Compliance:

Training on relevant laws and regulations governing the care and management of wildlife. Understanding the farm’s responsibilities for compliance with wildlife and animal welfare regulations.

Apprenticeships or mentorship programmes may be offered by some wildlife farms to provide hands-on training under the guidance of experienced wildlife farm workers or supervisors. During the apprenticeship, individuals may gradually take on more responsibilities as they gain practical experience and demonstrate competence in their tasks.

Average level of education of people entering this career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificates, Registration and Professional Associations

Becoming a wildlife farm worker often involves compliance with various licences, certificates, and legal regulations to ensure the welfare of the animals and adherence to wildlife conservation laws. The specific requirements can vary depending on the location, the type of wildlife farm, and the activities involved. Here are some common considerations:

Wildlife Farming Licence:

Obtain a wildlife farming licence or permit from the relevant wildlife or environmental regulatory authority. This licence typically outlines the specific species that can be kept, facility requirements, and operational guidelines.

Animal Welfare Certification:

Depending on the region, there may be certifications related to animal welfare standards. These certifications demonstrate that the wildlife farm is committed to providing proper care and ensuring the well-being of the animals.

Zoo or Exotic Animal Licence:

If the wildlife farm operates as a zoo or keeps exotic animals, additional permits or licences may be required from local or national zoo authorities or regulatory bodies overseeing exotic animal ownership.

Environmental Compliance:

Comply with environmental regulations related to waste management, habitat preservation, and land use. This may involve obtaining permits related to environmental impact assessments.

Veterinary Health Certificates:

Ensure that the animals are regularly inspected and certified by a veterinarian. Veterinary health certificates may be required to demonstrate that the animals are free from diseases and are receiving appropriate medical care.

Business Registration:

Register the wildlife farm as a legal entity, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, depending on the business structure. This involves obtaining the necessary business licences and tax identification numbers.

Education and Training Certifications:

Some regions may require wildlife farm workers to complete specific training programmes or certifications related to wildlife care and management. This ensures that individuals have the necessary knowledge to handle and care for the animals.

Record-Keeping Compliance:

Maintain accurate records of the animals, including their origin, health history, and any relevant events. This helps demonstrate compliance with regulations and aids in the management of the wildlife farm.

Local Zoning Approvals:

Obtain approval from local zoning authorities to ensure that the wildlife farm is operating in a location that is zoned for such activities. Zoning requirements can vary, so it’s essential to check with local authorities.

Insurance Coverage:

Obtain liability insurance to protect against potential risks, such as animal escapes, injuries to visitors, or damage to property. Insurance requirements may vary based on the scale and nature of the wildlife farm.

Occupational Health and Safety Compliance:

Adhere to occupational health and safety regulations to ensure a safe working environment for employees and visitors. This includes providing proper training on handling equipment and managing potential risks.

Compliance with Animal Welfare Laws:

Familiarize yourself with and comply with national and local animal welfare laws. These laws often include guidelines for the ethical treatment of animals, proper housing conditions, and standards for care.

Before embarking on a career as a Wildlife Farm Worker, individuals should thoroughly research and understand the specific legal requirements and regulations in their region. Consulting with legal professionals, wildlife authorities, and agricultural agencies can provide guidance on meeting all necessary legal obligations.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

B.  If you are still uncertain about choosing this career, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses. They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while and after school, and even how to start your own business.

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a wildlife farm worker.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
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If you have decided on being a Wildlife Farm Worker, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, and non-members will be assisted to register first.

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