Do you want to work as a Conservation Educator?
- Read about the most important info you need to help you decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies.
- If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential educators and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 1 September 2020
1. What is a Conservation Educator?
A conservation officer deals with conservation-focused education presentations, mainly through outreach to the community at a variety of locations.
Conservation education is about telling people about the conservation efforts in order to influence attitudes, emotions, knowledge, and behaviors about the environment, wildlife and how the organization is working within this field.
Also known as:
- Environmental Educator
- Environmental Education Teacher
- Wildlife Educator
2. What do they do?
Education / Marine Conservation / Wildlife Conservation
They focus on preparing and delivering talks about nature and wildlife to various audiences, of which the majority are students.
- Prepare and submit new educational programs and visual presentations
- Work under supervision
- Travel to schools or meet and greet guests at place of employment
- Deliver presentation to guests
- Lead guests on walks through nature while educating them
- Handle live animals in show and tell
- Educate other educators on conservation and wildlife
- Write reports
- Administration and filing
Where they work:
Depending on the type of audience, they might work equal parts indoors as well as outdoors.
Places of Employment –
Depending on the specific kind of position, most are employed by government. They may also be employed by large conservation organizations and wildlife sanctuaries.
Average Yearly Salary:
They can earn a yearly average of US$50,000 per year. The salary will also differ from country to country.
Some can go into specialized areas, while others may be promoted into management positions that do focus more on office work or developing educational programs and material.
The possible levels:
Junior Educator > Educator (middle level) > Senior Educator > Manager or Supervisor
As an educator you will definitely work with difficult people. The work might also entail long hours and working over weekends and holidays. They may also have to think outside of the box to design new material.
Future growth and Possibilities:
The future growth of the sector looks good with growth at around 12% per year.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as a conservation educator 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.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Good customer service skills
- Excellent health and physical fitness
- Good presentation skills
- Basic computer literacy
4. Which Subjects must I have at School?
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!
5. What will I need to Study?
The minimum qualifications in some countries is a College Diploma, but an University Degree would be best to secure a good position, especially if you are looking at working within a government.
Degree programs include coursework in education, animal behavior and physiology, biology, ecology, forestry and zoology.
Short Courses –
Short Courses are generally available in various topics, and will be a good filler between normal college coursework.
The duration of College is between 2 and 3 years, while University Degrees can take between 3 to 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
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 your road map to where you want to be.
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 Alternatives (there are a lot more):
Stepping Stone Career:
Although the career is obtained through higher education, being a conservation educator can also be used as a stepping stone career.
A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to enter (sometimes due to things like high tertiary fees, low pass marks in High School etc).
You can begin as a junior educator after completing a basic College Diploma and receiving expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Some of the possible paths:
Training and apprenticeship:
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an educator will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In most cases entry level positions may require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Join the Conservation Educators Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:
6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.
Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.
7. 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 conservation and education.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a conservation educator.
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
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being a conservation educator, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.
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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:
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