Do you want to work as a Conservation Officer?
- Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
- 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 officers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 1 September 2020
1. What is a Conservation Officer?
A conservation officer is charged with protecting natural resources, promoting recreational safety, and enforcing environmental protection regulations and laws.
Also known as:
- Park Ranger
- Forest Ranger
- Game Warden
- Fish and Game Warden
- Fish and Wildlife Officer
- Environmental Conservation Officer
2. What do they do?
Law & Enforcement
They may focus on the protection of wildlife and nature conservation. In some countries their focus might also include fighting against environmental crime.
- Patrolling of designated area
- Law enforcement through issuing of fines
- Identify violations and catch the violators
- Search property and vehicles
- Investigate complaints
- Gather water and soil samples for biologists
- Write reports
- Interact and educate the public
- Administration and filing
Where they work:
They may work in an office environment at the leading government Department head quarters, or in the field (outdoors) in specific regions (states/provinces/territories)
Places of Employment –
They are mainly employed by government.
Average Yearly Salary:
They can earn a yearly average of US$56,000 per year. The salary will also differ from country to country.
Some can go into specialized areas, while others may be promoted into supervisor positions that do focus more on office work.
The possible levels:
Junior officer > senior officer > manager > departmental manager
It can be a physically demanding job, and it may even be dangerous. Unlike some outdoor employment, conservation officers are generally outdoors in all types of weather, including heavy rains, snow, and heat. Conservation officers often work alone, and depending on the needs of the department, may work overnight, on weekends, and on holidays.
Future growth and Possibilities:
The future growth of the sector looks good with growth at around 8% per year.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as a conservation officer 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
- Excellent customer service skills
- Good health and physical fitness
- Excellent 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?
To become a conservation officer, some countries still prefer a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. But for most the entry-level positions require an associate’s degree (College Diploma). For more specialized positions a Bachelor’s Degree might be required.
Some study areas such as biology, geology, wildlife sciences, and ecology, criminal justice or police sciences
Short Courses –
They will also, when necessary, complete available short courses to further their knowledge.
The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 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):
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 a conservation officer 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 some cases entry level positions or junior officers require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. This is normally where basic police or enforcement training is required. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Join the Conservation Officers 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.
Certifications to may be required in some countries, which usually includes writing special entrance exams through the law or public protection regulatory body.
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 law enforcement.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a conservation officer.
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 officer, 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.
Other interesting Careers
Career Profiles and Resources
Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.
Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:
List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:
One Zoo Tree