Walk on the wildlife side.
Wildlife biologists do research that helps us better manage our natural resources. They may specialize in fields such as physiology, genetics, ecology, behavior, disease, nutrition, population dynamics, land use, and pollution. They are curious, patient, and persistent. While they enjoy working out-of doors with wildlife, much of their job involves interactions with people. They collect, analyze, and interpret facts objectively and skillfully, and they can report them clearly to other people.
Traditionally, most wildlife positions were civil service jobs with state, provincial, or federal agencies. Many other opportunities are now available. Some city, town, and county agencies hire wildlife management specialists, and many parks hire them for wildlife interpretation (for example, leading nature walks). Universities and colleges offering wildlife curriculums hire wildlife professionals with advanced degrees to teach and do research. After the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, environmental and other consulting firms began employing more wildlife specialists to produce environmental impact statements and other planning documents. Private employment with large firms dealing in timber, ranching, mining, energy production, paper production, and chemical production is also increasing. Each year opportunities increase in community nature or conservation centers, zoos, and a growing number of private and public conservation-related organizations around the world.
To be a wildlife biologist, you need a college education. Since most wildlife resources and conservation problems relate to people, you need courses in English, history, geography, statistics, and economics, as well as in physical and biological sciences. Communication skills, especially speaking skills, must be part of your training.
In high school take as much math, physics, English, chemistry, and biology as possible. I you can, get experience working with committees, conducting meetings, and writing for high school publications.
Download an 8.5-inch x 11-inch, printable poster for Wildlife
Biologist. (downloadable pdf format)
The second page of the download includes the career description above.