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Name: Lauren
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Question:
Hi I was wondering if being a wildlife biologist is a fun job. I wanted to be a vet and then I heard about wildlife biologist and what they do. I go hunting with my dad and the wilderness is beautiful! I was also wondering how many years of college would you have to take to be a wildlife biologist.


Replies:
Lauren,

Your curiosity sounds just like mine at your age. I've always been interested in the field of wildlife biology and over the years, fluctuated from wanting to be a vet, marine biologist, primatologist and wildlife behaviorist etc. I'm currently not in the ideal position of working as a wildlife biologist, but I am on the road there - learning the truths of what experience/degrees are needed.

First, if you're pretty sure wildlife biology is your hopeful future career, consider colleges that offer a specific track of biology that focuses on wildlife ecology/environmental issues/conservation and other supporting general biology courses. A bachelors degree in science is definitely a good first step.

Experience is important in this field, so I recommend seeking internships and summer excursions that give you experience in wildlife observation or even animal husbandry through a zoo or park system. That's a first-hand 'litmus test' for you to see if you really enjoy wildlife work. Finding meaningful, and educational experiences to place on your resume come college graduation is incredibly helpful.

Many positions out there ask for people with Bachelors degree AND Masters Degrees (another 2-3 years after college), but I must emphasize that not all positions require this right away. If you get the attention of a good group that needs wildlife biologists, with both your experience and interest in wildlife, sometimes they will offer to reimburse your Masters education over the years you work with them -- meaning, they pay for you to go to school as you work for them in biology. Pretty cool! For sure, solid experience and a B.S. in this field are required to get a start. Masters degrees and PhD's come for some further along the line, as they continue in wildlife work.

Good luck with your endeavors, and keep at it!

J. Perino


Almost any job can be fun if its something that you find interesting. Wildlife biologists may do some very hard work in difficult conditions, all seasons, weather, day and night. If you enjoy being outside in all conditions and really want to learn about wildlife it might be a good job for you. Most professional biologists have at least a 4 year college degree and many have advanced degrees. You might try to find a park or nature center where you can get acquainted with some people in the field and learn more about it. Good luck.

J. Elliott


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