Wildlife Biologist Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Biologist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Biological Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Wildlife Biologist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $47,436

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $49,772

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Studies wild animals in their natural habitats. May specialize in a particular type of wild animal, such as bears, or focus on a particular habitat, such as ocean ecosystems. May study animal characteristics and interactions, or the evolution of animal species over time. May track wildlife populations, or focus on the impact of human interactions on wildlife habitats.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina78+11.5%
Nationwide2941+7.7%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Wildlife Biologist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Physical Abilities: Physical Abilities, which refers to the ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with the body, arms, and/or legs. These abilities often require strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Biology: Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical and chemical structure, function, development and evolution.
  • Wildlife Biology: Working knowledge of Wildlife Biology. Wildlife biology as an academic subject or profession is usually narrowly defined as applying to terrestrial vertebrates as the subject of study, however, a more general definition will often include the study and management of fish and other non-vertebrate wildlife.
  • Wildlife Management: Working experience of Wildlife Management, which attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control. Wildlife management draws on disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, ecology, climatology and geography to gain the best results.
  • Botany: Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology.
  • Zoology: Zoology or animal biology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Wildlife Biologist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Environmental Assessments: Environmental assessment (EA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.
  • Fish Culture: Working experience of Fish Culture. Fish farming or pisciculture involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds, usually for food. It is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture.
  • Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife Conservation is the practice of protecting wild plant and animal species and their habitats.
  • Wildlife Damage Management: Working experience of Wildlife Damage Management, which Wildlife damage management can be defined as the reduction of damage or other problems caused by, or related to, the presence and behavior of wildlife. It can be considered a sub-discipline or component of wildlife management
  • Range Management: Working experience of Range Management, which is a professional natural science that centers around the study of rangelands and the conservation and sustainable management for the benefit of current societies and future generations.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree64%
Master's Degree25%
Doctoral Degree11%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years66%
3 to 5 years27%
6 to 8 years4%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Fish Biologist
  • Wildlife Specialist
  • Ecologist
  • Naturalist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles:

Not sure where to start?

Get personalized program recommendations with Career Insight.

Go to Career Insight