National Wildlife Refuge System

What are the educational requirements to get a job working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

Positions as Biologists and Managers

The are two primary classifications for biologists and resource managers in the Refuge System are wildlife biologist and refuge manager. The basic requirement is a bachelor's degree with a major in biology or a combination of education and experience equivalent to a degree. Specific requirements include 9 semester hours in wildlife subjects, 12 semester hours in zoological subjects and 9 semester hours in botany or the related plant sciences. For positions as research biologists, an additional 15 semester hours are required in the physical or mathematical sciences, graduate degrees are preferred.

Other Resource Management Related Positions

A wide range of other resource management positions such as outdoor recreation planner, forester, fisheries biologist, law enforcement officers and others also require generally require a bachelor's degree in the appropriate major or a combination of education and experience.

Other Types of Positions

The Refuge System employs a wide range of personnel as technicians (forestry aide, biological technician, etc.), office administration (clerical, budget officer, etc.), and trade and craft specialists (mechanic, heavy equipment operator, etc.). The specific requirements vary with the specific types of positions.

Where can I find a list of Universities and Colleges that offer degrees in environmental sciences and natural resources management?

High school counselors, guidance offices and libraries often have publications with lists of various colleges and universities showing the various degree programs that they offer. The Conservation Directory published by the National Wildlife Federation lists colleges and universities in the United States and Canada that offer degrees in natural resources management. In most states, the land grant colleges offer programs in natural resources management.

Last updated: September 26, 2013