Fish and Wildlife Jobs

By Eric Hammer

We took a look recently and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Jobs board (technically, they are the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which under the Department of the Interior, though people often confuse the service with a "department" of the government so we use the terms interchangeably) and were pleasantly surprised to find that the variety of jobs at the Service are extensive. There is everything you might expect, including such things as science jobs and administrative jobs. However, there are also law enforcement positions with the Service and even jobs intended for students.

In essence, the Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible not just for studying nature but also for enforcing various laws regarding conservation. If you've ever seen the Mathew Broderick film "The Freshman," then you've seen what some employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service do. Law enforcement agents for the Service operate in much the same way the FBI does, though they limit their law enforcement activities to working with things that are in the purview of the Service.

Other fish and wildlife jobs include working as marine biologists and as a conservationist in nature reserves. Typically, you will be working within the borders of the United States however since the service does not generally work overseas.

How Much Can You Make?

Salaries for jobs with the Service run the gamut. They range from entry level clerical positions paying in the range of $18,000-$25,000 all the way to wildlife biologists, who make in the range of $70,000 per year according to There also some positions that pay even more, however they tend to be rarer and harder to get, usually involving management positions within the Service.

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Don't forget that you can also work for the Department of Fish and Wildlife (sometimes called Department of Fish and Game) in most states since every single state has their own department as well.

You should also consider working in private industry as a marine or wildlife biologist, where you can potentially earn more money than can be had from fish and wildlife jobs at the Service.

Of course, the advantage of working for the government as opposed to working for private industry is that you tend to get better benefits and, once you pass your probation period, it's harder to fire you from your job than it is to fire you in private industry.

Qualifications / Requirements

Generally, you'll need a college degree in order to work at most positions with the Service of fish and wildlife. You'll need for example a degree in marine biology to work as a fish biologist or a degree in plant biology for a job as a plant biologist with the Service. For law enforcement positions with the Service, expect to need a degree in criminal justice.

Clerical positions with the Service may be available without a degree, however in most cases, government agencies prefer to hire college graduates so be sure to check on the individual job requirements for whatever position you happen to be interested in.

First Steps

Consider volunteering with the Service. They have a number of volunteer jobs which will get you in the door and help you decide if this is the life you want to lead. If you are sure however, then your first step is to get a degree and then to apply for a position. Check the current job listings with the Service to find out what they happen to have available so that you can choose an appropriate position and be sure that you match their requirements, which will be clearly stated in the job listing.


Check out these helpful resources to find out more about fish and wildlife jobs at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

United States Fish and Wildlife Service - There is a wealth of information here about how to apply, what kind of jobs are open at the department and what the requirements are in order to land a job with them.

United States Department of Interior - Technically, the Department of Fish and Wildlife for the United States is not a department. Rather, it is a service under the Department of the Interior. Check here for the overall department.

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