Conservation Officer Degree

Conservation officers, also known as fish and game wardens, protect animals and natural resources. They oversee and manage the specific environment in which they work including forests, coastal regions, mountains and even marine habitats, like rivers. Depending on the state or region, conservation officers may be sworn police officers who have the responsibilities and authority of law enforcement professionals.

These nature specialists often interact with the community, tourists and school children teaching them about nature and conservancy. They combine educating the general population about how best to enjoy and appreciate nature with protecting and overseeing the environment.

Specific duties commonly assigned to conservation officers include:

  • Working with organizations and government agencies to promote and implement conservation programs.
  • Oversee fishermen, hunters and hikers to insure that they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Cooperatively work with other professionals to develop conservation policies.
  • Monitor and evaluate changes in habitats and conservation sites.
  • Supervise and train volunteers and paid support staff.
  • Apply for grants and funding to maintain financial support.
  • Interact with the media to promote support of the organization or conservation site.
  • Provide education and speak publicly to promote the concept of sustainability.

Conservation Officer Degrees

Most conservation officers hold a bachelor’s degree, although an entry level job may be acquired with an associate’s degree. Criminal justice programs offer fish and game warden degrees while a bachelor of science in a conservation area is another option. Bachelor’s degrees that may lead to this profession are:

  • Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Natural Resources

Conservation Officer Salary*

The average annual salary for a conservation officer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $48,930 in 2008. Salary level will vary depending on the region of work, responsibilities and educational level. Many conservation officers work for the federal or state governmental which typically includes health insurance and retirement benefits. It is anticipated that this profession will grow at an average rate over the next decade.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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