Wildlife biologists who work in federal and government agencies earn the highest salaries. They have the highest salaries in the District of Columbia. There, the average salary of experienced wildlife biologists is about $100,870.
Wildlife biologists study wildlife and wild animals, and this study includes studying their origin, behavior, diseases, and their life processes. While some of them study animals in the natural habitat, others research and perform a dissection of dead animals in controlled environment. Some are also involved in collecting and analyzing extensive data about the natural habitats, that helps us in getting a better knowledge of our surroundings and our relations with wildlife. It won't be an under statement, if it is said that their job helps in wildlife management, as the results shown by them act as a platform to spread public awareness about man and the wild.
Salary Per Year
Most of the wildlife biologists get a chance to either work in government jobs or they're employed in private research companies. There are various factors on which their salary range depends. Those with a master's degree have the opportunity to earn more than $40,000, while those with a bachelor's degree can start earning from anywhere between $35,000 to $38,000. In the initial years, wildlife biologist salaries are low. So those who're about to graduate in the year 2015 can expect to get anywhere between $35,000 to $45,000 in the start. While candidates can continue to study for doctoral programs, they can work in part-time jobs or as interns in research institutes. Those who work in federal and government agencies earn the highest salaries. Numerous management, scientific, and technical aspects of wildlife biology are handled by biologists with excellent work experience. In government branches, the salary for those with good experience can range anywhere between $55,000 to $80,000. The wildlife scientists working in areas where there is a large concentration of similar professionals earn better salaries, as there is healthy competition to retain best talents. Places like California where the cost of living is very high, experienced wildlife biologists can make anywhere between $60,000 to $70,000. The BLS has predicted significant growth in the wildlife biology research, and this will lead to more employment in the future.
Tips to Command Better Salary
- Plan your education well. Right from your high school to master's degree, choose subjects based on your interest area as well as career growth. A judicious combination of both works well.
- Working in your graduation years as interns under the able guidance of professional wildlife biologists, teachers, and professors is very profitable in helping you impress the prospective employer.
- Develop your research and management skills. More precisely, strengthen your strong area. If you love research and analysis, work more on it. If you love management aspect of wildlife work, it's fine, do that.
- Don't hesitate to teach in schools, colleges, and universities. Part-time or full-time teaching will not only help you develop your personality, it may supplement your income. Many doctoral level students teach in colleges, and take private tuition. You can also do the same.
- The government offers decent salary packages, however, getting a job in the government organizations is usually tough. Hence, prepare for written tests and interviews before time. Even in your graduation years, you can inculcate skills essential for your profession.
- Don't enter this field, if you don't have any interest in it. It is torture to stay in any field, if you're doing the job mechanically, without putting some passion in it. Your work must excite you.
- Teaching jobs, wildlife conservation jobs, forest ranger profession, and environmental consultant jobs are amongst the best careers in this field. If you get an opportunity to work in any of these positions, be flexible in doing them, as after work experience, you can switch to more desired designations.
- If you're serious about this profession and you love working in it, you have to invest time and energy to reach to a senior designation. Don't ignore the importance of time. Money comes, but it takes time. Don't expect the salary to shoot like corporate salaries or salaries of IT professionals. Be realistic!