Nature conservation officer
Agricultural, Natural, Animal Care

Work Activities

Job responsibilities include:

  • managing conservation awareness events such as talks, workshops and guided walks
  • helping with volunteer activities and conservation projects
  • increasing awareness of conservation in the community
  • general administration
  • monitoring biodiversity
  • preparing conservation reports, plans, publicity materials and displays
  • fieldwork
  • general maintenance projects
  • developing visitor attractions
  • wildlife observation
  • species surveys

Working with the public is a key feature of the job.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for conservation officers

  • Computer literacy
  • Organised and self-motivated
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Persistence
  • Commitment

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of conservation officers

  • Charities
  • The National Trust
  • Local authorities
  • Wildlife trusts
  • Government organisations
  • Conservation groups such as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)

Nature conservation vacancies appear in newspapers, local authority vacancy lists and publications such as New Scientist, Nature, Opportunities,Environment Post and their respective websites. Some jobs receive little advertising, so networking, job shadowing and speculative applications are advisable.

Qualifications

Qualifications and training required

You normally need a degree in order to become a nature conservation officer. The only way to enter the profession without a degree is to build up a substantial amount of work experience.

While graduates from any degree discipline can become nature conservation officers, an appropriate degree gained in a subject such as biology, zoology, geography, botanical or plant sciences, or environmental sciences is useful. Postgraduate qualifications can also be helpful – particularly for graduates without a relevant degree. However, relevant work experience is often more important than qualifications, and many employees consider it to be a necessity. The National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and The Conservation Volunteers offer working holiday and volunteering opportunities for students and graduates.

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