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A guide on how to FIND your dream job in wildlife conservation

In the competitive world of wildlife conservation, you cannot afford to miss any opportunity.

That's why its so important to keep on top of all job openings, especially if its paid! I was job-searching for a long time before landing my first paid role, so I picked up all the useful tips. Keep reading to ensure that your job search is as efficient and effective as possible.

Check specialist conservation job pages regularly

Conservation jobs are generally fairly specialist, so won't always come up on generic job search pages. Luckily, there are some dedicated sites that keep an updated list of advertised roles. I recommend checking these regularly, at least once a week. Learn how to navigate these efficiently, so that you focus in on the type of job that is relevant for you. My two favourite job sites are:

  • EnvironmentJob - This is especially useful if you are job searching in the UK, as it holds a large number of adverts which you can easily navigate.

  • Conservation Careers - This lists a whole host of opportunities, with adverts for training and volunteer placements also included. It also hosts jobs from all over the world, which is great if you want to widen your search internationally. The catch is you have to pay to access all these options, but given the breadth of opportunities, I would say this is worthwhile

My office

Set up alerts

Get alerts sent straight to your email, so that you are instantly informed of any new jobs. Various websites offer this option, including Google, Indeed and LinkedIn. Make sure to set specific criteria for these alerts, as you don't want the stress of being bombarded with irrelevant options!

Utilise social media effectively

Social media is a an excellent way of sourcing new job opportunities, often hot off the press. I found that Twitter and LinkedIn were the best options when I was starting my career. Make sure you feed is streamlined, so that you are following relevant people and organisations, and search related hashtags regularly. You may want to consider refining your existing account or setting up a completely new one for this purpose.

Make direct contact

If there is a specific organisation you would like to work for, then you can consider making direct contact to enquire about job openings. This can work especially well for smaller organisations. Make sure to keep your CV updated, so you can include this in your enquires. Ensure that you are contacting the correct person, e.g. someone with a role you are interested in or the relevant careers admin department.

Even if there aren't any job openings, you have brought there attention to your CV, which may help with future applications. My name was fairly well-known after my many RSPB applications!

Get involved with organisations

Getting your foot in the door is often the hardest part in a conservation career. Its important to grasp opportunities to work with conservation organisations, such as by volunteering. This will not only build relevant experience, but means you may be in the right place to hear about upcoming job openings.

This certainly worked for me, as I heard about the upcoming position of 'Capercaillie Assistant', as an intern, whilst shadowing a member of staff at a meeting. This allowed me to meet the recruiter, ask questions and give me a head start on my application. All of which very likely contributed me being offered this role.

Volunteering on the Isle of Eigg

Next steps

Of course, finding the right job is only the first step in the process. Writing an impressive application is the next stage and I will be writing my top tips on this soon, so watch this space! In the meantime, make sure to check out my 5 essential tips for budding conservationists, that will keep you on the right track.

Any tips I haven't included? Comment below...

Good luck with your job search!


Do you have any advice on what education you may need to get into the sector? I set up a small business not long after college and have been doing that for 11 years now. I would like to change direction and I'm curious as to whether my love for wildlife and the occasional home course would be enough to get paid work in the sector, or whether I would need to somehow get a university degree before I could consider it.

Replying to

Hi Stacy, thanks for the comment 😊. My advice does differ depending on exactly what you want to do, but generally I'd say no you don't need a degree for this career choice. Industry experience is generally far more useful. Volunteering with wildlife charities is a great way to do this if thats accessible to you. I'd also check out any wildlife ID or survey courses that can be done remotely. I have a couple more blogs on this, under 'Life of a wildlife conservationist' if you wanted to check them out. Best of luck with your career switch 💚

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