15 Key Conservation Jobs: Part Two

In part two of this three-part series, our partner, Conservation Careers, takes us through some of the key jobs in the field of conservation.

Nick Askew
Founder & Director
Conservation Careers

 Are you considering a career in conservation but you’re unsure where to begin?

While conservation jobs are known for being highly competitive, the good news is that the conservation sector is far bigger and more diverse than you probably imagine. And it’s expanding and diversifying fast.

If you can find the right career niche for you, you’ll be much more competitive in the job market and stand a far better chance of finding meaningful, impactful work.

That’s why at Conservation Careers, we’ve put together the 15 Key Conservation Jobs:Ultimate Guide for Conservation Job Seekers, based on over 19,000 conservation jobs and interviews with over 400 professional conservationists.

In the second instalment of this three-part series, we’re exploring five more conservation job types to help you understand where you might fit in and kick-start your career journey.

Ecological Consultancy Conservation Jobs | Ensuring ecologically-sensitive development

Ecological and environmental consultants conduct surveys to advise clients who wish to undertake development projects.

As environmental legislation increases, so too does the need for skilled ecologists who can understand ecosystems, interpret law and advise development clients.

Ecological and Environmental Consultants carry out surveys to provide advice to clients who wish to undertake developments. These surveys include Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Ecological ImpactAssessments (ECIAs) and often focus on protected species and habitats.

The benefits include higher pay compared to many conservation jobs, clear career progression, the opportunity to specialise in a specific area and great transferrable skills for other conservation jobs.

Examples of job titles include Graduate Ecologist, AssistantEcologist and Ecologist, with duties such as:

·      Undertaking a wide range of ecological surveys including extended Phase 1Habitat Surveys and protected species surveys and mitigation.

·      Carrying out desk-based research, consultations, data management, analysis and report writing.

·      Liaising with clients and government bodies.

·      Contributing to the ecological sections of Environmental Impact Assessments.

·      Drafting proposals and quotes to support sales activities.

Simon Bangs, Conservation RecruitmentConsultant for Allen & York advised:

“Be persistently proactive. Getting a good job is never easy, regardless of the level you are at in your career. To really maximise your chances you need to actively network, attend conferences, volunteer and even just approach people who may have authored a report you find interesting”.

Environmental Economics & EcosystemAssessment Conservation Jobs | Putting a value on nature

Environmental Economics & Ecosystem Assessment is about valuing nature.

How much is that wetland or forest worth? Ecosystem assessments put a price on the value that nature provides to us for free in order to influence business leaders and politicians.

If you’re good with numbers or specialise in economics, the fast-growing field of Environmental Economics & Ecosystem Assessment could be for you!

Job titles include Junior Environmental Economist, SustainableFinance Assistant and Economics Programme Officer, with duties such as:

·      Providing expertise at the intersection of development, economics and finance, and the environment.

·      Supporting the development and application of economic tools and analysis.

·      Developing and evaluating economic incentives and financing mechanisms to conserve and restore biodiversity.

·      Building a compelling business case to invest in conservation programmes. 

Environmental Education Conservation Jobs |Increasing awareness and support for nature

Lindblad Expeditions staff provide environmental interpretation aboard NationalGeographic vessels.

Education is one of the single most powerful ways to garner support for conservation. If you love engaging with people and sharing your knowledge, you could help change attitudes towards nature.

Environmental education conservation jobs range from leading outdoor forest schools for toddlers, to providing interpretation at zoos, to becoming a lecturer or teaching fellow at a college or university.

Typical job titles include Learning Assistant, EducationAssistant, Learning Officer, Education Officer, Environmental Educator, SchoolsOutreach Officer and Schools Outreach Project Officer. Their duties often cover:

·      Leading environmental education sessions for school groups and families.

·      Delivering community events to promote conservation.

·      Delivering interpretation and training programmes.

·      Promoting membership schemes.

“Contact your local Wildlife Trust and see what volunteering opportunities they have. Our education team depends on our fantastic volunteers (and most of our staff used to be volunteers!) so there are definitely openings out there”, said Kathryn Phillips – EducationOfficer for The Wildlife Trusts for Lancashire, Manchester and NorthMerseyside. 

Fundraising & Development Conservation Jobs | Raising money to save nature

Conservation Careers’ Director Dr Nick Askew worked as Pacific Fundraising Manager for BirdLife International.

Do you want to be in demand in conservation? Then help raise vital funds to make things happen!

Whether you’re running a stand at a country fair or writing multi-million-dollar proposals to governments, you’ll know you’re helping create impact in Fundraising & Development Conservation Jobs.

Early career job titles in this area include MembershipDevelopment Assistant, Membership Development Officer, Fundraising Officer andDevelopment Officer, with the following duties:

·      Writing grant applications and reports

·      Supporting member sand donors

·      Organising campaigns, appeals and fundraising drives

·      Developing projects and programmes

“The best moments in the job are when we secure significant funding, and I can see that I’ve been an important part of a team who have started a project which will help to save a species from extinction”, Dr Nick Askew, previous Pacific Fundraising Manager forBirdLife International.

Mapping & GIS Conservation Jobs | Putting nature on the map

Mapping and GIS are growing areas of work for conservationists.

Do you like cartography and computers? As GPS (GlobalPositioning Systems) technology becomes ever more powerful, there is a growing need for skilled staff to make sense of the information in order to in form conservation action.

In Mapping & GIS Conservation Jobs, conservationists use GIS (GeographicInformation Systems) software to put sites, habitats and species on the map.

Typical job titles include GIS Technical Support Officer,GIS Officer, GIS Spatial Modeller and GIS / Ecology Graduate. They usually involve the following duties:

·      Maintaining and developing databases and spatial information systems

·      Developing tools to analyse ecological processes

·      Data quality assurance and licensing issues.

“These days you have to be a real number cruncher, be comfortable with various software packages and have good data-basing skills… the data is getting bigger. [Nowadays] Employers are looking for people who can use specialist programs like R [programming language] and ArcGIS [industry standard mapping program]”, said Steve Bachman – Kew Gardens. 

Find Out More

Haven't found your dream job just yet?

Check out part 1 for Animal Welfare, Communications and Marketing, Community-based Conservation, Countryside Management and Ecotourism conservation jobs.

Plus stay tuned for part 3 where we'll explore Marine, Photography and Film-making, Policy and Advocacy, Programme and Project Management and Science and Research conservation jobs.

You can also checkout the full guide 15 Key Conservation Jobs| Ultimate Guide for Conservation Job Seekers.

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15 Key Conservation Jobs: Part Three

In the third instalment of this three-part series, our partner, Conservation Careers, takes us through some of the key jobs in the field of conservation.



15 Key Conservation Jobs: Part One

In the first of a three part series, our partner, Conservation Careers, takes us through some of the key jobs in the field of conservation.

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