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What does it take and where do you look for information regarding forest service, dept of wildlife, fisheries, ect... employment opportunities?? What kind of education, background, experience, ect... is required for somethine like this?? I have heard pay is not that good and it is difficult to get in the door?? Is this true?? I know we have a few on this site that work in these fields and I was curious what your opinions are and the opinions of those past/present/and future employees of these organizations?? :dunno :dunno

Thanks
~Patrick ><>
 

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Formerly Tight Loops
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Typically, you need a natural sicience degree to get hired by any of those agencies. Master's degree and above has you in for life. Bachelor's degree, and you get a summer intern ship. If you want to work with fish, get a fisheries degree.

There is a lot of competition for the jobs, as they are the cream of the crop for natural science majors. Another way in is to have them fund your graduate work. If they do, they will want to hire you later.

As to working in the field, the first few years are great fun, until you get into management, then there is no field work, better money, and constant arguments from peons.

Good luck.

Rob
 

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Here are some places I keep an eye on:

http://www.fisheries.org/jobs.shtml

http://wfscnet.tamu.edu/wfscnet/Jobs/View/View_FullTime.cfm

http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/Personnel/Jobs.html

Education requirements like Rob said, are usually a minimum of a Bachelor's in natural sciences...most require that combined with experience or a master's. I have a Bachelor's of Environmental Science with some previous experience working for an aquatic research lab, and with some salmon restoration groups. The pay isn't amazing for lower non-management level jobs, but if you get to stand in streams all day and play with fish....who really cares????????????
 

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A job working for the USDA forest service or fisher...

Patrick,

Working in a field such as fisheries or wildlife management can be a rewarding carrer. It is a wonderful opportunity to combine your convictions with a sport you love with a job where you make a living.

However there are some "realities" involved with making a carrer choice in fisheries, etc.

Usually there is alot of competition for job openings. Sometimes, there can be hundreds of applicants for each position. It can be difficult for someone from the outside to get in since many of these jobs go to internal candidates. Inorder to have a shot at the job you want you may need to take a "stepping stone" position in an organiation you want to work for and wait for the position you want to open up.

Pay can range from near poverty wages to earning a pretty good living depending on who you are working for. Wages are not necessarily bad - but you won't ever get rich doing this.

You do not necessarily need an advanced degree in these field, again it depends on who you are working for and what you are doing. I have a B.S. and do a fair amount ESA work mostly from the water quality side of things.

Keep your mind open to positions that are not directly offered by fish and wildlife depts., etc. There are alot of positions to be had that deal with fish, but you could miss these if you are to narrrow in your search.

Most importantly be persistent and good luck. Keep trying - it can take time to get where you want to be.

Regards,
Steve
 

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Most of the "non-degree" jobs in this field will probably only pay minimum wage, so as everyone has already said you need at least a B.S to really start a career. With a masters though, its easier to make more money and get started, but it all depends on how much time you want to spend in the classroom. Doing internships while in school is a good way to get in the door and get known. I'm currently still in school and am going for a B.S. in fisheries. Eventually I want to be a fisheries biologist or a manager. From what most of my school advisors have told me, there are still quite a few jobs in fisheries, but this is in Idaho where there are fewer people and more natural resources. In Washington there's a lot of competition for jobs just because there's so many people. However, if one is willing to relocate to Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho for example, jobs are probably a little easier to come by.

I agree with wulybgr on the note that fisheries biologists are not always limited to working for the DFW or forest service. There are lots of different organizations looking for fisheries people now, especially those that that own a lot of land. Tribes, DNR, fiseries enhancment groups, and many timber companies all employ at least one fisheries person. It's still somewhat of a growing field.

UW and the University of Idaho both have fisheries programs, and I think Oregon State does, but I'm not sure. You may want to contact one of them if you need more info.
 

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A job working for the USDA forest service or fisher...

In my limited experience with resource management jobs, the fun jobs are given to interns/students for $8 an hour. Those making livable wages must enjoy report writing and funding issues.
You'll also be stuck fishing weekends with the masses.
 
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