Integrated Wildlife conservations FdSc (or Bsc) or any other ecology related degree Watch

UndeckedMoth
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Hi, I am currently studying an access to HE diploma with the aim of goig on to study the course in the title.

I am a mature student, having decided that I wanted a change of career. I have a couple of options open to me at the moment. The first, is to study dental hygeine, become a hygienist and have a job I would reasonably like but be very secure in.

The second is to study a course in wildlife conservation, and enter into an already highly saturated job market with fairly low pay but be doing something I love.

To be honest I already know I want to study the wildlife course, but my question to those with experience is, just how hard is it to find a job once you're qualified? As I said I am a mature student and will be nearly 30 by the time I finish, but my monetary concerns are not that great. Put simply anything around or above 18K and I'd be able to make it work.

Any and all responses very gratefully received.

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Laurabob5
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Hi I feel your pain! I'm about to start Environmental science with a foundation year at uni, hoping to secure a job as an ecologist when I finish at 29

I suppose it depends on the state of conservation laws at the time of us finishing our degrees, as some people in the sector have mentioned to me that Brexit may affect the current laws and amount of work ecological companies are getting. Still think it's worth a go as the course is really interesting

Also once qualified you can earn around 20,000 as an ecologist and more as a senior
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UndeckedMoth
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(Original post by Laurabob5)
Hi I feel your pain! I'm about to start Environmental science with a foundation year at uni, hoping to secure a job as an ecologist when I finish at 29

I suppose it depends on the state of conservation laws at the time of us finishing our degrees, as some people in the sector have mentioned to me that Brexit may affect the current laws and amount of work ecological companies are getting. Still think it's worth a go as the course is really interesting

Also once qualified you can earn around 20,000 as an ecologist and more as a senior
That's an interesting point I hadn't considered the impact of Brexit. Their does seem to be a decent amount of ecology work around at the moment, albeit with the dreaded word "experience" normally accompanied with "5 years" or "10 years" featuring quite prominently. You're about 12 months ahead of me at the moment so I'm going to bookmark this thread just in case I need to ask you for a job in a few years time .
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Laurabob5
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(Original post by UndeckedMoth)
That's an interesting point I hadn't considered the impact of Brexit. Their does seem to be a decent amount of ecology work around at the moment, albeit with the dreaded word "experience" normally accompanied with "5 years" or "10 years" featuring quite prominently. You're about 12 months ahead of me at the moment so I'm going to bookmark this thread just in case I need to ask you for a job in a few years time .
Well I'm only just about to start the foundation year in September! So I'm 4 years off finishing. However I do have a zero hour contract with an ecology company which is going to prove very helpful by the end of my studies I think, and honestly believe that's the only reason I got into uni in the first place (zero A levels) , and I'd recommend you try to find one to take you on as an assistant to help out with bat surveys and other work and you'll gain valued experience that way. Good luck with it all!
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UndeckedMoth
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(Original post by Laurabob5)
Well I'm only just about to start the foundation year in September! So I'm 4 years off finishing. However I do have a zero hour contract with an ecology company which is going to prove very helpful by the end of my studies I think, and honestly believe that's the only reason I got into uni in the first place (zero A levels) , and I'd recommend you try to find one to take you on as an assistant to help out with bat surveys and other work and you'll gain valued experience that way. Good luck with it all!
I didn't even know that zero hour contracts with ecology companies was possible! I'll definitely be on the lookout now.

Thanks for the heads up and good luck to you too!
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Crabb1ey
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Hi! One area that'll snap you up and pay well is environmental consultancy. Basically if you can ID a group of animals - insects/inverts are the best group you will be sitting happily. I believe a consultant is paid about £500 a pay to study a field or whatever and survey it to assess what species are in it and the potential environmental damage caused by a development. In particular if you can ID freshwater inverts and plants you will get snapped up for sure - very few people can ID them and you will examine the creatures in a river to observe its health, etc.

Basically a company will pay you a stupid amount to go and walk around identifying butterflies and whatnot to see if they can build a house there or not. And there are marine companies that also do this, though they are harder to get into. You could also look at doing park ranger work in the US or Canada

If it's of interest I'm doing Ecology and Wildlife Conservation but plan to go into the wildlife guiding/whale-watching industry. And I need a lot of experience (I've already done some and it is so rewarding! And I've just spent 3 weeks guiding in British Columbia at a whale watching camp and it was fantastic!) but it allows me to watch whales, dolphins and sea life, talk to people about it and collect important research/data on cetaceans - data that is typically very expensive to collect. It also allows me to travel. If it's of interest you can do a 1 year bush safari guide course - on completion, most people do get hired as safari guides! And again, you do learn how to collect data on the wildlife. This course is £10,000 and it's now an actual requirement of the African safari companies that safari guides have this qualification.

Again if you aim to go into surveys, you will need ID skills - get out and learn to ID your birds and learn your insects, etc. And plants - even less people can ID plants, so if you can ID plants you'll be set! Also get qualifications regarding animal handling so great crested newt licence, dormouse, adder licences - you'll stand out. And yes, a ranger here can earn about £20,000 a year I think.
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