Working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service is an ideal job for college students or recent graduates. There are lots of summer employment opportunities available and they don’t usually require much previous experience, as long as your university coursework meets their standards.
Jobs with the US Fish and Wildlife Service are amazing ways to gain hands on experience as an early young professional. In fact, it’s the type of organization that you may just stick with forever because the work is so much fun.
Seasonal work will have you working at field stations or refuges tagging and following different species of birds and fish.
You may work in cool places like Delaware’s Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Indiana’s Bog Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, or Tennessee’s Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge.
A typical day may start at 4 or 5 in the morning trapping birds and tagging them with radio collars. Another day may be something completely different. There are a variety of aides and technician jobs available that are very similar to the aide and forestry technician jobs available from the US Forest Service – forestry technicians, biological aides, range aides, and surveying aides. The aides and technicians work on a variety of jobs, from measuring tree heights to counting livestock to marking road and trail boundaries to even fighting forest fires. For jobs like these, expect $8 to $15 an hour.
Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service really gets you out into nature, unlike some of the other agencies. You will really achieve a hands-on experience. The goal of the Fish and Wildlife Service is to protect animals and their habitats, so you will be helping out the natural world.
Now you should know, it’s not all fun and games. You will be outdoors for long hours on end, in all weather conditions, doing hard work. It’s not all easy. Sure you get to catch, tag, and track birds, live in remote field stations far away from the local Wal-Mart and you get to have access to hiking, boating, hunting, and fishing facilities on your days off, plus you get to be outdoors for the entire summer, but if you’re not willing to work hard and be dedicated to your job, it may not be for you.
If you’re still interested, you should contact the regional office where you want to work. They will tell you about the hiring practices and application terms. You will need to apply for summer jobs between January 1 and April 15, but it varies by position so it’s best to start the application process early. It’s also important to note that hiring practices dictate that you will be assigned where you are needed, so remember to be flexible if you truly want to work for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.