TARGETjobs black logo
Nature conservation officers manage, protect and improve areas of environmental importance through conservation work, publicity and scientific monitoring.

Many graduates begin their careers as volunteers, and move into paid employment once they have gained a significant amount of experience.

What does a Nature conservation officer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Typical job responsibilities include:

  • managing conservation awareness events such as talks, workshops and guided walks
  • helping with volunteer activities and conservation projects
  • Developing and implementing policies geared towards sustainable development
  • increasing awareness of conservation in the community (eg in schools)
  • general administration
  • monitoring biodiversity
  • preparing conservation reports, plans, publicity materials and displays
  • fieldwork
  • general maintenance projects
  • developing visitor attractions
  • wildlife observation
  • species surveys
  • producing applications for funding

Responding to enquiries from and working with the public is a key feature of the job.

Typical employers of conservation officers

  • Charities
  • The National Trust
  • Local authorities
  • Wildlife trusts
  • Government organisations
  • Conservation groups such as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)

You can find vacancies online via websites such as Countryside Jobs Link and Countryside Jobs Service. You could also take a look at publications such as New Scientist and Nature – and their respective websites. Some jobs receive little advertising, so networking, job shadowing and speculative applications are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

You normally need a degree in order to become a nature conservation officer. The only way to enter the profession without a degree is to build up a substantial amount of work experience.

While graduates from any degree discipline can become nature conservation officers, an appropriate degree gained in a subject such as biology, zoology, geography, botanical or plant sciences, or environmental sciences is useful. Postgraduate qualifications can also be helpful – particularly for graduates without a relevant degree. However, relevant work experience is often more important than qualifications, and many employees consider it to be a necessity. The National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and The Conservation Volunteer offer volunteering opportunities.

Key skills for conservation officers

  • Computer literacy
  • Organised and self motivated
  • Some understanding of geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Persistence
  • Commitment
  • A level of physical fitness

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Did you know that members with full profiles are more likely to get direct messages from employers?

Don't miss this great opportunity. Register now