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The Average Salary of Wildlife Biologists

A wildlife biologist works often as part of a team of federal, state and local resource planners to manage wildlife populations.

Habitat preservation is often included as part of the duties in order to sustain wildlife resources. The position requires a broad knowledge base to fully comprehend the ecological relationships that exist in the environment. This requirement is reflected in the average salary of wildlife biologists. People in this position will need to plan and conduct complex investigations and resource planning.

Educational Background

Your educational background will play a role in getting a wildlife biologist position and help determine your salary range. Some agencies may require at the minimum a bachelor's degree in conservation, natural resources or a related biology field. In addition, specific coursework may be required in order to get hired. You may also qualify for some positions if you have both education and experience relevant to the wildlife biologist position.

Federal Government Jobs

The average salary of wildlife biologists employed by the federal government is determined through the job grading system. Entry level positions with a bachelor's degree typically are GS-05 or GS-07, explains

These positions are entry level, on the lower end of the pay scale. Pay varies also with location. The average pay for a wildlife biologist was £35,938 per year in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An advanced degree will allow you to qualify for higher level salary grades.

State Government Positions

The average salary for wildlife biologists on the state level will vary widely depending upon the cost of living. This job is considered a professional position that requires specialised experience, not unlike federal positions. At this level, the average salary is £44,850 per year according to 2010 figures. The job projection for positions in this field is expected to show a 13 per cent growth into 2018 in all job sectors.

Private Industry Jobs

The government at all levels employs about 40 per cent of the wildlife biologists.

Other opportunities are available in the private sector, where the average salary depends upon the institution and the requirements of the position.

You may find wildlife biologist positions with scientific research laboratories or educational institutions.

In the case of the latter, your educational background will play a major role in determining the types of positions you qualify for and thus, your salary. With a bachelor's degree, the 2009 average starting salary was £21,615. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects positions in research and development to continue growing.