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Working As A Wildlife Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $14,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Wildlife Technician Do

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Duties

Biological technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, maintain, and clean laboratory instruments and equipment, such as microscopes, scales, and test tubes
  • Gather and prepare biological samples, such as blood, food, and bacteria cultures, for laboratory analysis
  • Conduct biological tests and experiments 
  • Document their work, including procedures, observations, and results
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results
  • Write reports that summarize their findings

Most biological technicians work on teams. Biological technicians typically are responsible for doing scientific tests, experiments, and analyses under the supervision of biologists or other scientists who direct and evaluate their work. Biological technicians use traditional laboratory instruments, advanced robotics, and automated equipment to conduct experiments. They use specialized computer software to collect, analyze, and model experimental data. Some biological technicians collect samples in the field, so they may need certain skills, such as the ability to hike long distances over sometimes rugged terrain to collect water samples.

Biological technicians work in many research areas. They may assist medical researchers by helping to develop new medicines and treatments used to prevent, treat, or cure diseases.

Biological technicians working in a microbiological context, sometimes referred to as laboratory assistants, typically study living microbes and perform techniques specific to microbiology, such as growing cultures in petri dishes or staining specimens to aid in their identification.

Technicians working in biotechnology apply the knowledge and techniques they have gained from basic research to product development.  

Biological technicians also may work in private industry and assist in the study of a wide range of topics concerning mining and industrial production. They may test samples in environmental impact studies, or monitor production processes to help ensure that products are not contaminated.

Biological technicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agencies may perform biological testing to support agricultural research and wildlife and resource management goals.

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How To Become A Wildlife Technician

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important for prospective biological technicians to gain laboratory experience while they are in school.

Education

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. Most colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in the biological sciences.

Biological science programs usually include courses in general biology, as well as in specific subfields such as ecology, microbiology, and physiology. In addition to taking courses in biology, students must study chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Computer science courses are helpful for learning how to model and simulate biological processes and for learning how to operate some laboratory equipment. 

Laboratory experience is important for prospective biological technicians, so students should take biology courses that emphasize laboratory work.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Biological technicians need to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Biological technicians must understand and follow the instructions of their managing scientists. They also need to be able to communicate their processes and findings clearly in written reports.

Critical-thinking skills. Biological technicians draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.

Observational skills. Biological technicians must constantly monitor their experiments. They need to keep a complete, accurate record of their work, including the conditions under which the experiment was carried out, the procedures they followed, and the results they obtained.

Technical skills. Biological technicians need to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust equipment to ensure that experiments are conducted properly.

Other Experience

Prospective biological technicians should have laboratory experience. In addition to coursework, students may gain laboratory experience during summer internships with prospective employers, such as pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers, or in university laboratories.

Advancement

Biological technicians may advance to scientist positions, such as microbiologist, after a few years of experience working as a technician or after earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. Gaining more experience and higher levels of education often allows biological technicians to move into positions such as natural sciences managers or postsecondary teachers.

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Do you work as a Wildlife Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$14,000
Show Salaries
$5,000
Min 10%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$14,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
State of Arizona
Highest Paying City
Springfield, MA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.5 years
How much does a Wildlife Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Wildlife Technician in the United States is $14,388 per year or $7 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $5,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $36,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Top Skills for A Wildlife Technician

  1. Habitat
  2. GPS
  3. Invasive Species
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted habit and vegetation monitoring for specific species in potential habitat areas.
  • Recorded data manually and electronically into field notebooks, GPS units, and computers on a daily basis.
  • Plan and coordinate habitat management and invasive species control activities in the Lower Wolf River Natural Area(s).
  • Served as a liaison between hunters and Fort Pickett staff to ensure all safety procedures and regulations were followed.
  • Trusted with company vehicle, fuel card, and business account at Home Depot.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Wildlife Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Iowa
  4. New Mexico
  5. North Dakota
  6. Oregon
  7. Minnesota
  8. Wyoming
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. California
  • (38 jobs)
  • (384 jobs)
  • (200 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (238 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (484 jobs)
  • (849 jobs)

Wildlife Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

63.8%

Female

32.9%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

69.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.4%

Black or African American

9.3%

Asian

5.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

French

14.8%

Dakota

11.1%

German

7.4%

Swedish

3.7%

Portuguese

3.7%

Russian

3.7%
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Wildlife Technician Education

Schools

Oregon State University

8.3%

University of Idaho

8.3%

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

8.3%

Colorado State University

7.6%

Humboldt State University

7.6%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

7.6%

Utah State University

6.8%

Montana State University - Bozeman

4.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

Brigham Young University

3.8%

Oklahoma State University

3.8%

Texas State University

3.8%

University of Alaska Fairbanks

3.8%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

3.0%

Evergreen State College

3.0%

Boise State University

3.0%

University of Montana

3.0%

Tarleton State University

3.0%

University of Wyoming

3.0%
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Majors

Biology

19.7%

Wildlife Management

16.9%

Environmental Science

16.5%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

12.8%

Zoology

9.5%

Business

3.7%

Forestry

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Natural Resources Management

2.2%

Geology

2.0%

General Studies

1.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Management

1.3%

Fishing And Fisheries Sciences And Management

1.3%

Geography

1.1%

Plant Sciences

0.9%

Chemistry

0.9%

Psychology

0.9%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

59.6%

Masters

12.7%

Associate

11.5%

High School Diploma

10.0%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.4%
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Updated May 18, 2020