A conservation worker is usually practically involved in managing habitats, whether on land, sea or wetlands, to help animal and plant species survive and thrive. This may be in a specially protected area such as a nature reserve or country park, but it may also be on a private estate or around the coast.
Conservation workers often have a good range of practical skills, including using tools and machinery to manage sites effectively (which can also include managing herds of cows, sheep or horses in something known as conservation grazing!). Being site-based they can often interact with the public who may be visiting or using the site for recreation.
Conservation workers may have an ecology or environmental degree, or they may have entered their career through a more vocational route, such as an apprenticeship. Typically, they work for NGOs or local authorities, but they can also work for government bodies or private landowners.
For examples of conservation worker careers please see below.
Public Sector Conservation Workers
Conservation workers in the public sector typically work for local authorities, statutory nature conservation organisations (SNCBs) or national park authorities. They will be undertaking practical habitat management work on public open spaces and nature reserves, with the intention that this will benefit the animal and plant species that live there.
NGO Conservation Workers
Conservation workers for charities and other NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) undertake practical habitat management work on nature reserves, with the intention that this will benefit the animal and plant species that live there. They will also be undertaking management work that is designed to allow species that have been lost from an area to be reintroduced.
Private Sector Conservation Workers
Conservation workers in the private sector typically work for a large landowner such as an estate. They will be undertaking practical habitat management work with the intention that this will benefit the animal and plant species that live there