Careers in FWC
The majority of graduates go on to internships or entry-level permanent positions with state or federal government agencies that practice fish and wildlife management.
Jobs held by fisheries and wildlife professionals are varied. Following are examples, but not an exhaustive list, of options for our graduates.
- Fisheries and wildlife managers work with fish and wildlife populations, habitat, and people to meet societal goals for fish and wildlife conservation
- Fisheries and wildlife scientists perform research in support of fish and wildlife conservation, often by expanding our knowledge of individual physiology or ecology, population ecology or genetics, or landscape ecology.
- Imperiled species recovery specialists perform research to promote understanding of factors driving species declines, manage processes driving such declines, or produce captive-bred individuals to augment imperiled populations.
- Aquaculturists propagate aquatic species for purposes of human food production, supplementing fished populations, augmenting imperiled populations, or public display in aquariums.
- Environmental consultants perform a range of tasks for clients including private landowners, public utilities, and government agencies, ranging from water quality monitoring, to land and population management, to development of environmental impact statements for proposed major projects.
- Wildlife control specialists at various private-sector entities contribute expertise to animal damage control, and nuisance animal removal.
- Environmental educators transmit knowledge and encourage intellectual growth on environmental and natural resources-related issues, not just in young people, but also in a range of life-long learners. An undergraduate degree in fisheries or wildlife conservation is well targeted for teaching environmental science, as well as general biology and ecology, to the general public.
- A subpopulation of our students takes a degree in fisheries or wildlife conservation in order to prepare for graduate education or a career not in our own field, but rather in environmental protection, law, medicine or veterinary medicine, genetics, physiology, or nutrition, or the military.
- State fisheries and wildlife management agencies, especially the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and sister agencies of adjoining states,
- Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey – Biological Resources Division, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildilfe Services, and the National Marine Fisheries Service,
- State agencies with environmental missions, such as the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality,
- The private sector, including environmental consultants, forest land management companies, and aquaculture companies, and
- Public schools, teaching environmental science, biology, or natural resources.