The Average Salary of Wildlife Biology & Wildlife Management Employees

by Terri Williams

While demand for wildlife biologists and wildlife managers is much lower than average, salaries are much higher than the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects demand for wildlife biologists and managers to increase by 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, which is much lower than the 14 percent growth rate predicted for other occupations through 2020. However, average salaries for these wildlife workers far exceed the $45,790 earned by the average U.S. worker.

Wildlife Biologists

Wildlife biologists study animals, plants and other organisms in their natural environments. Various types of specialties include the study of snakes and frogs, monkeys and bears, freshwater and saltwater organisms, insects and birds. Wildlife biologists earned a mean annual wage of $62,500, or an hourly wage of $30.05, as reported by the BLS in May 2012 salary data. The median annual salary was $57,710. The top 10 percent of wildlife biologists earned $95,430, while the bottom 10 percent made $37,100.

Conservation Scientists

Some wildlife managers are conservation scientists who oversee and protect natural resources by eliminating soil erosion and recommending the best type of plants and animals for certain rangelands. According to May 2012 BLS salary data, conservation scientists earned a mean annual wage of $63,590, or a mean hourly wage of $30.57. The top 10 percent earned $90,870, while the bottom 10 percent made $38,350.


Foresters are wildlife management employees such as range managers who inventory plants, soil and animals and maintain vegetation for wildlife habitats. BLS wage information indicates that foresters earned a mean annual wage of $57,140, or a mean hourly wage of $27.47. They earned a median annual wage of $55,950, with the top 10 percent making $78,490, while the bottom 10 percent earned $36,380.

Highest Salaries

Wildlife biologists who worked for firms that manage companies and enterprises earned the highest wages -- $80,800. They earned $102,980, the highest salary of any state, working in the District of Columbia. Conservation scientists earn the highest salary -- a mean annual wage of $78,840 -- in scientific research and development services. The top-paying state was Alaska, with a mean annual wage of $89,250. Foresters earned the highest salary of $74,450 in the wholesale electronic markets, agents and brokers industry. The state of New Jersey led the country with the highest salary of $75,720.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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