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Career pathways in lands, parks and wildlife
The lands, parks and wildlife industry comprises government and non-government agencies having the primary responsibility of managing places and areas of natural and cultural significance.
The management process is undertaken in accordance with relevant legislation, international, national and local agreements, policies, codes of practice, charters and guidelines.
Those seeking a career in this sector may find themselves involved in a wide range of activities, which may include the conservation of ecosystems, working in community conservation, managing introduced pests and diseases, supporting community education, interpretation and responding to emergencies, involvement in national and international conservation,
Overseeing commercial, recreational and scientific activities, management of properties and structures, supporting and overseeing tourism activities in parks, and supporting Indigenous heritage and involvement in land management.
Australia’s parks and reserves are valuable natural assets that conserve native plants and wildlife species and protect important habitats for a number of rare and threatened plants and animals. Many protected areas hold special importance and significance for Indigenous peoples.
Work could include control, supervision and management of national parks, scenic areas, historic sites, nature reserves and other recreational areas.
Jobs and qualifications
|Trainee Field Officer||Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management »|
|Field Officer||Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management »|
|Senior Field Officer||Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management »|
|Field Supervisor||Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management »|
|Ranger/Senior Ranger||Diploma of Conservation and Land Management »|
|District Ranger||Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management »
Trainee Field Officer
The Trainee Field Officer is usually starting a career in the land, parks and wildlife management sector. Work undertaken is under direct supervision and includes operating basic equipment, assisting with routine maintenance and supporting conservation work.
The work undertaken by a field officer is partly supervised and may require some or all of the following tasks to be performed:
- Undertaking park maintenance and construction work such as fencing, paths and walking trails, and simple retaining walls. This may also include repairing buildings and structures and checking whether they are safe.
- Operating a range of machinery and equipment, which could include tractors, four-wheel drive vehicles, agency vehicles, and chainsaws.
- Working with plants and animals, such as observing and report on wildlife, trapping and releasing animals, and undertaking revegetation works.
- Safely using chemicals to treat weeds and pests is often required at this level.
- Working in remote and isolated areas, not just on land but also on water where skills may be required to operate a small boat. This requires map reading and radio communication skills.
Sometimes field officers will be required to assist and provide site information to park visitors and or work as a guide to groups of visitors and assist with fire prevention, fire fighting and cleaning up activities.
Senior Field Officer
A senior field officer is usually responsible for ensuring that land, parks and wildlife management activities are successfully managed. Responsibilities may include managing environmental systems, employee relations, monitoring projects and reviewing management plans and strategies.
A senior field officer is a skilled worker who can work effectively on their own or as part of a team and may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:
- Maintain park sites and facilities including natural and cultural resource areas, aquatic environments, and recreational zones. This can include building and structure maintenance to weed and pest control.
- Work with animals including responding to wildlife emergencies and maintaining habitats for animals.
- Supervise park construction and maintenance activities especially those involving volunteer or work experience workers.
- Interacting with park visitors by providing them with information, monitoring recreational activities, presenting interpretive programs and responding to rescue incidents.
- Coordinating revegetation programs including those involving community or school groups.
- Undertaking of fire prevention, fire fighting and cleaning up activities.
- Assisting with scientific research and wildlife surveys. This may include scuba diving in marine and freshwater environments.
A field supervisor will usually be responsible for a team of workers and may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:
- Daily supervision of staff and their park maintenance and construction activities with responsibility for their safety and work performance. This will also include on-job training.
- Monitoring plants and animals, park facilities and visitor activities and reporting threats and problems.
- Recognising and protecting places of natural and cultural significance.
- Operating within the agency’s budget, legislation and policies.
- Liaising with and providing information to the media, community and special interest groups.
- Planning, scheduling, costing and organising work activities to be undertaken in the park.
A ranger or senior ranger will usually be responsible for operational management of a park and its staff and may be required to undertake some or all of the following tasks:
- Overall management responsibility for a park or area on behalf of the agency including managing business operations and human resources.
- Preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports.
- Conserving natural and cultural resources through implementing management plans and strategies.
- Conducting field research into fauna and flora populations and management.
- Manage projects and programs such as restoration of bushland, reduction of wildfire hazards and controlling weed, pest and disease infestations.
- Preparing and submitting reports, estimates and proposals for projects.
* Source acknowledgement: Primary Skills Victoria »