Fish and Wildlife Service Volunteer Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has relatively few paid summer openings, so competition is especially intense for these jobs. If you are not one of the lucky few to be hired as a summer seasonal, think about volunteering instead.

It will provide you with valuable contacts in the field, and most employers generally look to exemplary volunteers when a rare opening does occur.

Other people volunteer simply to help out. For them, service for the environment and the exhilaration of working with animals or outdoors is enough reward. Thousands of people donate their time to the Fish and Wildlife Service annually. The following breakdown of volunteer hours spent on different activities should give you an idea of volunteers’ most frequent jobs:

  • 30 percent maintenance. This involves trail and bridge building, as well as habitat maintenance and restoration.
  • 7 percent administrative support. Volunteers typically help with general office work, including computer work, letter writing, and filing.
  • 34 percent resource support. Typical tasks include banding animals, surveying birds, stocking fish, and helping out with research.
  • 29 percent public programs. This includes public education, interpretation, and staffing visitor centers.

Often field stations may match you up with other area volunteer programs in addition to Fish and Wildlife programs.

Application Procedures

To apply for a volunteer position, call or write the volunteer coordinator in the region where you would like to work, and request a volunteer application packet and a list of field stations in the region. (See the previous Directory of the Fish and Wildlife Service, which has addresses and phone numbers for all the regional offices.) Complete the application and send copies to stations at which you would like to volunteer. Wait to be contacted by a volunteer coordinator.

All of the latest Fish and Wildlife Service job openings are posted in the JobMonkey Job Center right now.

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