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Working in the Industry

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Anonymous's picture
Working in the Industry

Hi all,

As I mentioned in my profile, I'm studying a Field Guide course online and just wanted to ask if anyone has any tips or suggestions about how I can get somewhere in this field.

How much experience is necessary? And how do you get it, as I'm sure it's quite a competitive industry to get into. I'm in London at the moment (which is not the best place to be for an aspiring field guide, I know! Laughing ), but I volunteer at London Zoo which gives me a chance to interact with people, which I thought might help in terms of learning how to talk to people and get information about animals and plants across to them. Does that make sense?

I suppose I had a fair amount of experience with wildlife when I was growing up as we were always camping and exploring, and I spent some time with my dad out in the bush while he was building a camp, but I'm not sure how much any of that would help me.

Anyway, what would be really great is if anyone can give me any info, anything at all, or links to helpful websites and things like that so that I can find out as much as possible.

This really has been a dream of mine, probably since I was old enough to notice the world around me! I'm determined to do it and would really appreciate any little bit of information anyone can give me.

Thanks to everyone involved for such a great website, it really inspires me.

Tabs (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Dear Kate

If you want to be a field guide in South Africa you first  need to do a 'practical' course in addition to your online one. You can do this via Eco Training or other training organisations... I can thoroughly recommend Eco Training. The full course is 28 days spent in the bush (mostly in Big 5 territory) walking, driving and learning how to be a competant Field Guide

Once you have done your 'prac' you will need to do FGASA exams to become an accreditted Field Guide.

You should monitor the message boards on Wildlifecampus - they often have 'adverts' posted by lodges who are looking for staff.

The pay, for new field guides, is generally very poor but you should recieve training and full board as part of your contract.

A few of my 'Wildlifecampus' friends, who are from England / Europe, have found good jobs in the industry and are happily living out their dream!

One such freind is Peter Braat, from Holland. Peter completed some of the Wildlifecampus courses and is now very happily employed, full-time, working with Wildcam, in Sabi Sands.

If you have a dream, work towards it whatever it takes, and live it!

KateH (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

dan loves zebras wrote:

This is also my dream job and something i would very much like to do... i usually just have a flick through google and see what qualifications they want but im too young at the moment to apply.

Thanks Dan. I've tried Googling it, unfortunately I don't have much patience sifting through everything that comes up, but I'll keep trying. Wink Good luck to you as well! Laughing

KateH (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Thanks Doris, I'll PM and see what they say. Laughing

London Zoo has probably changed quite a bit since you were last there, they've moved a lot of the larger animals out to Whipsnade, like the elephants, for more space. People quite often say that they're disappointed that they don't see as much there as they used to, but I always tell them it's better that the animals have the space and freedom that they didn't have before. So maybe the snake enclosures have changed too.

Thanks again for your help.

dan loves zebras's picture
Joined: Oct 2 2006

This is also my dream job and something i would very much like to do... i usually just have a flick through google and see what qualifications they want but im too young at the moment to apply.



tomatotamata's picture
Joined: Jul 23 2009

Hello Kate, yes it does make sense i went to London Zoo i the early 90s i was a bit disappointed lots of the reptiles were missing but the glass cages  that the snakes  were in  was far to small not enough room to move around in, we are not allowed to give out other wildlife websites, there is Karin she is a ranger and Bushie send a PM to them ask for  their advice. Doris



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