Increasing awareness and support for conservation
What does a Conservation Educator do?
Changing attitudes and educating people (children and adults) is fast becoming more important in conservation as we strive to reach new audiences and increase our efforts. If you love working with people this might be where your impact is waiting for you.
Environmental education can be teaching anyone from toddlers to adults about the natural world. There are a growing number of roles within local charities (like the Wildlife Trusts or Zoos) for educators. At the other end of the spectrum, you might be interested in becoming a lecturer or teaching fellow at a college or university. Other examples of educators include naturalists, guides, and expedition leaders.
As an educator, you might find yourself working in a classroom setting, at a university campus or online. Or you might find yourself working out in nature, such as at a forest school, park or remote field site. You might even find yourself teaching on an expedition vessel, or from a raft or canoe!
If you have passion and knowledge to share, and enjoying working with others, this could be the role for you.
Table of Contents
Typical Conservation Educator duties
As an Educator your work may involve activities such as:
- Leading a wide variety of environmental education sessions for youth groups, school groups, adults and/or families. These may be on-site (e.g. field, classroom) or off-site (virtually).
- Developing, delivering and/or evaluating educational programmes.
- Delivering community events to promote conservation work.
- Developing and/or delivering interpretation and training programmes.
- Promoting membership schemes.
- Administrative tasks such as making reservations and keeping records.
- Developing education and/or interpretive materials.
Enforcing safety guidelines.
Conservation Educator employer types
Types of conservation employers that hire Educators include:
Conservation Educator sub roles
Educator sub roles include:
- Academic teachers, such as Professors and lecturers.
- Field guides, such as safari guides, bush guides and naturalists.
- Secondary school teachers.
Conservation Educator contexts
Conservation Educator salaries & key stats
- Community education co-ordinator: £23,000 (starter) to £32,000 (experienced)
- Higher education lecturer | Researching and teaching academic and vocational subjects at universities and higher education colleges | £33,000 (starter) to £54,000 (experienced)
- Further education lecturer | Teaching academic and work-related courses to adults, students and apprentices | £24,000 (starter) to £40,000 (experienced)
- Secondary school teacher | Teaching children and youth aged 11 to 16 or 19 | £25,714 (starter) to £41,604 (experienced)
- E-learning developer | Creating course materials that can be studied on a computer network or online | £19,000 (starter) to £40,000 (experienced)
- Teaching assistant | Supporting teachers and helping children with learning activities | £12,621 (starter) to £23,000 (switcher)
- Training manager | Arranging and running training programmes in businesses and organisations | £24,000 (starter) to £42,000 (experienced)
- Postsecondary teacher | Instructing students in academic subjects beyond the high school level | $79,640 per year (median pay as of 2021)
- High school teacher | Teaching academic lessons and skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market | $61,820 per year (median pay as of 2021)
- Teacher assistant | Working with a licensed teacher to give students additional attention and instruction | $29,360 per year (2021 median pay)
- Postsecondary education administrator | Overseeing student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities | $96,910 per year (2021 median pay)
To research salaries for general Educator roles in your region, we recommend searching the Economic Research Institute’s Compensation Hub. To research salaries and availability for Conservation Educators in your region, we recommend searching our Conservation Job Archive.Pt
Job demand for Conservation Educators
- Postsecondary teacher | Instructing students in academic subjects beyond the high school level | 12% projected increase in employment from 2021 to 2031 (much faster than average).
- High school teacher | Teaching academic lessons and skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market | 5% projected increase in employment from 2021 to 2031 (as fast as average).
- Teacher assistant | Working with a licensed teacher to give students additional attention and instruction | 5% projected increase in employment from 2021 to 2031 (as fast as average).
- Postsecondary education administrator | Overseeing student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities | 7% projected increase in employment from 2021 to 2031 (as fast as average).
To research the job demand for Educators within the conservation sector in your region, we recommend searching our Conservation Job Archive.
Conservation Educator requirements
Educator sub roles and mid-level and senior roles may have different requirements. For example, academic teaching roles – such as lecturers and (assistant) professors – often require a relevant PhD, and experience supervising undergraduate and postgraduate projects.
To research the requirements for Educator sub roles, we recommend searching our Conservation Job Archive.
Typical job titles for Conservation Educators
Examples of Early Career Educator job titles include:
Examples of Mid Career and Senior Educator job titles include:
Conservation Educator resources
- Ten questions with Zoo Education Curator Rick LoBello
- What’s involved in being a teaching fellow?
- Empowering Future Environmental Leaders – Action for Conservation
- How can the Field Studies Council help your conservation career?
- Forest Schools – Volunteering at home: accessible for all Jobs
- Adventurer at heart: exploring the marine world with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic’s Alyssa Adler
- How to start your own conservation group | Advice from marine biology student Meg Hayward-Smith
- Dr Chris Sandbrook – Training our next Conservation Leaders
- Durrell Conservation Academy – helping conservationists everywhere!
- An Artist’s Eye for Conservation Education – Che Frausto
- How to make people fall in love with insects? An interview with Dave Goulson
Example Conservation Educator jobs
To help illustrate Educator roles, here are three job descriptions that represent (real) entry level Educator jobs. Pay particular attention to the selection criteria (specifications) to learn more about what conservation employers are looking for when they hire Educators.
Wilder Learning Officer | Essex Wildlife Trust | Essex, UK
As Wilder Learning Officer you will be delivering wildlife and nature-based programmes to a diverse range of audiences to foster a deeper relation with the natural world and promote the work of Essex Wildlife Trust.
Based at our Grange Farm Centre at Roding Valley Meadows, the post holder will plan and deliver an engaging and inclusive programme of activities for children attending our Nature Babies, Nature Tots, Forest School, after school clubs, birthday parties and weekend and school holiday events. The role provides an exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about making a real difference to wildlife and young people, joining a team that is the go-to organisation in Essex for formal and informal outdoor learning and helping to build our profile as the largest provider of county-based outdoor education.
You will work alongside our Wilder Learning colleagues at the Trust in a dynamic, inclusive, and inspiring environment. You will have highly developed organisational and relational skills, experience of leading groups in education-related activities, and an infectious, driven energy for our work. You will also have the same passion as us for widening access to nature.
Essex Wildlife Trust are the county’s leading conservation charity, committed to protecting wildlife and inspiring a lifelong love of nature; and we would love you to join our committed and enthusiastic team. Our values are Inspiring, Collaborative, United and Professional.
- Plan and deliver activities for the Trust’s Wilder Learning provision, including Nature Babies, Nature Tots, the Wilder Schools Programme, Forest School, after school clubs, birthday parties, weekend and school holiday activities for children and families, and the Wild Living Programme.
- Develop strong links with local schools and community groups to promote the Trust to the local community, promoting Essex Wildlife Trust as the go-to organisation for highquality outdoor learning experiences.
- Ensure that budgets are maintained and managed, and income and delivery targets are met or exceeded.
- Ensure that provision is developed across all age groups, targeted according to the Trust’s priority audiences, with ‘Wildlife for all’ at the heart of delivery.
- Ensure that all activities run in accordance with the appropriate policies, procedures, and practices, ensuring that all activities are risk assessed and health and safety compliant, demonstrating the highest levels of professionalism.
- Carry out any necessary administrative aspects of operations, including managing resources and general housekeeping.
- At all times be a reflective practitioner, evaluating your work in the spirit of continuous improvement, ensuring that the needs of participants and partners are met or exceeded.
- Demonstrate and develop skills, attitudes, and behaviours in line with the Trust’s Competencies Framework.
- Continue to develop as an expert in outdoor education and nature connectedness, building action and impact into everything you do.
- Support the development and delivery of programmes across all age groups, targeted according to the Trust’s priority audiences, with ‘Wildlife for all’ at the heart of delivery.
- As appropriate, lead on projects within the Trust’s growing portfolio of county-wide education-focused engagement projects.
- Work collaboratively and build strong relationships with colleagues across the Trust to create maximum impact across all areas.
- Work effectively with colleagues across the Trust and demonstrate the values of being Inspiring, Collaborative, United and Professional.
- Work closely with colleagues and counterparts across the Wildlife Trusts movement, sharing ideas and best practice, in the spirit of cooperation and continual improvement to create maximum impact across all areas.
- Promote and protect the Essex Wildlife Trust brand.
- Undertake any other duties assigned by the Wilder Learning Manager that are deemed to be within the scope of the role and the contract of employment.
- Has experience in wildlife conservation, environmental science, and/or horticulture.
- Has experience of formal and informal education.
- Holds a Level 3 Forest School qualification
- Has highly developed problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Has a high level of proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite.
- Can collaborate with other teams and departments to deliver greater impact.
- Follows current affairs, particularly in the environmental and education sectors.
- Is flexible and willing to support out-of-hours demands as and when required.
- Has the ability to work under pressure.
- Has experience of developing successful programmes of education delivery.
- Can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Has excellent attention to detail.
- Possesses good organisational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects.
- Is proactive and enthusiastic.
- The role entails some evening and weekend working including Bank Holidays.
- The role requires an interest in working for a charity that is determined to protect wildlife for the future and for the people of Essex.
- The role requires the ability to drive, including a full driving licence and use of a vehicle, though pool vehicles may sometimes be available.
- The role is based at Grange Farm Centre at our Roding Valley Meadows Reserve, but may require regular travel across the county and beyond, with mileage paid for additional travel.
- The post holder has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children and young people.
Essex Wildlife Trust is committed to equal opportunities and maintaining a safe and secure environment for all children and young people. Therefore, the successful applicant for this position will be subject to pre-employment checks including a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Please note, it is an offence to apply for this position if barred from engaging in regulated activity relevant to children.
Education and Engagement Coordinator | National Wildlife Federation | Denver, USA
The primary roles of the Education and Engagement Coordinator are to collaborate with and support ECHO’s multi-disciplinary design and engagement team to foster greater engagement of children in outdoor learning through education, training, support, and communications. The Coordinator works closely with the Senior Education and Engagement Coordinator to develop, support, and implement training and professional development, create content and communications, strengthen existing relationships and create new partnerships, build local and regional expertise and capacity, and provide general administrative support for events and programming. The Coordinator reports to ECHO’s Deputy of Partnership and Development. This is a full-time, 1-year term position, with potential to become a permanent position.
Principal Duties (major areas of responsibility):
Collaborating with the ECHO Senior Education and Engagement Coordinator, the Education and Engagement Coordinator is responsible for:
- Developing content for and delivering community presentations, trainings, and professional development offerings for early childhood educators, caregivers, educators, early childhood coaches or directors, and other stakeholders.
- Supporting existing relationships with ECHO outdoor learning sites and local and national partners.
- Coordinating engagement and building new relationships with early childhood organizations and intermediaries, educators and caregivers, schools and universities, museums, libraries, parks, and community-centered organizations that elevate marginalized (e.g., Black, Indigenous, other People of Color, and/or lower income) communities.
- Assisting in building capacity for outdoor play and learning through training and coordination of professional cohorts, technical assistance networks, and collaboration with local and national ECHO partners.
- Collaborating with ECHO’s Communications staff to support ECHO’s education and engagement communications strategy, including developing and implementing systems for reporting, storytelling, and social media.
- Coordinating ECHO events including volunteer work days, annual ECHO Summit, regional symposia, and national conferences.
- Helping develop and coordinate ECHO’s evaluation and impact strategy to share ECHO’s range of professional development and its impact: gather data, support evaluation and analysis, and assist in reporting.
- Conducting site visits as needed and conduct evaluation measures including surveys, site assessments, photographs, and interviews.
- Regularly communicating with ECHO audiences and stakeholders to provide technical assistance with event registration, invoicing, and general inquiries.
Qualifications and Experience:
- Experience in education and/or early childhood education, project coordination, and community engagement required.
- Experience in developing content, presentations, trainings, and an understanding of adult learning.
- Experience with evaluation tools, tracking data, analysis, and reporting.
- Strong organizational and time-management skills.
- Microsoft Office proficiency. Adobe Creative Suite proficiency or willingness to learn.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Ability to communicate effectively across disciplines.
- Fluent and conversational English and Spanish language skills preferred. Capable of engaging and bolstering marginalized voices in your work.
- Ability to listen and respond with empathy to others’ lived experiences that may be very different than your own.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, both in-person and virtually.
- Shares the values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.
Conservation Educator | Colchester Zoo | UK
Colchester Zoo is home to over 180 species and is dedicated to supporting conservation projects around the globe. As an award-winning visitor attraction with over 1 million guests visiting each year, every staff member at the zoo works together to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
We are looking for two passionate, enthusiastic and well organised people to join our Conservation Education team as Conservation Educators.
The role will see the successful candidates book school visits and ensure teachers and school staff have all the information they need for a smooth trip. The candidates will also research, design and deliver outcome driven education sessions to groups and schools on a wide range of subjects from Lifecycles, Psychology and Art to the Role of Zoos, Maths and Marketing. They will prepare and deliver the sessions in one of our teaching spaces and follow up the visit with evaluation to help us improve our programme.
The role will also prepare, deliver and evaluate activities for zoo visitors across holiday periods. These activities will be part of our conservation campaigns to engage our visitors with topical issues surrounding wildlife in the UK and globally.
These are both full-time positions with a start date of 28th Nov 2022. The successful candidates will work 5 days out of 7. Some weekend and occasional evening work will be required.
The candidate will work within the Conservation Education team and be responsible for delivery of education sessions for EYFS, Primary, Secondary, and Post 16 school groups. The candidate will also be involved with the delivery of conservation education around Colchester Zoo, including, education stalls, sessions for groups, development of displays, and running games and activities.
Knowledge of animal species and conservation is an advantage.
MAIN JOB PURPOSE
- Deliver school educational activities for EYFS-Post 16 school groups on a range of subjects that are inclusive and outcome driven.
- To assist schools in the planning and booking of their visits.
- Deliver a range of other educational activities including outreach sessions and education for other groups.
- To assist with running the Zoo’s visitor education programme.
- To deliver training and develop resources for conservation education volunteers.
Deliver school educational activities for Primary-Post 16 school groups:
- Present school talks and workshops for school groups on a wide range of subjects including (but not limited to): habitats, endangered species, art, classification, maths, English debating skills, enrichment, sustainability, business, and marketing.
- Deliver educational sessions for a range of age groups from EYFS-Post 16.
- Creating and maintaining teaching and learning resources.
To assist schools in the planning and booking of their visits:
- Carry out the administration role of the education department, booking in school visits, arranging invoices, liaising with schools and the accounts department.
- Answer and reply to phone messages, emails, and in-person teacher enquiries.
To assist with running the Zoo’s visitor education programmes:
- Provide educational information to visitors in a variety of ways including; touch tables, short talks, games, activities, or interactive displays.
- Participate in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of special event activities.
- Participate in fundraising events and activities for Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild Conservation Programmes.
- Providing research for marketing team for press releases, reports, magazines.
- To deliver training and develop resources for conservation education volunteers.
Deliver a range of other educational activities:
- Deliver educational sessions for visiting groups (such as Home educators and Scouting and Guiding groups), including on weekends and evenings.
- Deliver outreach educational sessions at schools, events etc. off-site, including organisation of supplies, transport to location, and delivery of session.
To assist with the evaluation of conservation education programmes:
- To ensure teachers and leaders are given appropriate signposting to evaluation.
- To assist in creating outcomes for our programmes.
- Devising evaluation methods appropriate for audience, activity and outcomes.
- Gather and analyses quantitative and qualitative data sets.
Other key activities:
- Demonstrate commitment to continuous personal development.
- Perform other duties as reasonably directed by the Zoo Director or Conservation Education Manager.
- Assist in the care and repair of our biofact (taxidermy specimens, bones, furs etc) collection.
- There is no animal care activity in this role. We do not use live animals in our formal education programme.
CONSERVATION EDUCATOR SPECIFICATIONS:
- Sound zoological knowledge or knowledge of species in the zoo and conservation
- GCSE’s and A-levels in English, Maths, Biology/Science.
- A relevant degree in a related subject.
- Persons with experience teaching to a variety of age levels (Primary-Tertiary) and other audiences.
- Computer literate with good knowledge of the major Microsoft Office programmes.
- Communication and presentation skills for all the age ranges taught.
- Good knowledge of animals, conservation and animal care and welfare
- Good working knowledge of school curricula and how they are implemented in schools and other education settings
- Practical skills in making and maintaining teaching resources.
- Experience in evaluating learning in a variety of settings.
- Experience in managing a social media account for a team; advertising events, sharing news, and promoting ideas.
- Experience delivering education and communicating to large and small groups as well as individuals.
- Experience working in a team and contributing to team goals.
- Gathering and analysing data.
- Booking administration.
- Planning and evaluating projects.
- Designing and delivering programmes for use by volunteers.
- Designing programmes that are inclusive and accessible i.e. developing and evaluating sessions and resources for students with SEND
- Ability to follow instructions.
- Dependable and ability to meet deadlines given.
- Be able to deliver sessions enthusiastically.
- Able to use initiative to problem solve. Warm, open-minded and professional.
- Full driving license.
- A teaching qualification is helpful but not required.
There is one permanent full-time position, and one 12-month maternity cover position. For both job roles work is full-time 5 days per week (and average of 40 hours). This will include regular weekend and occasional evening work.
SALARY: £23,920 per annum
Search live Conservation Educator jobs
Explore other conservation roles
On Conservation Careers to date we’ve listed over 50,000 conservation jobs which cover over 15,000 different job titles! With so many different roles available within conservation, we’ve simplified them into eleven key roles:
- Conservation Communicator | Raising the profile of conservation. Any job focussed on communications and/or marketing, including photography and filmmaking.
- Ecologist | Ensuring ecologically-sensitive development. Any job focused on undertaking surveys or research to provide advice to clients (usually wishing to undertake developments).
- Economist | Putting a value on nature. Any job focussed on valuing nature economically.
- Educator | Increasing awareness and support for nature. Any job focused on environmental education for children or adults, including events and visitor engagement.
- Fundraiser | Raising money for nature. Any job focused on raising money.
- Land Manager | Protecting key sites for nature. Any job focussed on the practical conservation of sites (both habitat and visitors), including wardens and rangers.
- Organisational Manager | Running organisations that conserve nature. Any job focussed on managing an organisation.
- Policy Advocate | Saving wildlife through law. Any job focussed on policy and/or advocacy.
- Project Manager | Saving the world one project at a time. Any job focused on project or programme management (i.e. management of a themed area of work).
- Scientist | Answering the key questions to tackle biodiversity loss. Any job focussed on science and research (field and/or desk-based), including GIS and mapping and data analysis.
- Wildlife Carer | Caring for wildlife. Any Job focused on caring for animals, often in captivity such as Zoos, Veterinary Clinics or Shelters.
Useful links & free stuff
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- You’re submitting applications, but failing to get many interviews? Check out our FREE eBook Conservation Jobs: The Step-by-Step System to Get Hired as a Wildlife Conservationist – available on Kindle, EPUB and PDF. We can also review your applications, and provide 1:1 advice on how to improve them. Check out our application support here.
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