Conservation internships can be a great way to gain valuable experience, and help you to secure your first paying conservation job. To date we have listed over 3,500 conservation internships and conservation volunteer opportunities on Conservation Careers – so we know the market well.

We know when you’re studying or job-hunting that money can be tight, and paying for a conservation internship can be out of the question. Which is why we thought it would be helpful to review some of the top paid or no-fee conservation internships that we see on our site each year.

Rory Harding during his year as Michael Hearn Intern

Rory Harding during his year as Michael Hearn Intern, a popular paid conservation internship.

Download this ultimate guide to read later!

This is a detailed review of internship opportunities in Conservation, and takes a little time to digest. Download your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Paid & Free Internships in Conservation to read and reference anytime!

What’s the difference between an intern and a volunteer?

An internship is something that you choose to do specifically to develop your skills in a chosen area. A volunteer opportunity can also produce this, but your goal is largely to help the cause.

Internships are also a step closer to working as an employee for an organisation than a volunteer. Interns are often full-time for a fixed-term employment period – e.g. 3-6 months – embedded within a defined role, longer-term than a volunteer role, and may be paid.

How can Conservation Internships help your career?

Conservation internships are a great way to get on the job training and develop key skills in your chosen area. We encourage people to use them to fill key gaps in their experience for their target roles.

For example, if you’re working towards being a Communications Officer but have a lack social media experience, embedding yourself with a conservation organisation’s communications team as an intern could be the ideal way to develop your skills, accumulate great experience, grow your network of contacts within your chosen area of work and to test drive the job.

If it’s close to what you want to be doing it should also be lots of fun!

How much can you earn as a Conservation intern?

Although many roles are no-fee/unpaid, we have identified below a number of paid conservation internships which become available each year.

These are often set at national minimum or living wage (£7.83 – £9.75 per hour) or an annual wage of £13,500 to £18,000.

For Conservation Internships where no wage is provided, employers often support their interns with subsidised living arrangements.

How to apply for a Conservation Internship?

Internships – especially the paid ones – can be very competitive.

For example, the Michael Hearn Internship with Save the Rhino received 299 applications in 2013..! Kindly, they shared the results of their shortlisting process, and provide some practical advice which all conservation job seekers can learn from. We encourage you to read them here.

To make your application stand out from the crowd it’s very important to plan ahead and ensure you craft your very best application possible.

A good way to do this is to check out our FREE eBook ‘How to Apply for a Conservation Job’ This is a complete guide to producing successful CVs, Resumes and Application Forms by the experts at Conservation Careers. Download your copy for free here to craft your perfect conservation internship application.

Top PAID (or free) Conservation Internships – Webinar Replay


Top PAID (or free) Conservation Internships – In Alphabetical Order

BES Policy Internship

Organisation | British Ecological Society

Location | London, UK.

Theme | Information & Data Mgmt., Policy & Advocacy, Comms & Marketing, Science & Research

Summary | The British Ecological Society is the oldest ecological society in the world. They have 6,000 members around the world and bring people together across regional, national and global scales to advance ecological science.

Each year they offer a Policy Internship which is an excellent opportunity for the intern to develop a wide range of skills including science communication, policy awareness, writing for different audiences, networking and event management. There is scope for refining the tasks undertaken according to the experience and skills the intern would like to develop.

The Policy Intern is an integral part of the Society’s External Affairs team, and:

  • Leads on a specified project as part of the policy team’s work programme, including developing a Policy Guide
  • Monitors legislation and policy developments relevant to the science of ecology
  • Summarises policy developments for a general audience through the Society’s news and opinions and for members through the Society’s Bulletin
  • Assists with the preparation of policy statements, briefing papers and responses to Government consultations
  • Assists with the organisation of policy meetings and events
  • Represents the Society at external meetings where appropriate
  • Assists with general administration as required by the Senior Policy Officer

The successful candidate should be educated to degree level or equivalent in ecology, environmental science or a related subject. They have demonstrable knowledge and genuine interest in public policy. A proven interest in ecology is essential. They also need to have excellent communication and IT skills.

Salary | Paid. £9.75 per hour

Deadline | February for the Policy Internship

Duration | Part-time (2 days a week) Fixed Term Contract | 6 months

Link | Keep an eye on the BES website


Coast Explorer Internship Programme

Kent Wildlife TrustOrganisations | The Crown Estate, Kent Wildlife Trust

Location | London & Kent, UK.

Theme | Marine Conservation, Sustainability

Summary | The Coast Explorer Internship Programme (CEIP) offers a unique opportunity for recent graduates interested in a career in the marine environment to gain skills, knowledge and experience relating to this exciting field.

Interns will follow a varied schedule whilst on the programme that will allow them to gain experience working in an office environment, conducting an independent research project, writing and presenting reports, working with young people to raise awareness about environmental issues, carrying out practical and relevant fieldwork, and assisting with practical conservation efforts.

This post will build on existing skills and knowledge relating to marine issues, but most importantly the partner organisations involved with this internship (Kent Wildlife Trust, The Crown Estate, Vattenfall & Canterbury City Council) are looking for candidates who are passionate and enthusiastic about the marine environment and have a willingness to learn.

Salary | £10.20 per hour (London Living Wage plus statutory holiday pay)

Deadline | Closes mid-May each year

Duration | This role runs for 12 weeks from late-June to mid-September, with interns scheduled to work 3 days per week

Link | Kent Wildlife Trust | Current Jobs and Internships; Marine Internship Programmes


Earthwatch Internships

EarthwatchOrganisation | Earthwatch

Location | Boston, USA.

Theme | Comms & Marketing, Science & Research

Summary | Earthwatch is an international environmental nonprofit organization that engages people in scientific field research and education. To achieve their mission, they offer research expeditions at exciting locations around the globe. Participants on these expeditions assist top scientists as they investigate important questions about how we can better protect our planet.

Earthwatch occasionally offers internships at their Boston, MA, USA office. Some examples include:
  • Program Delivery Impact Intern
  • Multimedia Intern
  • Digital Marketing Intern
  • Research Associate Intern

All applicants must make their own living arrangements for them to stay within commuting distance to Boston and are required to have individual health insurance.

Salary | No fee. Earthwatch interns can take part in the Intern Credit Program in which they receive credits to use toward a qualified Earthwatch expedition. You can also use the internship for academic credit, thesis or practicum work for a degree or certificate programme.

Deadline |Varies, see each internship for details.

Duration | Minimum of 120 hours over a minimum of 3 months.

Link | Keep an eye on the Earthwatch website


Ecoteer Conservation Internships

EcoteerOrganisation | Ecoteer

Location | Malaysia

Theme | Comms & Marketing, Science & Research, Sustainability, Events and Visitor Engagement

Summary | Ecoteer was founded in 2005 by marine biologist Daniel Quilter after a life-changing volunteering experience in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. On his return from an 8-month placement, Daniel started social enterprise, providing a platform for people interested in long term voluntourism globally. Ecoteer is popular among students, aspiring conservationists and career breakers looking for work experience in the ecotourism, environmental awareness and conservation sectors.

They offer a range of internships on their site each year such as:

  • Merapoh Volunteer Coordinator
  • Turtle Volunteer Coordinator
  • Recycling & Waste Management intern
  • Dive Research Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator
  • Photography & Videography
  • Conservation Marketing Intern
  • Perhentian Eco-Education Volunteer Coordinator
  • Perhentian Eco-Educator
  • Merapoh Rainforest Teacher
  • Outdoor Education Group Leader
  • Perhentian Community Liason Leader
  • Perhentian Ecotourism Leader

Salary | These are unpaid Internships. Their non-profit status means you are only charged an admin fee which includes costs of accommodation, meals, local services and any training. This is why their fees are much lower than many other international internships available online. Plus if you’re Malaysian, you’ll get your internship completely free!

Deadline | Varies, see each internship for details

Duration | Varies, see each internship for details

Link | See latest opportunities here.


IUCN Conservation Internships

Organisation | The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Location | Worldwide

Theme | Comms & Marketing, Science & Research, Sustainability

Summary | The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and nongovernmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

They offer a range of internships on their site each year such as:

  • Species Programme Intern
  • North Africa Programme Intern
  • Ecosystems Programme Marketing and Communications Intern
  • Intern | Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)
  • Intern | Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Internship Programme Assistant, IUCN China

Salary | They may have a monthly allowance

Deadline | Varies, see each internship for details

Duration | Varies, see each internship for details

Link | Keep an eye on their vacancies pages


Kupu Hawai’i Service OpportunitiesKupu

Organisation | Kupu

Location | Hawaiʻi, USA.

Theme | Environmental Education, Sustainability, Community Conservation

Summary | Kupu, which means “to sprout” or “to grow” in Hawaiian, has a two-fold mission: to preserve the land while empowering youth. The organisation provides hands-on training in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education for young adults, with the goal of fostering the next generation of environmental and cultural stewards. Kupu’s work has been likened to the role of the Kupukupu Fern which is one of the first plants to cultivate the land after a lava flow. The fern not only serves as a foundational species for rebuilding a healthy, native ecosystem, but it also symbolises a place where knowledge can grow.

Established in 2007 as a non-profit, Kupu affirms the Hawaiian notion of “ma ka hana ka ʻike” or “in working one learns”. This approach has led to the creation of hundreds of internships and service-learning opportunities which blend vocational training and green leadership development to support more than 100 partner sites across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.

Each year, Kupu offers hundreds of service opportunities that create positive environmental, cultural and community impact across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. They encourage individuals looking to explore training, experience and skills in the growing green jobs sector to apply to their various programs!

Kupu offers both individual-based and team-based opportunities, ranging from short term to year long positions. All of their participants serve alongside and receive valuable mentorship from experts in an environmental-related field. Given that each programme is distinct in its focus and duration, you can check out the various program descriptions to find the best fit for you.

You may also complete their referral form if you are not sure which opportunity to apply for, and a Kupu staff member will contact you directly to help guide you and answer any questions.

Examples of Team Based Opportunities include:

  • Hawai’i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Community Program
  • Hawai’i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Summer Program
  • Citizen Forestry Crew
  • Hawai’i Youth Sustainability Challenge

Examples of Individual Opportunities include:

  • Conservation Leaders
  • Environmental Education Leaders
  • Pacific Resiliency Fellows
  • AmeriCorps Vista
  • Sustainability Fellows

Salary | Dependent on programme. May include a monthly living allowance (e.g. up to $1,600) and AmeriCorps award (e.g. $6,095), plus child care, health care, and loan deferment available for eligible applicants.

Deadline | Dependent on programme.

Duration | Approximately 11 months for Conservation Leadership Development Program and Environmental Education Leadership Development Program.

Link | Keep an eye on the Kupu website


Michael Hearn Internship

Save the Rhino Michael Hearn Internship logoOrganisation | Save the Rhino

Location | London, UK

Theme | Community Conservation, Fundraising & Development

Summary | This internship offers the chance to work in a UK-based fundraising conservation charity, providing an excellent all-round introduction to the sector. You’ll join a friendly, highly motivated team. Save the Rhino’s headquarters near London Bridge will be your base, but the internship also includes 2 weeks in Namibia with staff from Save the Rhino Trust, one of the field programmes supported by Save the Rhino.

You’ll be responsible for:

  • Events: Responsibility for SRI’s Virgin London Marathon team; providing fundraising and training advice; and managing SRI’s event on the actual day.
  • Administration: Maintaining stationery supplies and office equipment; managing the online shop and fulfilling merchandise and membership orders alongside general admin.
  • Fundraising & partnerships: Supporting the development of communication materials and grant reports for companies, zoos, and grant-making trusts and foundations.

Salary | Salary: £20,000 per annum

Deadline | End of June annually. Internships run September till September.

Duration | Full time 12.5-month fixed-term post

Link | Save the Rhino | Current Jobs and Internships

Additional Links | See interviews and articles on our website about this popular internship:


National Wildlife Federation Conservation Fellowships

The National Wildlife FederationOrganisation | The National Wildlife Federation

Location | USA, Canada & Worldwide

Theme | Fundraising & Development, Information & Data Mgmt., Policy & Advocacy, Comms & Marketing, Science & Research, Environmental Education, Sustainability

Summary | The National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization, works across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. They’ve been on the front lines for wildlife since 1936, fighting for the conservation values that are woven into the fabric of the nation’s collective heritage.

Salary | Paid. Benefit-Eligible Fellowships also receive medical, dental, and holiday benefits.

Deadline | Varies. Keep an eye on their website.

Duration | 48 weeks.

Link | Keep an eye on The National Wildlife Federation website for opportunities.


Nature Conservancy Internships

The Nature ConservancyOrganisation | The Nature Conservancy

Location | USA, Canada & Worldwide

Theme | Environmental Economics, Fundraising & Development, Information & Data Mgmt., Policy & Advocacy, Comms & Marketing, Science & Research

Summary | The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded at its grassroots in the United States in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of their diverse staff and more than 400 scientists, they impact conservation in 72 countries across six continents.

The Nature Conservancy offer a variety of internships which give interns experience in real business at a global organisation and exposure to real projects and challenges in the conservation arena.

Internships at The Nature Conservancy are aimed at high school, undergraduate and graduate students and differ by program or business unit. They are typically offered at focused times during the course of a year or on a seasonal or summer basis. Internships should be directly related to a current or recently accredited educational program.

College students and recent graduates can apply for sophisticated and immersive GLOBE internships. GLOBE (Growing Leaders on Behalf of the Environment) prepares young professionals for successful careers in the environmental workforce by bridging the gap between academics and real-world STEM work, encouraging innovation, and assisting in professional development.

The Nature Conservancy recruits individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences for GLOBE internships from June to August. The program matches qualified and enthusiastic undergraduate, graduate, and recent graduates with an internship suited to their area of study.

Salary | Paid or no fee. You may also receive school credit from an education institution in addition to or in lieu of wages.

Deadline |Varies according to the internship. Keep an eye on their website.

Duration | Three months (GLOBE).

Link | Keep an eye on The Nature Conservancy website or contact individual business units at specific locations to ask about opportunities.

Additional Links | See interviews and articles on our website about The Nature Conservancy:


RSPB Practical Conservation and Volunteer Experience internships

Organisation | RSPB

Locations | Locations across the UK

Theme | Countryside Management

Summary | These internships are designed to give you the training and experience needed to pursue a career in conservation. As well as providing lots of opportunities to gain first-hand experience, the RSPB will assist your personal development and progression. You will have opportunities throughout the placement to learn new skills, gain new experiences and increase your conservation knowledge, all of which will assist you in furthering your career in conservation.

You’ll also get:

  • Training on CV writing and interview techniques
  • Access to our internal vacancies during your internship
  • A reference on successful completion of your internship
  • A dedicated mentor who will monitor your progress and help with personal development throughout the internship.

Doing an internship will not guarantee you a job with the RSPB as their internships are designed to offer work experience. However, interns can apply to the RSPB’s paid vacancies, including those only advertised internally. For obvious reasons, an intern would need to have proven themselves in their current role, before expecting their volunteering experience to assist in an application to a paid post.

Salary | No fee. The RSPB will reimburse travel expenses within a 25-mile radius of the reserve.

Deadline | Keep an eye on their website for regular calls.

Duration | The RSPB internships are full time, 5 days a week, and are 6 or 12 months in length.

Link | RSPB Current Jobs and Internships


Seal Rescue Ireland Internships

Organisation | Seal Rescue Ireland

Location | Courtown, County Wexford, Ireland

Theme | Animal Welfare, Comms & Marketing, Marine Conservation

Summary | Seal Rescue Ireland (SRI) is a charity organisation which operates a busy marine animal rescue and rehabilitation centre located in Courtown, Co. Wexford. As the only facility that fully rehabilitates seals within the Republic of Ireland, SRI responds to strandings nationwide. Most reports are for young grey seal and common seal pups found sick, injured or orphaned across the Irish coastline. In addition, SRI pursues understanding and public engagement of ocean conservation and sustainability through education, community outreach and research programmes. SRI has a growing social media presence, and is gaining international recognition for our work.

Internships we see regularly from Seal Rescue Ireland include:

  • Animal care and Education Internship
  • Education Internship
  • Marketing and Media Internship
  • Community Engagement Internship

Salary | No fee. Intern housing is available for 90 Euro/week (including food) on a first come first served basis.

Deadline | See upcoming deadlines below. Deadlines are subject to change based on hiring needs, so check SRI’s website for the most up-to-date information.

  • 1st of September, 2019 for January to March, 2020 start dates
  • 1st of December, 2019 for April to June, 2020 start dates
  • 1st of March, 2020 for July to September, 2020 start dates
  • 1st of June, 2020 for October to December, 2020 start dates

Duration | They offer several seasonal internships and require a minimum of 12 weeks commitment for their internship positions. They expect interns to be passionate and self-motivated as the days are long, sometimes 9 to 12 hours and the work can be tiring and dirty!

Link | Seal Rescue Ireland | Latest Jobs and Internships


Seawatch Education and Outreach Assistant Internship

Seawatch FoundationOrganisation | Seawatch Foundation

Location | New Quay, UK

Theme | Environmental Education, Events and Visitor Engagement, Marine Conservation

Summary | The Sea Watch Foundation is a national marine environmental research charity that aims to achieve better conservation of whales and dolphins in the seas around Britain and Ireland, by involving the public in scientific monitoring of populations and the threats they face. It is the longest running research charity in the UK focusing upon cetaceans around the British Isles and maintains a national sightings database, the largest in Europe.

It works closely with all the UK statutory conservation agencies and advises UK government, the UNEP Regional Intergovernmental Conservation Agreement, ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas), the European Commission, as well as the major conservation charities and marine industries operating in the UK.

Every year, they recruit seven Research Interns (RI) for every research period (4 x 7-week blocks) as well as one Education and Outreach Assistant (EA), one National Whale and Dolphin Watch Assistant (NWDWA) and one Research Assistant (RA).

Individual role descriptions differ significantly from each other, each requiring varying lengths of commitment as well as different levels of experience in areas such as research, team management and public awareness work.

Salary | No fee. Subsidised accommodation.

Deadline | Applications close in January for RI and RA positions, and in February for EA and NWDWA positions.

Duration | The field season usually runs from April to October and may be split into four periods of seven weeks for Research Interns. Their Education and Outreach Assistant is required to stay for at least half of the season (choosing Period 1|2 or 3|4) but can also choose to stay the whole season.


SFS Internships

SFS InternshipsOrganisation | SFS

Location | Worldwide

Theme | Science & Research, Environmental Education, Community Conservation, Marine Conservation

Summary | Since 1980, SFS has offered programs that are based in locations and ecosystems grappling with critical environmental issues such as climate change. Their programs are intense, invigorating, and fulfilling and are delivered by an all-star team of faculty and staff. Students examine firsthand the environmental issues faced by our host communities, gaining important research skills, making lifelong friends and contributing to a growing body of international environmental research.

Are you looking for an intense yet rewarding experience? While your college friends start their 9-to-5 jobs, you could be living at a remote field station, waking up in the middle of the rainforest in Australia, eager to start your day of assisting faculty and students with their Directed Research on tree kangaroos. Maybe you are organizing a community outreach project with the local school in Panama, or a pickup soccer game with the local community in Costa Rica. You could even be helping to tag sharks or researching sea turtle nesting areas in the Turks and Caicos Islands. These are all typical days when you’re an SFS intern.

As an intern with SFS, you will:

  • Make a contribution to ecosystem conservation by collaborating on research and transferring results to stakeholders
  • Enhance your resume with international work experience
  • Work with local communities, NGOs, and national parks on environmental challenges
  • Live as part of a dynamic learning community
  • Gain firsthand experience in the operation and administration of a complex, international, field-based study abroad program
  • Assist in advancing the SFS environmental research agenda
  • Inspire students to make a difference, not only in their own lives, but in their local communities as well

Salary | No fee. Typically includes a stipend, on-site room and board, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage, extensive program travel throughout the program location, and an invitation to attend SFS courses and lectures.

Deadline | Internship positions are typically posted in early to mid fall (for a January start) and early to mid spring (for a May-June or late August start).

Duration | Typically one year full time.

Link | Keep an eye on the SFS website


Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Internships

Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteOrganisation | Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Location | Panama

Theme | Science & Research

Summary | The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) was founded with the purpose of increasing and sharing knowledge about the past, present and future of tropical ecosystems and their relevance to human welfare. This work began in Panama in 1910, when the Smithsonian led one of the world’s first major environmental impact studies, which surveyed and catalogued the flora and fauna of the lowland tropical forests that would be flooded with the creation of the Panama Canal. A century later, the Smithsonian in Panama is a standard-setting global platform for groundbreaking research on tropical forests and marine ecosystems and their astounding biodiversity.

Internships provide the opportunity to meet and work with scientists from around the world, gain hands-on experience in academia and research, and delve into Panama’s rich ecosystems and culture. 
Internships generally involve specific roles within Smithsonian research projects but also encourage interns to bring new ideas and questions to the table. Smithsonian Internships often have a profound impact on young academics at early career stages, and can lead to new research projects at the Smithsonian in Panama.

Internships are intended for undergraduates, recent graduates, and Master’s students. Interns are selected based on merit and potential for achievement. However, placement depends upon finding a match between the applicant’s interest and a suitable research project overseen by a STRI scientist or research associate. STRI encourages applicants to directly contact potential supervisors. You can find staff research profiles and contact information here and a list of research affiliates is on this document starting at page 244.

STRI Internships | Individual applicants will be selected to conduct research under the supervision of scientist at STRI. Interns will work closely with their research mentor, becoming an integral participant in the scientist’s larger research agenda. Additionally, interns will be encouraged to reflect on the conceptual and research implications of the work at hand so that they may maximize their understanding of a particular subject area.

STRI-SENACYT Internships | Panama’s sciences and technology secretariat provides internships to Panamanian students at local universities (undergraduates, recent graduates, and Master’s students) so they can work alongside STRI staff scientists. This program is designed to enhance intellectual development and give students real world experience working along side professionals at STRI.

Deadline | February 15, September 15 (for STRI Internships); February 15, June 15, September 15 (for STRI-SENACYT Internships).

Duration | Three to six months.

Link | Keep an eye on the STRI website


Wildlife Trust Conservation Internships

Organisation | The Wildlife Trusts

Location | Nationwide, UK

Theme | Countryside Management

Summary | The Wildlife Trusts is a grassroots movement of people from a wide range of backgrounds and all walks of life, who believe that we need nature and nature needs us. They have more than 800,000 members, 40,000 volunteers, 2,000 staff and 600 trustees.

Each Wildlife Trust is an independent charity formed by people who get together to make a positive difference to wildlife and future generations, starting where they live.

Across the network, they offer a range of conservation internships and training programmes for budding conservationists. For example, On Conservation Careers we’ve listed the following:

  • Voluntary Conservation Trainees with the Wildlife Trusts | An excellent opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in conservation and land management. The placement will provide a diverse range of practical training from sustainable woodland management, heathland management to conservation grazing, along with more transferable skills.
  • Wild Paths Traineeships with the Wildlife Trusts | The Wild Paths Training Programme is designed to enable participants to gain a broad range of hands-on experience that will give them the skills and confidence to make a valuable contribution to the conservation of the natural heritage, and to communicate with, inspire and enthuse others about our natural heritage. It is ideal for someone who is looking for a career working outdoors with wildlife and people, but candidates do not need to have any prior formal training in this sector. A bursary of £1000 per month will be paid to the trainee.
  • Assistant Ranger Volunteer Intern with the Scottish Wildlife Trust | Come and help the Ranger and Seasonal Ranger with duties at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s flagship reserve during the season. They offer an incredible breadth of experience covering practical work, helping with public events, social media, survey work, creative work and species knowledge.
  • Skokholm Long Term Volunteers & Internships with the Wildlife Trusts | This is a fantastic opportunity to work on one of Britain’s most spectacular Islands and to gain experience in a wide range of survey techniques. But it is not all about the monitoring work! The successful applicants will be integral to all aspects of Island management, from providing sanitation and clean visitor accommodation to helping with boat deliveries and physical management such as pond digging. Each volunteer has their own bedroom at the Farm and shares the same facilities as our paying guests; they are therefore looking for people who are happy to spend time with guests and share their passion for the phenomenal things which inhabit Skokholm.
  • Volunteer Trainee Reserves Officers with Rutland Water Nature Reserve | This exciting volunteer post will give you vital experience at one of the UK’s best nature reserves. Based at Rutland Water Nature Reserve’s new purpose-built Volunteer Training Centre you will have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the nature reserve; including habitat management, wildlife recording and monitoring and community engagement. You will also have the opportunity to work with the high-profile Osprey project and get involved with the Birdfair.
  • Communications Intern with Essex Wildlife Trust | Help Essex Wildlife Trust deliver a greater voice for wildlife in Essex. If you’re a dynamic self-starter, passionate about communications and wildlife then they want to hear from you! They are looking for someone to nurture online communities and expand their social media reach. To write engaging copy for web content, press releases, articles and their magazine. You will learn from our marketing and communications experts about all the forms of communication used at Essex Wildlife Trust. In return, they will embrace your enthusiasm, energy and innovative ideas. Salary £15,500 per annum.
  • Living Seas Education Volunteer with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales | The Living Seas Education Volunteer will assist with the delivery of their Living Seas community engagement and education objectives. Includes: developing and promoting a range of educational activities, delivering education activities such as Seashore Safaris and Dolphin Detective Sessions, providing talks and activities to visiting groups and schools; organising and promoting events for National Marine Week; representing the centre and WTSWW at external events; and providing engaging content for CBMWC social media and the Adopt a Dolphin scheme. Outside of the school holidays you will assist with other volunteer activities such as land and boat-based marine mammal surveys, running their visitor centre, entering data and conducting beach cleans.

Salary | From no fee to pay.

Deadline | Varies according to the internship. Keep an eye on their website.

Duration | Varies according to the internship. Keep an eye on their website.

Link | See more here.


WINGS Internship Program

Organisation | National Audubon Society

Location | USA wide

Theme | Science & Research, Environmental Education, Community Conservation, Policy & Advocacy, Countryside Management

Summary | The WINGS internship program aims to inspire lifelong stewardship of the National Audubon Society’s environment and communities, providing individuals the opportunity to develop skills needed for a successful career in conservation. Paid and unpaid Wings internships are offered in the areas of Education, Public Policy, Development, Science and Land Stewardship. Throughout the internship, interns will work closely with their managers and Human Resources to ensure a meaningful work experience.

Audubon invites current students, recent graduates, and other interested individuals to learn more about our WINGS program.

Salary | Often paid, see each internship for details.

Deadline | Varies, see each internship for details.

Duration | Varies, see each internship for details.

Link | See more here.


WWF Young Adult Volunteer Opportunities

WWF-logo-Conservation-InternshipsOrganisation | WWF

Location | Worldwide

Theme | Varies

Summary | Since the launch of the WWF Young Adult Volunteer Internship Programme in 2005, WWF has evolved considerably and now offers a variety of placements with their priority conservation programmes in offices around the globe, in areas such as communications, policy & advocacy, environmental education, project monitoring and field-based assignments.

Carefully chosen young people will take hands-on experience, expertise and knowledge into their future professional careers and spheres of influence, spreading a wider understanding of conservation issues and sustainable development, while inputting their skills and experience into WWF teams and projects.

In addition to the global ‘WWF Young Adult Volunteer Opportunities’ programme, in-country WWF offices also offer regular internships which are worth keeping an eye open for.

Salary | No fee

Deadline | Ongoing, keep an eye on their website

Duration | Varies

Link | WWF Young Adult Volunteer Opportunities


ZSL Internships

ZSL-logo-conservation-internshipsOrganisation | The Zoological Society of London

Location | London, UK

Theme | Comms & Marketing, Programme Management, Project Management, Science & Research, Project Management

Summary | The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness raising at their two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.

They post regular calls for internships. On the Conservation Careers website to date we’ve listed the following conservation internships at ZSL:

  • EDGE Fellows programme Internship
  • EDGE of Existence Voluntary Internship
  • EDGE Online Learning Voluntary Internship
  • EDGE Storytelling PAID Internship
  • Elephant Researcher PAID Internship
  • Estuaries and Wetlands Conservation Programme PAID Internship
  • IUCN Red List Assessments for Butterflies Internship
  • Marine & Freshwater Conservation Internship
  • Monitoring Kelp Implications for Wild Harvesting Intern
  • Professionalising Conservation Project | PAID Internship
  • State of the Thames Conservation Project Internship
  • Voluntary Intern | Europe Conservation Programme
  • Voluntary Research Internship | Living Planet Index Internship

Salary | These are often paid internships, set at the national minimum wage of £7.83 per hour.

Deadline | Regular. Keep an eye on Conservation Careers.

Duration | Varies according to the role.

Link | The Zoological Society of London | Current Jobs and Internships


Need some help in Securing your Dream Conservation job?

Phew! That was a lot of information and well done if you made it this far. And hello those who skim to the bottom of blog posts.

Understanding the Internship market is so important in your quest to become a professional conservationist. Unless you fully understand all your options, you won’t be able to find your niche, and without that, you’re far less likely to be happy, impactful and competitive.

A big part of this also is to understand yourself. What do you love doing? What are you great at? What are your biggest needs right now?

At Conservation Careers we’ve helped hundreds of people just like you to get clarity on your career options, to form an actionable plan of action, and to secure your dream job.

If you need our help, we’re here for you.

Useful links and free stuff

To help you navigate your options, please select which best describes you:

  • You want to work in conservation but you’re feeling lost, disillusioned or confused?!? Check out our Kick-Starter training designed to help you understand the job market, to navigate your career options, and to get hired more quickly. It’s designed for students, graduates, job-seekers and career-switchers. We’re proud to say it also has 100% satisfaction and recommendation ratings. We know you’ll love it. Find out more about our Kick-Starter – Online Course and Kick-Starter – UK Workshop.
  • This application guide can help applicants switching careers into conservationYou need answers to top questions about working in conservation? Check out our free Ultimate Guides covering topics like the 15 Key Conservation Job Types and Marine Conservation Jobs, and answering questions like How to Switch Careers into Conservation, Do I need a Master’s Degree? and much more! Download your free copy here.
  • You feel ready to be applying for jobs in conservation? Check out our membership packages for job seekers which provide access to the world’s biggest conservation job board – with over 10,000 conservation jobs shared each year – plus a range of other benefits. Check out our monthly memberships here.
  • You’re submitting applications, but failing to get many interviews? Check out our free guide Conservation Jobs: The Step-by-Step System to Get Hired as a Wildlife Conservationist – available on KindleEPUB and PDF. We can also review your applications, and provide 1:1 advice on how to improve them (and we don’t cost the earth). Check out our application support here.
  • You’ve got an interview (well done!) and would like our help to prepare for it? We know what employers want, and have helped many people prepare for and deliver successful interviews. Check out our interview preparation here.
  • You feel stuck, are struggling with a difficult career decision, or need some clarity about your next steps? We can help you form a clear plan of action so you can feel confident and take the next steps to make your dream career a reality. Check out our 1:1 career coaching here.