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Conservation careers abroad

Career options for Bushwise graduates are vast and varied. Not everyone chooses to become a safari guide. Some of our students join Bushwise to learn more about ecology, wildlife or conservation. Some go home to work in a conservation job. We even have students that finish with Bushwise and pursue higher education, such as a master’s in biology, environmental science or wildlife management.

The options are truly endless. You might find yourself wondering: “what’s the difference between a park ranger and a game ranger?” Or, “what’s the difference between a safari guide and a field guide?” We answer these questions in each of our career pages, and provide a bit of insight into how you can work towards your dream conservation job.





International conservation jobs

On this page, we’ll give a bit of insight into jobs you might find abroad after completing a Bushwise course. There’s a common thread that runs through these roles and safari guiding: a foundational interest in nature, an appreciation for conservation and wildlife, and knowledge of the way ecosystems work.

By completing a field guide course with Bushwise, you’ll be uniquely equipped for these careers. While you might need additional training or education, a Bushwise course will certainly get you on the right path. Head back to our career page to see where some of our international students have worked after completing a course with us.

Park ranger jobs and forest ranger jobs

Park ranger and forest ranger jobs are found around the world, so these terms have different meanings depending on where you’re based. The most common application is in the United States of America where park rangers work for the US Park Service, and forest rangers work for the US Forest Service (they may also work for state and local parks). Just like game rangers here in South Africa, park/forest rangers are law enforcement staff that are charged with protecting and preserving designated areas.

Ranger jobs often have strict requirements for qualifications, sometimes including experience with firearms and law enforcement training. Responsibilities can include interacting with visitors, guiding tours, giving presentations, trail and invasive species clearing, and species population management. Rangers also patrol their area to ensure that guests are following regulations.

While being a park ranger or forest ranger in the USA is very different from being a safari guide in South Africa, it helps to have a foundational understanding and appreciation for wildlife, ecosystems and hosting guests. In this way, a Bushwise course can be quite helpful in your career if you want to become a ranger. If you’re interested in becoming a park ranger in South Africa, head over to our game ranger jobs page to learn more.

Tour guide jobs

Wherever you’re based in the world, you can usually find a company offering guided tours. Whether it’s walking tours, hiking tours, cycling tours, bus tours or otherwise – just about every town has something worth visiting. Throughout Bushwise courses, you’ll learn how to design and conduct a guided experience. These skills are extremely valuable for tour guide jobs and could put you at the top of the hiring list.

As a tour guide, you’ll show guests something interesting and share your knowledge. You might be walking through downtown London, talking about the history and architecture of the city. Or, you could be on a bicycle in the Italian countryside, showing your guests the local vineyards and olive groves. One of our own Bushwise staff members, Annie, finished her safari guide course and went back to the USA where she was a kayak tour guide in Maine’s Acadia National Park for two seasons. Her safari guide training was instrumental in teaching her how to effectively communicate with guests, manage stressful situations, and incorporate ecology and nature into her tours.

The common thread that runs between tour guides and safari guides is this: you need to have a strong ability to retain information, effective communication skills and a passion for sharing your knowledge with visitors.

Wildlife jobs

This career trajectory, wildlife jobs, is perhaps the closest thing to safari guide jobs that you will find abroad. While this term has different applications around the world, it generally means a guide who takes guests into areas where wildlife is found, such as a national park, and leads them on a guided experience.

An example of this can be found in Denali National Park in Alaska, where wildlife guides will take you on hikes through the park to track moose, wolves, and other wildlife. Just as with following dangerous game in South Africa, being a wildlife guide abroad requires a strong understanding of animal behaviour and sound ethical guiding practices. Depending on where you’re based, you may also need wilderness first aid training, CPR, and other local qualifications.

Sometimes wildlife guide jobs are seasonal, depending on where the wildlife is moving. You might find a wildlife guide job on a job website, such as CoolJobs. These positions usually require a foundational understanding and appreciation of wildlife and nature. Companies will typically look for someone who knows how to effectively run a tour and manage a group of guests. These are skills you’ll gain from a Bushwise course, which may make you a top candidate!

Additional jobs abroad

If none of these jobs speak to you, don’t fret! As an international student on a Bushwise course, career options for you are endless. Here’s a list of just some of the options you might pursue:

  • Nature/wildlife photographer or videographer

  • Ecologist

  • Conservation researcher

  • Field guide trainer or assessor

  • Forest service/park ranger

  • Policy or advocacy officer

  • Environmental impact assessor

  • Wildlife biologist

  • School outreach or volunteer program coordinator

  • Researcher (field work or lab-based)

  • Lodge management/front of house

  • Anti-poaching unit member or K9 dog handler

  • Wildlife veterinarian/vet assistant

  • Zookeeper

  • Freelance field guide

  • Trails guide

  • Wildlife educator

  • Marine guide

  • Environmental lawyer

  • Wildlife field technician

  • Communications officer

  • Science officer

  • GIS technician

  • Social media or digital marketing manager

  • Reserve warden

  • Helicopter pilot

  • Hiking/cycling/kayaking guide

  • Wildlife trade officer

  • Reserve security manager

  • Endangered species monitor

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