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Old 10.03.2019, 11:16
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Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

Hello all, thanks for reading my thread.

I found an old, 2013 thread similar to this one but I would like an updated opinion.

Could anyone give me any insights into the prospects for getting a job in wildlife biology/ecology/conservation biology here in the canton of Zurich? Or neighbouring cantons which are easily accessible? What is the climate/demand for these jobs in Switzerland?

My background is in avian biology, with a BSc Zoology and a MSc (Biodiversity & Conservation). I only speak English, but I've been putting effort into learning German. I moved here with the plan to pursue a PhD, but I feel my partner needs more financial support as his IT salary isn't quite supporting the two of us.

I've been looking at sites like www.naturschutz.ch, www.greenjobs.de, www.eth-gethired.ch, www.wildtier.ch. I've not had much success with applying, tend to be rejected at breakneck speeds. I've sent a few emails to companies that aren't advertising, just to see what I get out of that. I've also got in touch with a few places about volunteering, as this would at least keep me in the area of where I want to work and maybe help with the language problem, but I've not heard back from any of them. Am I going about this the right way? Protips welcomed.

Thanks again for reading, I'd appreciate any insights. It's hard to get a feel for the sector from just reading articles online as there's not much out there.
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Old 10.03.2019, 11:59
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

The MyScience.ch job board website lists research jobs in life sciences:

https://www.myscience.ch/jobs/Life+Sciences

BNF is a governmental organization that helps academics find project work in CH. This is the current list of projects:

http://www.bnf.unibe.ch/unibe/portal...-33-41_ger.pdf

- Normally, the BNF applicant needs to be registered with RAV as RAV/Kasse bears the cost of employment.

Also, please see my posts 5 and 7 at this link for other job boards and some ideas on applying for positions in CH;

https://www.englishforum.ch/jobs-wan...ing-roles.html
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Old 10.03.2019, 11:59
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Hello all, thanks for reading my thread.

I found an old, 2013 thread similar to this one but I would like an updated opinion.

Could anyone give me any insights into the prospects for getting a job in wildlife biology/ecology/conservation biology here in the canton of Zurich? Or neighbouring cantons which are easily accessible? What is the climate/demand for these jobs in Switzerland?

My background is in avian biology, with a BSc Zoology and a MSc (Biodiversity & Conservation). I only speak English, but I've been putting effort into learning German. I moved here with the plan to pursue a PhD, but I feel my partner needs more financial support as his IT salary isn't quite supporting the two of us.

I've been looking at sites like www.naturschutz.ch, www.greenjobs.de, www.eth-gethired.ch, www.wildtier.ch. I've not had much success with applying, tend to be rejected at breakneck speeds. I've sent a few emails to companies that aren't advertising, just to see what I get out of that. I've also got in touch with a few places about volunteering, as this would at least keep me in the area of where I want to work and maybe help with the language problem, but I've not heard back from any of them. Am I going about this the right way? Protips welcomed.

Thanks again for reading, I'd appreciate any insights. It's hard to get a feel for the sector from just reading articles online as there's not much out there.
I can't really help you with your applications but that is an incredibly niche industry that is probably already well-filled with Swiss or native German-speaking candidates... not to mention many positions will be filled by students studying these things in Switzerland as part of their ongoing studies. I doubt a foreigner with low German reading and writing skills is of much interest unless they are incredibly specialized to the point of being a leader in their field.

You also do not mention your age and experience with working in that field after you completed your studies.
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Old 10.03.2019, 12:04
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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a leader in their field.
I just think it's necessary to quickly point out that wildlife biologists, contrary to stereotypes, do not always work in a field.

They can also be found in forests, on mountain sides, or wading in rivers.

It's a common misconception.
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Old 10.03.2019, 12:17
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Incredibly helpful information
Thank you! I'd not heard of BNF, exactly the kind of insight I needed! Very helpful.

Additionally, I'm aware that I'm very niche. More so than the average wildlife biologist, also, as I have specialised only in birds and within that taxon only in raptorial birds. Sadly, I've also been working as a zoo keeper (exotic birds) for the last 3 years and doing short temp roles in ecology (e.g. 2 weeks winter roost monitoring) or volunteering on various projects on the side (e.g. bird ringing in Thailand). I am looking at zoo work too, but the Swiss requirements for zoo keeping seem beyond my reach at the moment. I'm 26, if age matters.
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Old 08.04.2019, 15:11
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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BNF is a governmental organization that helps academics find project work in CH. This is the current list of projects:

http://www.bnf.unibe.ch/unibe/portal...-33-41_ger.pdf

- Normally, the BNF applicant needs to be registered with RAV as RAV/Kasse bears the cost of employment.[/URL]
Update: Despite being registered with RAV, I'm not eligible to be involved in this. I'm not sure why, as my RAV advisor has poor English. I brought the BNF up at our meeting he said it was a good idea but I'm not eligible. I was also emailing BNF directly - they called my RAV advisor and emailed me to say I can't be involved, but did not explain why (even when asked directly). If anyone would know why, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts and it might also be helpful to anyone else in my position looking at BNF.
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Old 08.04.2019, 16:11
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

Looking at the BNF site, it looks to be aimed at Swiss graduates -the universities here have the problem that they produce too many graduates in some areas as the course intake numbers are not related to the job market.
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Old 08.04.2019, 16:56
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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My background is in avian biology, with a BSc Zoology and a MSc (Biodiversity & Conservation). I only speak English, but I've been putting effort into learning German. I moved here with the plan to pursue a PhD, but I feel my partner needs more financial support as his IT salary isn't quite supporting the two of us.
Go for a PhD you'll get paid not much but enough to live and that should help.

Otherwise write to them they might be able to suggest something maybe you could volunteer to research and something will crop up from there: https://www.vogelwarte.ch/de/vogelwa...arbeit/thesis/
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Old 08.04.2019, 17:10
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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the universities here have the problem that they produce too many graduates in some areas as the course intake numbers are not related to the job market.
What a weird idea to let students choose their field based on their interests!

I think universities should just be open about the job outlook. I know that mine told the architects on their first day that more than half of the ones who manage to graduate wont find a job.

Personally do I know a whole bunch of marine biologists as many seem to end up working on the touristic dive boats I spend my vacations on. Not sure what their land based counterparts do...
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Old 08.04.2019, 17:25
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Useful advice!
Thanks Tobias! I've applied for a PhD and am still looking for others to apply to. It's just as difficult to get a PhD as a job, so, I'm considering both and applying for both.

I actually emailed a few people who work at vogelwarte, with no luck. I asked relevant people about PhDs, field assistant positions, volunteering, networking, everything under the sun. I got very little out of them - I got two replies, one from a retired individual apologising for not being able to help and another saying to check the website for job/PhD adverts.

I also didn't realise BNF was aimed only at Swiss grads. I was looking at the English version of the website and I've realised now that the English versions often don't include all the information that would be on the German site, so I likely missed something there.
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Old 09.04.2019, 10:24
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

Without German, i don't think you'll go far, so perhaps prioritize that, PhD won't help in my opinion get you in job here in CH in that field IMO.


HOWEVER, outside that statement,have you looked to see if there are Conservation Enforcement jobs are here? (Are you interested in Law Enforcement from Environmental perpective?).


Where I lived by in the US, we had state-level Departments of Environmental Conservation, which had Cops, I was a friends with a few of them and they patrolled the State Parks. They had State Police powers and status. We also had Town level ranges (kinda like District level here in CH). Many had Biology/Wildlife Bio degrees.


Friend of my had a Wildlife Biology degree - he became a Cop first, in local law enforcement, then became State Park Ranger responsible for Wildlife management, enforcement, conservation etc. (COP Powers, i.e. gun, badge, full police powers). He was also a hunter /and fisherman as a kid, me and him went deer hunting and fishing together, so he was tuned into the environment from a different angle as well.


So see if CH has this type of jobs if this is something you could be interested in. Just another direction to consider.
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Old 09.04.2019, 18:12
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Without German, i don't think you'll go far, so perhaps prioritize that, PhD won't help in my opinion get you in job here in CH in that field IMO.

HOWEVER, outside that statement,have you looked to see if there are Conservation Enforcement jobs are here? (Are you interested in Law Enforcement from Environmental perpective?).
Thanks for the advice! Any reason why you don't think a PhD would help?

I'd be interested in being a wildlife enforcement officer, certainly. I have hunting experience too, but in Ireland and it's very different here in CH so I imagine all my experience on that front is forfeit. I asked a few Swiss people today about this and they didn't seem to think a role like a wildlife enforcement officer exists. I'm probably missing it in my Google searches as well due to my poor German and the uselessness of Google translate.

So;

If anyone knows anything about wildlife law and the those who enforce it here in CH, I'd be interested to hear from you!!
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Old 09.04.2019, 19:32
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

I think a Wildhüter might be close to a wildlife enforcement officer - but hopefully those who know more about the profession(s) will chime in soon.

In the meantime, see the Wildhüter Association, here:
http://www.wildhueterverband.ch/startseite.html





(The few biologists I know here long ago sold their souls to the devil and now work in finance. Not what you want to hear I know...)
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Old 09.04.2019, 20:10
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Good advice apart from the soul-selling
Thank you! I'd certainly be qualified to work as a game keeper in Ireland, but it seems I'd need to take a course to become a Wildhüter and get a certain proficiency license. I imagine these are conducted in German and cost 3 kidneys and a liver. I'll look into it!

***

Including links to "green jobs" in CH, hopefully this will help other sad biologists :'(

www.oebu.ch
www.academics.ch
www.career.ethz.ch
www.eawag.ch
www.empa.ch
www.epa.admin.ch
www.epfl.ch
www.ethrat.ch
www.greenpeace.ch
www.jobs.uzh.ch
www.kampajobs.ch
www.naturschutz.ch
www.pronatura.ch
www.sanu.ch
www.spendenplattform.ch
www.stellenmarkt.unr.ch
www.swisstph.ch
www.umweltprofis-jobs.ch
www.wsl.ch
www.wwf.ch
www.zhaw.ch
www.swiss-rangers.ch

*cries*
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Old 09.04.2019, 20:37
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

I worked previously in the plant biology department at the university of geneva and they have some outstations doing wildlife/preservation/cataloguing work, so this does exist. However it seemed like all the workers were PhD students.


Once in a while the news always reports statistics of these plants or the number of wolves and so forth so I think you will be able to find one that interests you soon enough.


Perhaps try visiting the sanctuaries/botanical gardens etc and network. Can improve your swiss german at the same time!
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Old 09.04.2019, 20:38
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

PS thanks to the person who brought up the succulent garden! Next time im in zurich im heading there!!
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Old 09.04.2019, 20:46
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Could anyone give me any insights into the prospects for getting a job in wildlife biology/ecology/conservation biology here in the canton of Zurich? Or neighbouring cantons which are easily accessible? What is the climate/demand for these jobs in Switzerland?
Did you ask the career advice center of Zürich city ("Laufbahnzentrum", the contact formula is on the bottom of the page, unfortunately only in German)? They should be able to help you with advice on what kind of occupations/fields work with your kind of education or what kind of additional diploma might be necessary. A personal interview will probably cost you something around 50 CHF.
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Old 09.04.2019, 21:28
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Great tips
Thank you for the insight! I've seen a few field assistant roles from universities, but yes most of it seems to be PhD student slave labour. There's plenty going on here in Switzerland research-wise that I'm interested in, I just can't seem to get in touch with anyone in a meaningful way!

I spend most of my time going to sanctuaries etc to network and look for volunteer work. Chatting to people is great! It's been fun, but I found most people I spoke to are volunteers who don't actually know too much about what's going on at the garden/etc.

Speaking of volunteering: Why won't anyone let me sweep floors ?? :'( it's depressing when you get rejected for volunteer roles.... I did get a volunteer role at one sanctuary, after being rejected for a job there.... Now I do all the work advertised in the job for free!! lolihatemylife:_:

PS that succulent garden is amazing!!! Been there, done that, bought the Pachyphytum
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Old 09.04.2019, 21:30
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

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Did you ask the career advice center of Zürich city ("Laufbahnzentrum"?
No! I didn't know about this at all! I'm all over this, great advice!
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Old 11.04.2019, 15:00
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Re: Wildlife Biologist wants to know - are there jobs?

Update re; Laufbahnzentrum

Wanted to update the thread with my experience here. I went for a free 15min chat during the opening hours dedicated to migrants (14:00 - 16:00 Mon-Fri). The gentleman I spoke to (in English) was helpful in explaining that Laufbahnzentrum is for young people trying to decide what to do with their lives, entering the workforce for the first time and those who don't wish to continue to university.

As such, he wasn't sure how to help me. He instead recommended I get in touch with "biz Oerlikon" Dorflistrasse 120, 8050 Zurich. This is the only place in the Canton geared towards helping academics and graduates specifically. I've not been here yet, so will update again once I have.
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