U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Work for Wildlife

Do you have a passion for environmental conservation? Do you have a degree in the field of biology focusing on wildlife

management, fisheries or ecology?

We’re looking for recent graduates to join our team of biologists!


Olivia Baez, a biologist with the Migratory Bird Program, releases a newly-banded Tricolored blackbird.

Photo: Michael Long/USFWS


Working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is more than a career; it’s a mission — one shared by more than 8,500 men and women representing a diverse range of professions, backgrounds and

specialties who are dedicated to conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is an equal opportunity employer. We value and welcome talents from all ethnic backgrounds, religions, sex, disability, age or other non-merit factor.

Open Positions

More than 40 positions will be filled at multiple duty locations across the Pacific West Coast and the Pacific Islands. The application period is anticipated to open on May 17, 2018 and close May 31, 2018.


Fish and Wildlife Biologist (Ecological Services) GS-0401-7/9

As a fish and wildlife biologist, you’ll focus on endangered species and work closely with other groups (federal, state, tribal, commercial industry, surrounding landowners, etc.) to conduct environmental impact assessments, process permits, develop fish and wildlife management plans, and ensure the preservation, protection and enhancement of native fish and wildlife and their habitats.


Job Announcement # R8-18-10201322-KL-DE (duty locations in CA and NV)

Job Announcement # R1-18-10200956-RR-DE (duty locations in HI, ID, OR, WA and Guam)


Fish Biologist (Fish and Aquatic Conservation) GS-0482-7/9

As a fish biologist, you’ll work at a fish hatchery or in the field to develop hatchery or fishery management plans for species needing conservation; conduct ecological studies on factors such as population distribution, abundance and survival rates to understand the current situation; and develop recommendations for restoration and management. You’ll handle fish, large amounts of data, apply biometric principles, report on progress and formulate recommendations that guide future programs and influence improvements in hatchery or management of fish health practices.


Job Announcement # R8-18-10201635-KL-DE (locations in CA and NV)

Job Announcement # R1-18-10203041-RR-DE (locations in HI, ID, OR, WA and Guam)


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Fish biologist Roy Hicks is shown holding a Lahontan cutthroat trout at the Marble Bluff Fish Passage Facility.

Photo: Lisa Heki/USFWS

Wildlife biologist Karen Sinclair surveys for California brown pelicans in Oxnard, California. Photo: USFWS


How You Can Qualify

To qualify for a biologist position, you must have a Bachelor’s or higher degree in biological science, natural resource management, agriculture, chemistry, or a discipline closely related to fish and wildlife biology from an accredited college or university. If you do not have a Bachelor’s or higher degree, you may qualify with

a combination of experience and relevant education. To qualify for a fish biologist position you must have at least six semester hours in aquatic subjects and 12 semester hours in animal sciences.

Please refer to the Qualification section of the appropriate job announcement for additional qualification requirements for each grade level you wish to be considered. To qualify as a recent graduate, you

must have completed a qualifying degree within the previous two years or will have completed all requirements by June 30, 2018.

Note: At the GS-7/9 pay grade levels, you’ll perform the same kind of duties described above but under closer supervision. Training will be provided for progression towards the full performance level up to GS-11.

How to Apply

Create an account on USAJOBS.gov to apply. You must upload your resume and college transcripts. It is highly recommended that you use the resume builder in USAJOBS to create a standard federal resume. Use the job announcement number to locate the position(s) for which you want to apply.

Please be sure to read the job announcement in its entirety and include all necessary documents with your application.


The Service will host several webinars to provide additional information on the above opportunities and the federal hiring process. Your attendance is highly encouraged. To receive information on these webinars, please complete this electronic form. Additional tips for applying for a federal job can be found here.


  • Bill Johnson, Regional Workforce Recruiter, (916) 414-6630 or william_johnson@fws.gov (opportunities in CA and NV)
  • Brian Lawler, Regional Workforce Recruiter, (503) 736-4789 or brian_lawler@fws.gov (opportunities in HI, ID, OR, WA and Guam)


These tips were developed to guide applicants on how to showcase work related skills, education and talents in their application materials. Please note this information does not guarantee a position with the federal government.


For an instructional YouTube video on Resume Writing for Federal Employment, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX7o1PBoFk.

  • This video provides tips on tailoring your resume for federal employment and what information should be on your resume as you apply for specific


For a list of current job openings with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, please visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/

  • You can search this website using keywords, Department name and desired
    • Once you create or update your account, you can set up a job alert (saved searches) to be notified when any jobs open that meet your qualifications and




  1. Ensure all application materials are uploaded:

USAJOBS typically prompts you to include complete documents during the application process. As you upload documents, you should check to confirm the documents are current for the position for which you are applying.


2.  Self-Assessments:

When completing the assessment questionnaire for your application, make sure you are accurate with your experience and provide dates relating to required skills found in your resume. This will give Human Resources (HR) professionals an accurate assessment of your experience for the position. Bear in mind that the information you provide will be validated against your resume.


3.  Meet Deadlines:

Vacancy announcements indicate when the vacancy closes. Once the deadline is reached, no additional information can be added to an existing application package.


Announcements posted on USAJOBS expire at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) on the published closing date. Applying earlier, rather than later, allows more time to make change before the closing deadline.




  1. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. We highly recommend using the USAJOBS Resume Builder to capture your


  1. Provide enough detail in your resume regarding the work you have done that meets the specialized experience requirement listed in the job announcement (this can include volunteer and internship work). A federal resume generally contains more detailed information than a private sector resume. For example, if a position requires specialized skill in budget formulation, executing spend plans, and executing contracts, a successful applicant will have addressed those specific elements in their resume. An HR professional cannot infer that a person is qualified because they say they held a job in a specific position in the By law, the HR professional must be


able to identify specifically in the resume where an applicant has the specialized experience required of the position. Unfortunately, insufficient detail in a resume is a common cause for applicants to be deemed not qualified.


  1. The OPM website has the qualification requirements referred to as qualification standards for all positions in the federal sector. Prior to starting the application process, it is recommended you take time to review the standards which will help you highlight your qualifications. Please list specific degrees, certificates, classes or trainings you have completed that show you are qualified.




  1. Submit copies of your transcripts every time you apply for a position, even if you are currently employed by that agency. An applicant may have several degrees; submit all the transcripts for the course work.


  1. Submit course descriptions from the academic institution on any course that is not readily recognizable that you believe meets the education requirements for the position for which you are applying. If you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the academic professor or from your school stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Do not submit the entire catalog, only the specific page or pages.

Note: There are some positions where specific education requirements must be met (ex: credits in wildlife courses). If your transcripts do not clearly indicate a course that recognizably meets these education requirements, you may want to consider adding the course description from the course catalog/offerings from your academic institution that describes what was covered in the course.


For those situations where an applicant competed degree work and a course description is unavailable, obtain a written letter from the instructor/professor/teacher indicating what the course work covered and submit this with your transcripts.


  1. Official transcripts will be required for the record if selected for a position and must be provided prior to a start date. Obtain the information on how to request official transcripts from your academic institution(s).






While these tips will not guarantee a job with the federal workforce, they should assist you when applying for a position. We encourage you to apply for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service positions as our employees have a great work-life balance, work for a good cause, often get outside for their work, and get to know wildlife hands-on. Most importantly, our agency is a great place to work with like-minded people who share a passion for conservation!