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How do I Enter the Field?

If you are interested in working in this field, we recommend that you visit one or more wildlife rehabilitators or rehabilitation centers. Make an appointment and have someone show you around. Ask questions. If you are really interested, ask if you can volunteer a few hours a week to work with them. This way, you can see first-hand what wildlife rehabilitation is all about. For more information on volunteering, click here.

Start reading, beginning with these three books: Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation, Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, and NWRA Quick Reference.

Can I learn on my own?

Yes. Wildlife rehabilitators learn on their own through classes, seminars, conferences, books, journals, working with others, and networking with other experienced rehabilitators and professionals in related fields. Each individual must seek out information needed to round out their education and training. Consult with wildlife rehabilitators, biologists, and veterinarians. Join various organizations and networks for wildlife rehabilitators. A list of U.S. Rehabilitation Associations & Canadian Provincial Rehabilitation Associations is available here. Keep in mind that some states require structured classes and/or hands-on-training before a permit can be issued. Click here for more information about the next NWRA Symposium.

Contact your state wildlife agency to find the office that governs wildlife rehabilitation activities and ask them to provide information on permit requirements, training, and rehabilitators in your area that you can contact.

How do I get beneficial experience?

Volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility or with an individual licensed rehabilitator is the best way to obtain experience. Consider a seasonal position if available. If appropriate to your college curriculum, arrange for an internship, externship, or cooperative placement. Training opportunities are available all over the continent, including volunteer positions, paid and unpaid internships, and seasonal positions. Other opportunities in wildlife rehabilitation can be found by clicking here.

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