Careers in the Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) sub-sector are expected to maintain stable growth from the 2017-24 forecast horizon.
This multi-disciplinary field is seeing a growing demand for employees with professional designations and graduate degrees to manage and protect marine resources and wildlife.
In 2015, the core workforce was comprised of 12,569 professionals. By 2024, the number is projected to increase to 14,864.
Let’s explore the skills required to work in the sub-sector as well as trends shaping the demand.
Employment and in-demand skills in the Fisheries and Wildlife sub-sector
Career paths in the Fisheries and Wildlife sub-sector are promising for recent graduates:
52% of employers filled one or more positions with recent graduates or students hired for internships.
A 2015 survey of FW employers suggests that 31% of them experienced an increase in environmental employment in the preceding twelve months. As for the 2016-18 period, 68% expect to keep hiring.
Professionals in this sub-sector require environmental skills and competencies in monitoring and field work, environmental impact assessment and site assessment, and writing and reporting. Employers are looking for core workers who can communicate and engage the public in understanding what’s happening with fisheries and wildlife in Canada.
Fisheries and Wildlife core workers perform activities in a broad range of occupations to solve problems, conduct research and manage and protect marine ecosystems. 62% per cent of the labour force in FW is employed in the managerial category and 35%, in scientific fields.
Trends that shape the demand for Fisheries and Wildlife core workers
Fisheries and Wildlife policies and regulations are the most important driver of employment.
Core workers in this sub-sector will continue to keep conducting environmental impact assessments for major projects, monitor wildlife and fisheries conditions and make recommendations to guide policy and regulation changes.
Some of the trends that are shaping the demand for professionals in FW include new technologies. Research methods use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remote sensing and remote imagery processing technology to collect data.
At the same time, GIS technology has become a pre-requisite for work.
The ghostly fish filmed in the Mariana Trench is a recent example that illustrates the importance of technology. CBC News reported that a Mariana snailfish was filmed at a depth of 8,178 metres in the Western Pacific Ocean.
This is the deepest fish ever recorded thanks to a high-resolution video camera attached to a robot designed to capture these kinds of images.
Another trend shaping the demand in this sub-sector is related to governments and industries. Both are looking to collaborate with First Nations communities to achieve common goals.
One of the major employers of FW professionals is the government and future funding for positions in the sub-sector may increase or decrease based on political changes.
Public awareness and climate change are also two aspects that focus on the impact of human activity on fisheries and wildlife resources. There’s a need for strategies and actions to protect marine species.
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Make sure to check back as we’ll be posting about other sub-sectors.