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©Emma Buckardt

Certification Programs

The Wildlife Society supports the development and advancement of wildlife professionals throughout their careers. Certification constitutes recognition by TWS that, to its best knowledge, a member meets the minimum educational, experience, and ethical standards adopted by the Society for professional wildlife biologists.

TWS’ membership currently consists of more than 400 Associate Wildlife Biologists®, 1,900 Certified Wildlife Biologists® and 32 Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologists.

TWS’ Certification Program is managed by Council via the Certification Review Board.

Search here for wildlife biologists who hold a certification or professional designation through The Wildlife Society, including Certified Wildlife Biologist® (CWB®), Associate Wildlife Biologist® (AWB®), and the designation of Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist (QAWB).

Appearing within the certification database indicates that an individual has met the required education and/or experience criteria set by The Wildlife Society, and that they have opted into having their name listed publicly on wildlife.org.

While The Wildlife Society has established rigorous standards for achieving certification, the database is not intended as an endorsement of any listed individual or intended to serve as a warranty to the quality of any work provided by that individual. Further, not appearing within the database does not indicate that an individual is not certified by The Wildlife Society or that they do not possess the requisite education or experience to achieve certification.

Levels of Certification

  • Associate Wildlife Biologist®

    An individual who has completed rigorous academic standards and is judged able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner will be designated as an Associate Wildlife Biologist®. The AWB® certification is granted for 10 years and cannot be renewed. An AWB® certified individual can upgrade to Certified Wildlife Biologist® during the 10 year time period once the necessary experience requirements are obtained.

  • Certified Wildlife Biologist®

    An individual with the educational background and demonstrated expertise in the art and science of applying the principles of ecology to the conservation and management of wildlife and its habitats, and is judged able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner, will be designated as a Certified Wildlife Biologist®. The CWB® certification is valid for 5 years and may be renewed (see below).

  • Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist

    Eligible Certified Wildlife Biologists® may add the Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist (QAWB) designation to their credentials. Applicants must meet the qualifications laid out in FAA’s Advisory Circular 150/5200-36B regarding education, training and an approved Wildlife Hazard Assessment.

    To obtain the QAWB designation through TWS, applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • Be approved by TWS as a Certified Wildlife Biologist®
    • Take and pass an airport wildlife hazard management training course acceptable to the FAA Administrator
    • Provide documentation of either:
      • Having conducted at least one Wildlife Hazard Assessment acceptable to the FAA Administrator
      • Having conducted at least one year of continual wildlife hazard monitoring at a certificated airport using FAA-approved methodology

    To maintain this designation, applicants will need to complete at least one of the following within five years of initial FAA-approved airport wildlife hazard management training course, and every five years after:

    FAA maintains a list of upcoming wildlife hazard training courses here.

    Note: QAWBs previously approved by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will be grandfathered into the TWS QAWB program but must continue to complete FAA-approved training courses and maintain membership in TWS to retain the designation.

    For questions about the QAWB designation or how to apply for QAWB status, contact Jennifer Murphy, Certification and Outreach Manager, at certification@wildlife.org.

  • How to Apply

    TWS membership is required to apply for certification, and to retain valid certification. If you are not yet a member, please become a member of The Wildlife Society as you will upload application materials through your member portal.

    1. Complete the appropriate application form (download forms below).
    2. Upload the application, transcript, and any supporting materials at https://wildlife.org/login and navigate to Your Account -> Certification
    3. Once your application has been uploaded, you will be prompted to pay the application fee by credit card (see Application Fees below).

    Applications are accepted on a continuing basis. Applicants should be notified of a final decision on their application within 6 months of all application materials and payment being received.

  • Applications

    Upload all application materials at https://wildlife.org/login and navigate to Your Account -> Certification. Once all materials (application, transcripts, supporting documents, etc.) have been uploaded, you will be prompted to pay the application fee. All applications need to be filled out using Adobe Reader software.

    Associate Wildlife Biologist® Application – This application is for individuals who have met the education requirements but have not yet obtained at least 5 years of professional-level wildlife experience in the previous 10 years.
    Certified Wildlife Biologist® Application – This application is for individuals who have met both the education and experience requirements, and have not previously been certified as either an Associate or Certified Wildlife Biologist®. If approved, CWB® certification must be renewed every 5 years to remain valid.
    Upgrade (AWB® to CWB®) Application – This application is for individuals who have previously been certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist® and have now acquired at least 5 years of professional-level experience to be qualified for the Certified Wildlife Biologist® designation.
    Associate Wildlife Biologist® Extension Application – This application is for individuals who have previously been certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist® and are seeking Certified Wildlife Biologist® designation, but do not yet have the full 5 years of professional-level experience necessary to submit an Upgrade application.

    *Please note: We are no longer accepting old AWB®/CWB®/Upgrade certification applications (those downloaded before July 1, 2016).

  • Application Fees

    Application fees can be submitted via credit card once an applicant uploads their completed application and supporting materials.

    • Associate Wildlife Biologist® Application:  $115 or $95*
    • Certified Wildlife Biologist® Application:  $155
    • Upgrade (AWB® to CWB®) Application:  $75
    • Associate Wildlife Biologist® Extension Application:  $25

    *Applicants meeting certain incentive criteria can pay a reduced AWB® application fee of $95.  See application for details.

  • Learn More

    Read the Wildlife Biologist Certification Program Policies and Procedures Manual.

    View our May 2020 webinar on TWS’ Certification Program.

    Check out our answers to some frequently asked questions.

    If you a still have some questions or need any assistance with your application, please contact certification@wildlife.org.

CWB® Renewal Application

CWB® renewal is required every five years for all CWBs® who were not grandfathered in under the certification requirements prior to 2000. If you have questions about your CWB® status, contact certification@wildlife.org or check your certification status by logging into your membership portal and navigating to “TWS Network Online Directory”.

In order to attain certification renewal, professionals must log 80 Continuing Education Units within five years that meet the requirements in one or more of the six professional activity categories. By renewing CWB® certification, professionals demonstrate their commitment to excellence through continued learning and professional development. Renewal encourages the maintenance and advancement of high technical and social skills needed by today’s wildlife professionals.

CWB® Renewal Fee: $25

Submit a CWB® Renewal application to certification@wildlife.org. Applications need to be filled out using Adobe Reader software.


©Marisa Armijo