Certification Programs

Laysan_albatross

Image Credit: USFWS

Supported by TWS Strategic Partner USDA Wildlife Services

 

 

 

 

Click here to download the instructions and application form.

A primary goal of The Wildlife Society is to support the development and advancement of wildlife professionals throughout their careers. Certification constitutes recognition by TWS that, to its best knowledge, an applicant meets the minimum educational, experience, and ethical standards adopted by the Society for professional wildlife biologists. Holding one of these certificates places you in a category distinct from other wildlife professionals due to the integrity of the organization and the high standards of the certification process.

Objectives

• To guide biologists, governmental agencies, courts, and the public in defining minimum standards of education and experience for professional wildlife biologists, and to encourage all practicing wildlife biologists to meet such standards.

• To create and maintain public confidence in the advice and opinions of Certified Wildlife Biologists as well-educated and experienced professionals who have pledged to uphold the Code of Ethics and the Standards for Professional Conduct of The Wildlife Society and to act in the best interest of wildlife resources and the public.

• To assist the public in evaluating wildlife biologists by establishing a procedure for critical peer evaluation based upon defined minimum educational, experience, and ethical requirements.

Registered Trademark

On March 13, 2008, the Trademark Office’s Principal Register officially approved The Wildlife Society’s Associate Wildlife Biologist (AWB) and Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB) for trademark registration.

The Wildlife Society is the only organization to provide the peer-reviewed wildlife biologist certification process that bestows the title of Associate Wildlife Biologist and Certified Wildlife Biologist.

This entitles all current AWBs and CWBs to place the trademark symbol ® after their certification title along with the certification logo. Example: John Smith, Certified Wildlife Biologist ®

Levels of Certification

Associate Wildlife Biologist
An applicant for professional certification who has limited experience but who has completed the rigorous academic standards and is judged to be able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner will be designated as an Associate Wildlife Biologist (AWB). After sufficient experience is gained, the AWB may apply for the more advanced level of certification. This certification is granted for 10 years and can not be renewed. The AWB can upgrade to Certified Wildlife Biologist during that time period if the individual gains the experience to meet the qualifications.

Certified Wildlife Biologist
A professional wildlife biologist is a person 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. An applicant for professional certification who demonstrates this expertise through education and experience, and is judged to be able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner, will be designated as a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB). For new applicants, the certification is granted for 5 years and may be renewed based on the requirements provided in the Certification Renewal/Professional Development Application.

New Application Fees

TWS members save more than 60% off the standard application fees.

 MemberNon-Member*
Certified Wildlife Biologist$155$525
Associate Wildlife Biologist$115$325
Associate Wildlife Biologist
(meeting fee incentive requirements)
$95$275

*If a non-member applies and is approved for certification, the applicant must become a TWS member for the certification to be valid.

AWB Fee Incentive Requirements:

To apply at the lower fee rate, applicants must meet one of the requirements listed below.

1. Application within six (6) months after graduation with (conferral of) a bachelor’s degree that fulfills the certification education requirements,

2. Application within six (6) months after the time the degree and certification education requirements have been completed, although the degree has not been conferred (a confirming letter is required from an appropriate academic official),

3. Application after the bachelor’s degree has been awarded but within six (6) months after specific course work requirements for Associate Wildlife Biologist certification have been completed,

4. Application during a period of continuous student status in pursuit of an advanced degree beyond a baccalaureate that fulfills the certification educational requirements, and/or

5. Application within six (6) months after graduation with the graduate degree or completion of the graduate degree program, although the degree has not been conferred (a confirming letter is required from an appropriate academic official).

Renewal Application Fees

Certified Wildlife Biologist
By renewing the 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.

Renewal Fees:  $25 members, $40 non-members*

*If a non-member renews and is approved for certification, the applicant must become a TWS member for the certification to be valid.

Click here to download the instructions and application form.