Image Credit: USFWS

USDA Wildlife Services is
a Strategic Partner of TWS

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 300 Associate Wildlife Biologists® and 1,300 Certified Wildlife Biologists®.

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

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).

How to Apply

TWS membership is required to apply for certification and to retain valid certification. Before submitting an application, become a member of The Wildlife Society.

  1. Complete the appropriate application form (download forms below).
  2. Submit the application to certification@wildlife.org.
  3. Submit transcripts and other supporting materials, if applicable. Materials need to be submitted via email.
  4. Submit application payment via the online payment form that will be emailed to you upon application submission (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.


Submit all applications to certification@wildlife.org.  Applications will be processed once all materials – including the application form, transcripts (if required), supporting documents, and payment – have been received. 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 submits their application to certification@wildlife.org, they will be emailed a credit card payment form that must be completed before the application can be processed.

  • 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.

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.