Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
More discoveries. NEW: Zeiss Victory SF 32

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Making Birding a Career!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 20:09   #1
nightheron28
Exterminate! Exterminate! Exxxtttteeeerrrrmmmiinate !!
 
nightheron28's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 277
Making Birding a Career!

Hello everyone! Not sure if this is the right place for this but I am in need of some serious advice!

Right now I am a Graphic Designer of sorts (unemployed) and really not liking my chosen career path, while it can be rewarding at time most of the time it seems frustrating as hell!

I was wondering if there might be a career for me in Birding. I have loved (obsessed over) birds since I was 12 and I am now 29. I have been birding heavily in that time. I am not the greatest birder in the world but I am able to identify about 75% of the birds I see without having to turn to my guide (sight and sound) for help. I do have a lot of short comings in that I am not the brightest person in the world, but I just have this absolute passion for birding. I have about a 118 IQ. My biggest talent is in Art I am a huge Nature artist and able to draw and sometimes paint in Watercolor Flora and Fauna with great accuracy and detail.

I currently reside in Canton Michigan, USA.

Should I stick with the Design career or try to make a go of it with a Birding Career? Thanks for any replies!
nightheron28 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 20:39   #2
tomjenner
Forum Member
 
tomjenner's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hangzhou, China
Posts: 1,233
There is no doubt that a career in birding is an exciting prospect for anyone with an interest in the field. However, that is exactly the problem: there are so many birders who want to leave their boring jobs and do their hobby for a living, that there is a lot of competition. You need a lot of skills and experience to be able make a pretty small salary. Your best option would be if you were able to use your skills in art and design in some way, or have other skills that the rest of the birding population don't have.
I worked professionally as an ornithologist briefly in the past, earning a small wage and on short-term contracts. Don't get me wrong, it was great fun, but in the end it was not what I had always imagined it to be. I have many friends who have wonderful and exciting bird related jobs, so don't rule it out altogether, but be aware of the difficulties involved.

Tom
tomjenner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 05:34   #3
very boring banned member

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjenner
Your best option would be if you were able to use your skills in art and design in some way
And today that means that You can do the Corel or some other fancy software. Forget about pencil and brush.

I work in local nature protection. Sounds great? Reality = meetings, bureaucracy & deadlines. Glad to have birding as a hobby where I can relax & forget all that
very boring banned member is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 08:55   #4
tom mckinney
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 2,953
Hi Nightheron,

How about combining a career as both a birder and graphic designer? Surely birding magazines, organisations, tour companies, optical retailers, specialist bird book publishers etc... all require someone with your skills???

Best of luck, Tom.
tom mckinney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 10:47   #5
Beverlybaynes
Mod Squad

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NE Indiana, USA
Posts: 2,961
I'd take a look at what Cornell University has to offer. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology is one of the finest institutions around, and a course of study there might help you decide -- and since your home is in Michigan and not New York, check out their home study course. You can find ads for it in any good birding magazine.

Might be a way to investigate without moving or spending loads of money (although it ain't cheap!).

It seems that many ornithologists spend their careers either in research or in teaching -- does that appeal to you?

I think Tom McKinney may be on the right track -- a combination of your talents and interests. Maybe you're a new Sibley in the making?
__________________
beverlybaynes

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
--Langston Hughes
Beverlybaynes is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 11:14   #6
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Very difficult
I tried it here working for conservation organisations and it was hard. Contract work, not brilliant pay and poor conditions of service re pensions etc.

I now do a lot voluntarily and enjoy that immensely. Teaching gives you a 1/4 of the year off to go birding, pension, safe job and good conditions - a compromise?
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 11:17   #7
Steve G
RAINBIRDER
 
Steve G's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: FIFE, SCOTLAND
Posts: 13,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
......... Teaching gives you a 1/4 of the year off to go birding, pension, safe job and good conditions - a compromise?
Wooow Tim, steady man .......... you sound like you like the job!
Steve G is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 11:21   #8
very boring banned member

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 0
I used to be a biology/geography teacher in environmental highschool. The best job I had this far.
very boring banned member is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 12:32   #9
tomjenner
Forum Member
 
tomjenner's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hangzhou, China
Posts: 1,233
Teaching can be a great job if you get the right place. I currently teach in the British school in El Salvador. I'm on a British wage in a cheap country, teaching fabulous students, and as Tim says, I have 3 months per year to travel to interesting places. After trying for a career in ornithology, with a PhD, ringing (banding) licence and a lifetime of field experience, I went into teaching and I have loved every minute of it. I'm getting the chance to do more birding than I ever did before, and because of where I am based, I can also do lots of original research. Personally, I have found it a more rewarding career than being an ornithologist.
Tom
tomjenner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 16:40   #10
nightheron28
Exterminate! Exterminate! Exxxtttteeeerrrrmmmiinate !!
 
nightheron28's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 277
When we say low salary, what are we talkin here?

The reason I ask is because I already make a pretty low salary I mean if Im lucky I am making $30kUSD a year but usually it is more like $25kUSD per year.

Thanks for all the input keep it coming.
nightheron28 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 17:15   #11
tomjenner
Forum Member
 
tomjenner's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hangzhou, China
Posts: 1,233
Professional ornithologists drool at the thought of fat cat salaries like that.
Tom
tomjenner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 21:46   #12
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
very true Brian

I have worked in two of the less salubrious schools in Norfolk, shall we say.

I also taught abroad for a few years, including 2 in Indonesia in a language school. This gave ample time for a lot of tropical birding in some wonderful places.....
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 4th June 2004, 08:35   #13
Szabo Jozsef
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Transylvania
Posts: 146
I used to be Importan Birda Area (IBA) Conservation Officer - sounds great isn't it? but I can confirm Karwin's findings = "meetings, bureaucracy & deadlines" so I would say keep birdwtaching as a hobby
Szabo Jozsef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Quick Birding in Tokyo Charles Harper Japan 17 Tuesday 2nd August 2011 13:59
How much birding do you do? birdman Birds & Birding 79 Tuesday 29th August 2006 13:13
What started you birding. Reader Birds & Birding 96 Sunday 12th September 2004 07:55
birding trips abroad jdbirdman Birds & Birding 5 Sunday 18th May 2003 12:23
N. American Birding Festivals/Events Cindy M Birds & Birding 3 Wednesday 30th April 2003 04:52

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.25701189 seconds with 25 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 13:02.