Career as a Habitat Designer
Do you want to work as a Habitat Designer?
Follow the 6 points below and join the Group where you will learn everything about the career, while chatting with other potential designers and experts from around the world.
Prepare to be amazed!
1. WHAT IS A habitat designer?
Habitat designers are responsible for designing enclosures or exhibits where wild animals are the key focus as entertainment, education or conservation (zoos, petting zoos, museums, sanctuaries and theme parks).
Also known as:
What are they NOT:
A habitat designer is not the same career as an aquarium designer, or as an enclosure designer. Aquarium designers build aquariums, small or large, for fresh or salt water fish. Enclosure designers may design and build different enclosures (such as terrariums, play pens etc) for animals that are mainly kept as pets or business. Another difference is that habitat designers normally need a college or University degree, where enclosure designers can work with only a High School certificate and mentorship. Aquarium designer and enclosure designer as careers are discussed separately on this website.
2. WHAT DO THEY DO?
Art & Design
Most zoos and parks where animals are kept in constructed enclosures have to focus on several factors when housing animals, including animal behaviour, safety, comfort, conservation, breeding, rehabilitation, as well as visitor experience. Habitat Designers therefore need to focus on ensuring that the habitat provides an enriched artificial zone (including feeding areas, plants, enrichment spots and access points) that mimics the natural environment as closely as possible.
Where they work:
Habitat designers work equal parts outside and indoors. They also need to spend some time in the field to understand and learn more about the natural environment certain animals life in, so that it will reflect in the designed habitat.
Places of Employment -
Habitat designers may work for large firms that specialize in architectural designing; be permanently employed by zoos, aquariums, marine parks, animal parks, theme parks, museums, and wildlife conservation centers; or freelance on contract.
The average annual income is around $63,000 per year, or $30 per hour.
A career in design and construction always includes long hours and tight deadlines. Habitat Designers might need to oversee the entire project, making sure everything runs smoothly, and being versatile when things go wrong. They might also be required to travel long distances and work in adverse weather conditions to finalize contracts.
Future growth and Possibilities:
With growing public interest in seeing zoo animals housed in natural looking and well-designed exhibits, the prospects should be good for those entering the zoo design niche of the landscape design market.
3. WHICH SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
The skills required for a career as a habitat designer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
4. WHICH SUBJECTS MUST I HAVE AT SCHOOL?
These subjects are recommended:
These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it's also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
5. WHAT WILL I NEED TO STUDY?
Most Habitat Designers hold a Bachelor's Degree in architecture, environmental planning and design, or landscaping, with extensive knowledge in animal behaviour and computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Focus on design, together with subjects in IT, zoology and conservation, as well as Short Courses that deal with each of the focus points.
The duration of most Bachelor's Degrees is 3 years. Short Courses might be between a few weeks to a few months.
Possible Career Preparation Paths:
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it's important to plan the way forward. Why is planning important? To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
High School + experience while still in school + Bachelor's Degree + Additional Courses
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