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Occupational Profile

Interpretive Naturalist

Interpretive naturalists explain the natural and scientific features of parks, botanical gardens and wilderness areas to visitors.

Also Known As

Guide, Interpreter, Natural Interpreter, Naturalist, Program Leader, Recreation Guide

Employment and Advancement

Occupational outlook is currently unavailable. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Interpretive naturalists may be employed full time, part time or on a contract basis by:

  • national or provincial park services
  • urban or rural nature centres
  • science or ecology interpretive centres
  • wildlife or bird sanctuaries
  • zoos
  • botanical gardens
  • private ecotour operators.

Many positions are seasonal. Temporary positions are excellent entry level opportunities for gaining experience. Competition for permanent positions is keen so related work experience (as an employee or volunteer) is essential.

Experienced interpretive naturalists may move into:

  • supervisory or management positions such as program co-ordinator or district interpretation or education supervisor
  • administrative positions
  • related fields such as commercial or tour company guiding, public relations, marketing or education.

In some organizations, advancement to supervisory and management positions requires a graduate degree and years of related experience.

Interpretive naturalists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2121: Biologists and Related Scientists. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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