Are you interested in working with native species as a wildlife rehabilitator? The best way to get your foot in the door for a career in this field is to participate in internships. Here are fifteen of our favorite wildlife rehabilitation internships (listed alphabetically):
Alabama Wildlife Center Internship
Alabama Wildlife Center, the state’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation facility, offers several paid internships in wildlife rehab. The facility receives more than 2,000 native birds (representing over 100 species) each year. Most internship opportunities require a three to six month commitment. Housing is not available, but a stipend of $1,280 per month is offered as compensation. Interns are also able to attend workshops and training events offered by AWC at no additional charge when time permits, and they also receive an Oak Mountain State Park entry gate pass.
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Internship
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (in Green Bay, Wisconsin) offers animal care/rehabilitation internships for college juniors, seniors, or recent graduates. The facility admits more than 5,000 animals each year. The internship begins in May and runs for 14 weeks. A stipend of $2,240 is offered and college credit can be arranged. Applications open in January and close in March.
Conservancy of Southwest Florida Internship
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida (in Naples) offers internships at its Von Arx Wildlife Hospital. There are five positions available on a rotating basis. Applicants must be at least college seniors, and college graduates with a Bachelor’s degree are preferred. A six month minimum commitment is required, with nine months preferred. Interns receive a weekly stipend of $150, housing that includes laundry facilities, and accident insurance.
Critter Care Wildlife Society Internship
Critter Care Wildlife Society (in British Columbia, Canada) does offer internships year-round, but they note their summer internships are extremely popular and competitive. Most run from April/May until the end of July (or later). This is the season where they receive a large number of babies, which make up abut 80 percent of the rehabilitation work. Critter Care works exclusively with North American mammal populations. Preference is given to those who commit to two months or longer. There is no stipend, but the facility does provide housing and most food.
New Mexico Wildlife Center Internship
The New Mexico Wildlife Center (north of Santa Fe) offers wildlife rehabilitation internships that focus primarily on avian work. The hospital receives more than 1,000 patients each year. Applicants must be enrolled in a two or four year college degree program and have an interest in wildlife care, veterinary medicine, or a related area. Most internships run from June to August (10 weeks). A stipend of $1,000 is available and housing is provided.
North Carolina Zoo Internship
North Carolina Zoo (in Asheboro) accepts interns to work at its Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Unpaid internships are offered in 10 week sessions (spring-summer-fall), and housing is available at a fee. Paid internships run for a full year beginning in May, with 40 hour work weeks (the exact payment amount was not listed on the site). Housing is provided to paid interns. All interns receive a certificate from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s Practicum Accreditation Program upon successful completion of their internship.
Northwoods Wildlife Center Internship
Northwoods Wildlife Center (in Minocqua, Wisconsin) offers a wildlife education and rehabilitation internship. There are four spring positions, eight summer positions, and four fall positions available each year. Interns are compensated with a $75 per week stipend and on-site housing.
Pacific Wildlife Care Internship
Pacific Wildlife Care (in Morro Bay, California) offers a wildlife rehabilitation internship program that gives interns the chance to work with more than 2,000 animals each year including songbirds, pelicans, coyotes, and more. Interns must commit to a minimum of 10 weeks, which can be scheduled any time between early April and late October. Housing is not provided, but interns receive a $1,000 stipend upon completion of the internship.
PAWS (in Lynnwood, Washington) offers wildlife rehabilitation internships working with more than 2,500 admitted animals each year. Internships are available year round. Summer interns (May to August) may have the opportunity to focus on avian rehabilitation by working in the Baby Bird Nursery. Internships also include a variety of continuing education classes on topics such as wound care, radiology, and wildlife ethics. Interns must commit to at least 12 weeks of work. No housing or stipend is available.
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station Internship
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station (in Miami, Florida) offers both full and part time animal care internships. PHSS cares for a large number of brown pelicans but also treats a wide variety of native Florida species. Animal care internships are available to college students or recent graduates and last for approximately 4 months (January-May, May-August, August-December). The internships are unpaid but may include housing.
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center Internship
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center (in Arlington, Washington) offers an introductory wildlife rehabilitation internship. Interns must commit to a 12 week session. Applicants with at least two years of college under their belt are preferred. Internships are unpaid but accrued hours can be documented and applied to the hours required to acquire a Washington State Wildlife Rehabilitation license. On-site housing is provided for up to four interns.
Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center Internship
The Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (in Surf City, North Carolina) offers two internship programs: a junior program (two weeks, for high school students and recent graduates) and a senior program (twelve weeks from May to August, designed for college students). Interns assist with medical treatments and also perform beach work such as searching for nesting females. Internships are unpaid, but the twelve week college internship includes housing.
WildCare Oklahoma Internship
WildCare Oklahoma (in Noble, Oklahoma) offers the opportunity to work with more than 7,000 animals from 140 native species during the course of its wildlife internship. Songbirds, raptors, mammals, and reptiles are commonly handled as a part of this internship program. The facility can have as many as 900 patients to care for in a single day. WildCare’s full time paid internships can run from 10 weeks to nine months. The specific compensation amount was not listed.
Wildlife In Need Center Internship
The Wildlife In Need Center (in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) offers a variety of wildlife internships including a summer animal care internship. The summer program runs from May to August. Animal care interns focus on wildlife rehabilitation with native birds, mammals, and reptiles. A small stipend is available, but housing is not provided.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Internships
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (in Kendalia, Texas) offers internships and apprenticeships at its wildlife hospital facility in San Antonio. Interns have the opportunity to work with more than 5,000 patients as well as hundreds of permanent residents in an adjoining sanctuary. Summer internships are unpaid and housing is not provided. Those who complete the internship may use it as a stepping stone to apply for the Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Apprenticeship. Apprenticeship programs are 12 months in length and offer a monthly stipend as well as housing. Apprentices also receive a certificate of completion and a professional reference after their time at the facility.