Trainee rangers
Image: Jimmy Johnson | DOC


Learn about some of the qualifications and activities that can help you get a job at DOC.

Tertiary qualifications

Different roles require different qualifications. Examples of relevant degree qualifications include:

  • BSc in Zoology, Botany, Ecology, or Geography
  • Bachelor of Environmental Management
  • Parks and Recreation Major for Bachelor's degree (Lincoln University)
  • Diploma in Wildlife Management (University of Otago)
  • Bachelor of Business Studies
  • New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Toi Ohomai Polytechnic).

NZ Certificate in Conservation (Operations) (Level 4)

This qualification is offered by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Toi Ohomai in the Bay of Plenty, and Northtec in Northland.

The NMIT programme is called Trainee Ranger Kaitiaki Whenua. With the full support of DOC it's designed to produce graduates with the skills and training to move into trainee or ranger positions with DOC or other conservation agencies. Graduates of this programme can apply for a limited number of trainee ranger vacancies with DOC each year.

Applicants for the Level 4 qualification are expected to have a current driver’s licence, satisfactory grades at NCEA level 2 or equivalent and a demonstrated interest in the outdoors and conservation.

Trainee Ranger Kaitiaki Whenua – NMIT

NZ Certification in Conservation – Toi Ohomai

NZ Certificate in Conservation – Northtec

Applied conservation

Advanced conservation studies are offered in partnership with DOC at the Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT). The institute provides opportunities to study and conduct research in:

  • geographic information systems (GIS)
  • conservation in marine ecosystems
  • ecological restoration of island ecosystems
  • conservation of reptiles
  • socio-ecological systems.

Applied Ecology New Zealand - AUT

DOC courses

Learn more about conservation with:


Volunteer to try different activities and build your skills and experience.

Fitness and outdoors experience

You’ll need to be physically fit if the role you’re interested in is field-based. Experience in the outdoors, through pursuits such as tramping, climbing or hunting, is desirable.

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