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)
  • Diploma in Wildlife Management (Otago)
  • Bachelor of Business Studies
  • New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Toi Ohomai Polytechnic).

New Zealand Certificate in Conservation (Operations) (Level 4)

The NMIT programme  is designed, with the full support of DOC, to produce graduates with the skills and training to move into trainee or ranger positions with DOC. It's called Trainee Ranger Kaitiaki Whenua.This qualification is offered by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and Toi Ohomai in the Bay of Plenty.

Graduates can apply for a limited number of Trainee Ranger vacancies with DOC each year.

Applicants 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 on NMIT website

Applied conservation

Advanced conservation studies are offered in partnership with DOC at the Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand (AENZ) 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 (AENZ) section of the AUT website

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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