Land Acquisition Professionals
Education and Training Requirements
Many courses available to high school students can serve as a good preparation for a career as a land acquisition professional. Science courses from biology to ecology will help you understand the technical aspects of environmental concerns and appreciate the lands you'll be working with. Communication courses, such as English and speech, will help you negotiate with landowners, while business and math classes will prepare you for work with contracts and tax documents.
Good negotiating and deal-making skills are more important to an acquisitions professional than any specific schooling or work background. Land trust and preserve work in general draws people from all kinds of career areas, from city planning and land-use consulting to law and journalism. Real estate backgrounds are especially useful for people wishing to concentrate on the acquisitions side of land trust work.
Other Education or Training
The Land Trust Alliance offers continuing education opportunities at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference, as well as via webinars and symposia. The Nature Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, and other environmental organizations also provides classes, seminars, workshops, and webinars that educate people about wildlife and land conservation, land acquisition and management, and other important environmental issues.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There is no certification or licensing available for land acquisition professionals.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Any experience one can obtain in the field of land acquisition—such as an internship, volunteering, or a part-time job—will be useful for aspiring land acquisition professionals.
To be successful in this career, you need to be an excellent communicator. Land acquisition professionals need to be able to think on their feet, and have two or three alternative scenarios in mind when they meet to negotiate. Good listening skills, the ability to multitask, and strong organizational abilities are also key to success.