Land Trust or Preserve Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Recommended high school course work for those interested in scientific work includes biology, chemistry, and physics as well as botany and ecology. All potential land trust or preserve managers can benefit from courses in business, computer science, English, and speech.

Postsecondary Training

At the undergraduate level, you might get a natural science degree, such as zoology, biology, or botany. There has also been growing interest in degrees in conservation biology, which focuses on the conservation of specific plant and animal communities, from schools such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison ( Another key program is the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies ( at Yale University. Land and water conservation is a popular field, so if you are interested in the natural science areas, you are advised to earn at least a master's degree.

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 key environmental issues. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There is no certification or licensing available for land trust or preserve managers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience one can obtain in the field of land management—such as an internship, volunteering, or a part-time job—will be useful for aspiring land trust or preserve managers.

To be successful in this field, you must be hard working and dedicated to the field of land conservation. You must also be able to multitask, juggling several responsibilities in a reasonably organized fashion and have knowledge of land conservation options and techniques. Because you may be required to participate in fund-raising, loyalty to the organization, good people skills, the ability to speak and write clearly, and a good sense of humor are important assets to have in conservation.

Because land trusts tend to be entrepreneurial, you will also need to be skilled in business administration, finance, and law—especially if your duties involve running the financial end of the trust, raising funds, negotiating deals, and handling tax matters.