We’ve all heard about DOC... but what are they? Who are they? Can you really work for them? Well folks, read on!
By Pritha, September 2018
The Department of Conservation (DOC) works under the vision, "New Zealand is the greatest living space on Earth; Kāore he wāhi i tua atu i a Aotearoa, hei wahi noho i te ao”, which basically means they protect the beautiful environment of Aotearoa and make it more accessible to the public. If you’ve camped at a public campsite, seen endangered wildlife or been hiking, it’s likely you have DOC to thank for these experiences.
Why work with DOC?
Why the DOC not? While the roles offered within DOC are diverse, the main goal is protection. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be an eco-warrior? You could be tracking kiwis, showing visitors the hidden secrets of national parks, nursing baby tuatara, educating people about nature or preserving historical sites that tell the story of our country.
But wait, there’s more! As well as every day being different, DOC works tirelessly to create an inclusive, fun and motivating environment for their staff. Not only will they provide you with health insurance, flexible hours, various travel discounts and saving schemes- they also facilitate a range of clubs and groups to fuel your social scene. Whether you love poetry, netball, trivia or dragon boating, you can sleep easy knowing there’s something out there for you.
Pick me, pick me!
I know what you’re thinking. How do I launch this incredible sounding career? Since there’s not just one way to catapult yourself into the land of conservation, heading to university is a good start. Some of the degrees DOC recruiters look for are…
- BSc in Zoology, Botany, Ecology, or Geography
- Bachelor of Environmental Management
- Parks and Recreation Major for Bachelor's degree (Lincoln University, Canterbury)
- Diploma in Wildlife Management (Otago)
- Bachelor of Business Studies
- New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Toi Ohomai Polytechnic)
You can find out more about these degrees on university websites where there are plenty of people to help you navigate them!
As well as a base degree, DOC offers their own online training courses, and guess what? They’re free! This is an incredible way to dip your toe in the water of conversation and start your warrior training.
Start by volunteering perhaps
Another awesome way to experience a day in the life of a DOC extraordinaire is to volunteer. Volunteering is great because…
- It builds your skillset
- You can meet a huge range of exciting and interesting people
- Networking opportunities! Need I say more?
And, if it’s not enticing enough already, DOC loves to support students on their journey to the realm of the jobs. If you’re studying a degree relevant to conservation, DOC wants you! Summer internships are a staple of the Department and offer students the opportunity to work alongside real conservation teams to protect what matters most.
This is a fantastic experience and shows just how keen DOC are to support new conservationists.
Overall, working with DOC could be an amazing choice of career for you. We all know how important New Zealand’s beautiful environment is, and waking up each day knowing you’re out there looking after it sounds pretty great to me.
DOC is just waiting for your enthusiasm- so hurry up and get out there!