Interpretation Officer

Job Opportunities As An Interpretation Officer -
Many government and non-government organisations employ staff as Interpretation Officers. This is a great job for anyone who enjoys talking to people and educating both children and adults about the natural world. Interpretation Officers are chiefly employed to educate customers or visitors about the features of a particular place.

Where Could you Work?
  • Zoos/Wildlife Parks
  • Islands
  • National Parks and Reserves
  • Resorts
  • Ecotourism Tour Guide Operations including:
    • Reef Tours
    • Farm Tours
    • Wilderness Tours

Remuneration and Advancement

Remuneration as Interpretation Officer can vary but most full-time positions earn an average salary.  Pay is usually comparable between Government and Private employers.  You may receive more benefits and flexibility working for a Government Organisation.  As you move further up the ladder in Interpretation, to planning and managing,  the salary becomes greater and well above the average income.


How to Distinguish Yourself and get the Work

The best way to get a foot in the door and gain permanent employment in this industry is to offer your services as a volunteer with Wildlife Sanctuaries and Government Agencies.  Working as a volunteer can usually be flexible, depending on the time you have available to provide your services.  It also provides you with information about the organisation which you would otherwise not have access to and a better chance at getting a job if something does arise. 

Risks and Stress Rating

This usually is quite a low-moderate stress occupation.  Being outdoors is usually less stressful, however working with people can be stressful at times, depending on the intensity level of the tour, the number of people involved, if you are needing to work with an interpreter. 

Risk may be a factor when interpreting in natural areas and handling animals.  You should be aware of your physical and psychological abilities and limitations when applying for a position.



To work as a contractor in this field, you should consider personal indemnity insurance. A Professional Indemnity policy aims to shield the professional's assets in the event of a claim, therefore ensuring that he/she is able to carry on their business. Most of the roles mentioned above are not filled by contractors and are more commonly recruited as casual or permanent positions. To minimise risk of liability, you must investigate and learn about the legal and professional requirements for practicing in this field.

Recommended Courses/Career Pathways

Qualifications are always beneficial to job applications.  However they don't necessarily mean the candidate is the best person for the job.  ACS offers a range of courses to help you on your career pathway which not only give you the necessary qualifications but the practical knowledge you will require to do the successfully.


Certificate in Wildlife Management - ACS

This is a foundation entry-level course to develop skills that would be valued for working in wildlife parks, zoos, refuges or wilderness management. This course incorporates some key studies, which are in demand for employees in such establishments. Subjects include Environmental Assessment, Marine Studies, Ornithology, Wildlife Management, Vertebrate Zoology and Introduction to Ecology.


Advanced Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Recreation) - ACS

This course provides training for people to work in the management and development of recreation and park facilities and services. It is relevant to all types of situations including municipal parks, national parks, tourist parks, commercial landscapes, resorts, etc.


ACS’s Certificate in Horticulture (Nature Park Management) - ACS

A certificate for people working or intending to work in nature parks such as zoos, wildlife parks, national parks, forests and reserves. Six modules must be completed including Nature Park Management I and II.

Ecotourism courses
 - ACS

There are many Ecotourism courses available with ACS which can help direct you towards a career in Interpreration. 


 Some of ACS’s ecotourism courses may be used within a self designed certificate or diploma.