How to Become an Aviculture Manager (Fly High in Management!)

how to become an aviculture manager

If you’ve ever had a passion for birds and wondered what it takes to become an aviculture manager, you’re at the right spot.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the SPECIFIC steps you need to follow to kickstart your career as an aviculture manager. We’ll discuss:

  • The skills you need.
  • The education and training that can help you excel.
  • How to secure a job as an aviculture manager.

So, whether you’re an amateur bird enthusiast or a seasoned aviculturist looking to level up your career, stay hooked.

We’re about to lay out the roadmap to becoming an aviculture manager.

Let’s spread our wings and fly into it!

Contents show

Steps to Become an Aviculture Manager


Step 1: Research the Aviculture Field

Before embarking on your journey to becoming an Aviculture Manager, it’s important to understand the industry and the role you’re aspiring to hold.

Aviculture is the practice of keeping and breeding birds, in both domestic and wildlife settings.

As an Aviculture Manager, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the health and welfare of birds, managing breeding programs, and possibly even designing and maintaining bird-friendly environments.

Take the time to research the different types of birds you may be working with and familiarize yourself with their specific needs.

This could include understanding their diets, behavioral patterns, and reproductive habits.

It would also be beneficial to study the various challenges associated with aviculture such as disease management, nutrition, and habitat design.

Explore various avicultural facilities, such as zoos, bird parks, and conservation centers.

This will help you gain a broader understanding of the aviculture field and the various roles and responsibilities associated with it.

It’s also recommended to join relevant networks or associations, subscribe to aviculture publications, and attend related workshops or conferences.

Your goal at this stage should be to gain as much knowledge and exposure to the field as possible.


Step 2: Pursue a Degree in Biology, Zoology, or a Related Field

If you aim to become an Aviculture Manager, it is crucial to pursue a degree in biology, zoology, or a related field.

These degree programs typically provide a broad knowledge base about various animal species, their behaviors, nutritional needs, and habitats.

You’ll also learn about animal diseases and how to manage them, which is an essential aspect of aviculture.

During your undergraduate studies, it would be beneficial to take classes related to ornithology (the study of birds), animal behavior, and wildlife management.

These specialized courses will give you a better understanding of bird behavior, breeding, and care which are critical to the role of an Aviculture Manager.

Some programs even offer internships or volunteer opportunities at zoos, bird sanctuaries, or aviaries.

These provide practical, hands-on experience in aviculture, allowing you to apply your classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios.

While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for many aviculture management positions, pursuing a master’s degree in animal sciences or avian sciences may increase your chances of landing higher-level roles or managerial positions.

Beyond formal education, a passion for birds, strong organizational skills, and excellent communication abilities are also essential for a successful career in aviculture management.


Step 3: Gain Experience with Bird Handling and Care

As you progress in your education, it’s critical to gain hands-on experience with bird handling and care.

Most Aviculture Managers start their career paths working in roles such as zookeepers or bird caretakers.

This will give you a chance to learn about different bird species, their behaviors, dietary needs, and health issues.

Understanding the basics of avian care is essential.

You need to be comfortable with tasks like preparing food, cleaning cages, and providing basic medical care.

It’s also important to learn about creating appropriate habitats for different species and managing bird breeding programs.

Working in a bird park, zoo or a wildlife sanctuary can provide a valuable experience.

You could also consider volunteering or interning at an avian rescue center or a similar organization.

This will not only give you practical experience but also allow you to make valuable contacts within the aviculture community.

Remember, the more experience you have, the more attractive you’ll be to potential employers.

Some positions may require several years of hands-on experience, so be prepared to spend some time in this phase of your career journey.


Step 4: Volunteer or Work at Aviaries, Zoos, or Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers

Gaining hands-on experience is an invaluable step in becoming an aviculture manager.

This can be achieved by volunteering or working at aviaries, zoos, or wildlife rehabilitation centers.

These environments provide the opportunity to observe, learn, and practice the daily tasks that come with managing and caring for birds, and they offer an understanding of their behavior, diets, and habitats.

While volunteering or working, you will gain practical experience in bird handling and feeding, enclosure maintenance, bird health monitoring, and perhaps even bird breeding programs.

This is also an excellent chance to network with professionals in the field and learn from their expertise and experience.

You may also have the opportunity to learn about public interaction and education regarding birds, which is an important aspect of aviculture.

This hands-on experience will significantly enhance your resume and provide you with a strong foundation for a career in aviculture management.

Remember, the goal is not just to acquire the needed skills but to also demonstrate your passion and dedication to the field, which will set you apart when seeking an aviculture manager position.


Step 5: Develop an Understanding of Bird Health and Nutrition

As an aviculture manager, having a thorough knowledge of bird health and nutrition is crucial.

You must be able to recognize signs of common illnesses in birds and be aware of the necessary steps to take for their treatment.

This includes understanding the appropriate use of medications and therapies, as well as knowing when to seek assistance from a veterinarian.

Furthermore, you should understand the nutritional requirements of different species of birds.

This includes knowledge about the types of food they eat, their feeding schedules, and any specific dietary needs they may have.

You may need to consult with veterinarians or nutritionists to ensure the birds under your care are receiving a balanced diet.

You can gain this knowledge through practical experience, by attending workshops, enrolling in relevant courses or reading books and articles on avian health and nutrition.

This step is vital because the health of the birds you manage directly influences their ability to breed and survive, which is a primary responsibility of an aviculture manager.

Finally, learning about bird health and nutrition is an ongoing process.

As new research and information become available, you will need to continue learning and applying this knowledge to your role as an aviculture manager.


Step 6: Learn Management Skills

To become an Aviculture Manager, it’s important to develop strong management skills.

This can be done in several ways, ranging from formal education to practical experience.

You may consider pursuing a business or management degree, which will provide you with a foundation in areas like project management, business administration, and human resource management.

These skills can be particularly useful in managing the various aspects of an aviculture facility, such as staff supervision, budgeting, and project planning.

In addition to formal education, gaining practical experience is also crucial.

This can be achieved by taking on leadership roles in your current position, even if they are small.

Volunteering for extra responsibilities, leading teams or projects, and demonstrating initiative can all help to build your management skills.

Additionally, consider attending workshops and training courses specifically designed for management in the aviculture or broader animal care industry.

These will provide you with insights into the unique challenges and demands of managing in this field.

Remember, as an Aviculture Manager, you will not only be responsible for the care and conservation of birds but also for leading a team.

This requires strong communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills.

Always be open to learning and improving, and seek feedback from your team and peers.


Step 7: Obtain Necessary Certifications

As an Aviculture Manager, getting certified is an essential step in demonstrating your skills and knowledge in the field.

There are several certifications that you can pursue to further your career.

A valuable certification is the Avian Specialist Certification offered by the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV).

This program focuses on the specifics of avian care, including bird handling, health maintenance, and disease management.

Another certification you may consider is the Certified Aviculturist program offered by the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA).

The certification process involves written exams and practical evaluations, designed to test your knowledge of bird breeding, nutrition, behavior, and overall care.

Certification in Wildlife Rehabilitation can also be useful, particularly if you work with species that need medical attention or are endangered.

This certification, offered by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC), requires passing an exam and completing a minimum number of hours of continuing education in wildlife care.

Keep in mind that each certification has its requirements, so make sure to research each one thoroughly and choose the ones that best fit your career goals in aviculture.

Remember, these certifications are not one-time events.

You’ll need to maintain them through continuous learning and staying up to date with the latest practices and developments in aviculture.

Having these certifications not only proves your competency and dedication to the field but also opens up more opportunities for career advancement.


Step 8: Expand Knowledge on Breeding and Conservation

As you progress in your career as an Aviculture Manager, it’s crucial to expand your knowledge on breeding and conservation methods.

This involves understanding the intricacies of bird breeding, including the science of genetics, avian diseases, incubation, chick rearing, and managing breeding pairs.

The conservation element will involve learning more about threatened species, habitat management, and how to successfully breed and reintroduce these species into their natural environment.

This knowledge is critical in preserving bird populations and contributing to global avian conservation efforts.

You can gain this knowledge through advanced degrees, certifications, seminars, workshops, or online courses in avian studies.

Apart from formal education, regular participation in aviculture forums, subscribing to relevant journals and magazines, and attending industry conferences can help stay updated on the latest developments in the field.

Moreover, develop relationships with other aviculture professionals and experts.

These connections can provide valuable insights and mentorship opportunities, enhancing your expertise in bird breeding and conservation.


Step 9: Cultivate Business Management and Operational Skills

Being an Aviculture Manager requires more than just understanding birds and their behaviors.

It also requires skills in business management and operations.

This includes budget management, project planning, staff management, and other operational aspects that make an aviary or a bird conservation facility run smoothly.

You can acquire these skills by taking relevant courses in business administration, finance, human resources, and management.

Online courses are often available and can provide a good foundation.

It’s also beneficial to gain hands-on experience in these areas, either through an administrative role in an avian facility or through internships.

In addition, good communication skills are essential as you’ll often need to coordinate with different departments, interact with clients, and liaise with conservation organizations.

Public speaking and presentation skills may also be required for educational and conservation outreach programs.

Remember, the ultimate goal of an Aviculture Manager is not only the welfare of the birds but also the smooth functioning of the facility.

So, an understanding of business principles, financial management, and people management can be as important as your knowledge of aviculture.


Step 10: Network with Aviculture Professionals

Networking with other professionals in the aviculture industry is a crucial step in advancing your career as an Aviculture Manager.

This involves engaging in meaningful discussions, exchanging ideas, and gaining insights from experienced individuals in the field.

You can build your professional network through various avenues such as local or national aviculture associations, industry conferences, trade shows, and online forums or social media groups dedicated to aviculture.

Becoming a member of professional organizations can also help you stay updated with the latest research, conservation efforts, and industry trends.

These organizations often offer workshops, training programs, and resources that could be beneficial to your professional growth.

They also provide opportunities to meet and connect with people who share the same passion for aviculture.

Remember, these connections can lead to job opportunities, partnerships, or collaborations in the future.

They can also provide support and guidance as you navigate your career path in aviculture management.

Be open to learning from others and don’t hesitate to seek advice or mentorship from more experienced professionals in your field.


Step 11: Apply for Aviculture Management Positions

As you continue to gain experience and refine your skills in aviculture, look for opportunities to advance your career by applying for management roles.

These roles may be within the organization you are currently working for or in other zoos, conservation centers, aviaries, or research institutions.

Before applying, ensure your resume and cover letter clearly highlights your experience, skills, qualifications, and passion for aviculture.

If you have managed certain projects or initiatives, include them in your resume to showcase your leadership and management skills.

When applying for aviculture management positions, you should tailor your application to each specific job posting.

Highlight any experiences or skills that are particularly relevant to the job description.

For example, if the job posting emphasizes conservation efforts, then highlight your experience with bird conservation.

Don’t forget to network and use your professional connections.

Aviculture is a niche field and many positions may not be advertised publicly.

Networking can provide valuable information about upcoming opportunities, and recommendations from colleagues can significantly enhance your chances of landing a management position.

Lastly, prepare for your interviews.

Be ready to talk about your aviculture experience in detail, discuss how you handle specific situations and challenges, and express your vision for managing an aviary or bird conservation program.


Step 12: Continue Professional Development

As an Aviculture Manager, it is important to continue your professional development throughout your career.

The world of aviculture is constantly changing, with new research and advancements in bird care and conservation.

To stay up-to-date and provide the best care for your birds, it’s crucial to keep learning and evolving as a professional.

You can do this in several ways.

Attend seminars, workshops, or conferences that focus on aviculture.

These events are often hosted by professional organizations or research institutions and provide valuable insights into the latest developments in the field.

Another way to continue your professional development is to subscribe to aviculture journals and magazines.

Reading articles about new research and advancements in the field can help you stay informed and enhance your knowledge.

Networking with other aviculture professionals is also beneficial.

It allows you to learn from their experiences and techniques, and to share your own insights.

Lastly, consider pursuing additional certifications or courses in aviculture.

Advanced degrees or certifications can further establish your expertise and may open up opportunities for career advancement.

Remember, professional development is a lifelong journey.

Regularly updating your knowledge and skills is a commitment to your role as an Aviculture Manager and to the birds under your care.


Aviculture Manager Roles and Responsibilities

Aviculture Managers are responsible for overseeing the care and breeding of birds in a zoo, park, or other managed habitat.

They ensure that birds are living in safe and healthy environments and that breeding programs are successful.

They have the following roles and responsibilities:


Bird Care

  • Oversee daily care for a variety of bird species.
  • Monitor bird health and arrange for veterinary care when needed.
  • Ensure habitats are clean and safe for birds.


Breeding Program Management

  • Plan and implement breeding programs.
  • Monitor bird mating and nesting behavior.
  • Supervise incubation and hatching of eggs.


Feeding and Nutrition

  • Develop and manage nutrition plans for different bird species.
  • Ensure birds receive appropriate food and nutrients.


Education and Training

  • Train and supervise aviculture staff.
  • Educate visitors about birds and conservation efforts.


Habitat Design

  • Design bird habitats to mimic natural environments.
  • Ensure habitats meet species-specific needs.



  • Participate in conservation efforts for endangered bird species.
  • Collaborate with other organizations on conservation programs.


Record Keeping

  • Maintain records of bird health, breeding, and behavior.
  • Track and report on breeding program success.


Compliance and Regulations

  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for bird care.
  • Apply for and maintain necessary permits and licenses.



  • Communicate effectively with staff, visitors, and other stakeholders.
  • Report on aviculture operations to senior management.


Continuous Learning

  • Stay updated on latest aviculture research and practices.
  • Participate in relevant workshops, conferences, and training programs.


What Does an Aviculture Manager Do?

An Aviculture Manager primarily works for zoos, bird parks, or conservation organizations.

They may also be self-employed, managing private aviaries.

Their main role involves overseeing the care, breeding, and maintenance of a variety of bird species.

They work closely with a team of bird keepers or handlers to ensure the health and wellbeing of the birds under their care.

Aviculture Managers are responsible for the development and implementation of breeding programs, sometimes for endangered species, which involves strategic pairing of birds, monitoring their behavior, and managing hatchings.

They also plan and coordinate the diet of the birds, often liaising with veterinarians or nutritionists to ensure the birds receive balanced and suitable nutrition.

Aviculture Managers are also tasked with maintaining clean and safe enclosures that mimic the birds’ natural habitats as closely as possible.

This might involve coordinating with landscapers or designers to create suitable environments.

Furthermore, they may be involved in education and conservation efforts, delivering talks and presentations to the public, or working on initiatives to protect and conserve bird species and their habitats.

Lastly, they may also be responsible for managing any administrative tasks related to the aviary, such as budgeting, staff training and scheduling, and maintaining records related to bird health and breeding.


Essential Aviculture Manager Skills

  • Knowledge of Aviculture: Having a deep understanding of aviculture – the care and breeding of birds – is paramount for an Aviculture Manager. This includes knowing different species of birds, their behaviors, needs, and habits.
  • Animal Welfare: Understanding and implementing animal welfare standards is vital to ensure the well-being of the birds. This includes knowledge of proper diet, housing, and care for different bird species.
  • Breeding and Conservation: Experience in bird breeding, including understanding mating rituals, breeding cycles, and conservation strategies, is crucial for maintaining a healthy bird population.
  • Veterinary Knowledge: While not a vet, an Aviculture Manager must have basic veterinary knowledge to monitor the health of the birds, recognize signs of illness, and coordinate with veterinary professionals when necessary.
  • Communication: Excellent communication skills are required for liaising with staff, volunteers, and external stakeholders. This includes conveying information effectively and handling any concerns or issues that arise.
  • Management: Managing a team of employees or volunteers, including task delegation, conflict resolution, and staff training, is a core responsibility of an Aviculture Manager.
  • Financial Management: Budgeting, financial planning, and resource allocation are important for managing the aviculture facility effectively and efficiently.
  • Problem-solving: As with any managerial role, problem-solving skills are important. An Aviculture Manager should be able to identify and address challenges promptly and effectively.
  • Record Keeping: An Aviculture Manager must maintain detailed records of the birds’ health, breeding, diet, etc. Proficiency in using record-keeping software can be beneficial.
  • Public Relations: Skills in public relations can be beneficial for promoting the facility, organizing public events, and educating visitors about the importance of bird conservation.
  • Environmental Knowledge: Understanding the impact of environmental changes on bird populations is crucial. This can help in planning conservation efforts and adapting the care of the birds as needed.
  • Regulations Compliance: Familiarity with local and national regulations related to aviculture is essential to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.


Aviculture Manager Career Path Progression

The Foundation: Junior Aviculturist

The initial step in the aviculture sector would be as a Junior Aviculturist.

At this stage, you are in a learning phase.

Your responsibilities may include taking care of birds, maintaining their habitats, and assisting in bird breeding efforts.

Here are some tips for success in this role:

  1. Learn Continuously: Stay up-to-date with the latest aviculture techniques and bird species.
  2. Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek guidance from senior colleagues.
  3. Hands-on Experience: Gain as much practical experience with different bird species as possible.


The Ascent: Aviculturist

After gaining some hands-on experience, you will transition into the role of an Aviculturist.

This includes more responsibility such as managing diets, breeding programs, and maintaining the health of the birds.

Here’s how to thrive in this stage:

  1. Care and Handling: Develop expertise in the care and handling of a variety of bird species.
  2. Collaboration: Work effectively with other staff members and participate in collaborative projects.
  3. Breeding Expertise: Acquire knowledge in bird breeding practices and genetics.


Reaching New Heights: Senior Aviculturist

Your next step would be to become a Senior Aviculturist.

In this role, you will be entrusted with key responsibilities like leading breeding programs, supervising junior aviculturists, and advising on bird health and habitat conditions.

To excel as a Senior Aviculturist:

  1. Mentorship: Share your knowledge and help junior aviculturists grow.
  2. Strategic Planning: Develop and implement strategic plans for aviculture activities.
  3. Leadership: Lead by example and manage your team effectively.


Beyond the Horizon: Aviculture Manager and Beyond

As you gain more experience and knowledge in the field, you might step into the role of an Aviculture Manager.

This role might include managing a larger team, overseeing multiple aviculture projects, and making key decisions related to bird conservation.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Team Management: Develop strong leadership and communication skills to guide your team effectively.
  2. Resource Allocation: Efficiently manage resources and staff to achieve aviculture objectives.
  3. Innovation: Stay updated with the latest trends in aviculture and implement new strategies as required.


Pinnacle of Success: Director of Aviculture

At the apex of this career path is the position of Director of Aviculture.

In this role, you’ll be responsible for the overall management of aviculture operations, making strategic decisions, and leading larger teams in a bird park, zoo, or similar establishment.


Aviculture Manager Salary

Entry-Level Aviculture Manager

  • Median Salary: $30,000 – $40,000 per year
  • Entry-level aviculture managers typically have 0-2 years of experience and may hold a bachelor’s degree in animal science, zoology, or a related field. They are usually responsible for basic care of birds and maintaining aviary cleanliness.


Mid-Level Aviculture Manager

  • Median Salary: $40,000 – $60,000 per year
  • Mid-level aviculture managers have 2-5 years of experience and often take on more complex responsibilities such as breeding management, bird health monitoring, and staff training.


Senior Aviculture Manager

  • Median Salary: $60,000 – $80,000 per year
  • Senior aviculture managers possess 5+ years of experience and are responsible for leading aviary teams, making decisions about bird population management, and collaborating with other departments for conservation efforts.


Aviary Director / Aviculture Program Manager

  • Median Salary: $80,000 – $100,000+ per year
  • These roles come with significant experience and often involve overall strategic planning for the aviary, budgeting, project management, and decision-making at the organizational level.


Chief Aviculture Officer / Zoological Director

  • Median Salary: $100,000 – $150,000+ per year
  • These high-level positions require extensive experience, deep knowledge of avian species and conservation issues, and often involve setting strategies for avian conservation and education for a zoo or conservation organization.


Aviculture Manager Work Environment

Aviculture managers typically work in zoos, bird parks, sanctuaries, research facilities, or for private bird collections.

These environments require constant attention to detail, as the health and wellbeing of the birds are of utmost importance.

Aviculture managers often work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, as they supervise and participate in the feeding, cleaning, and general care of the birds.

These roles often require physical stamina and the ability to handle various types of birds safely and effectively.

Work schedules can be demanding, as aviculture managers may need to be available on weekends, holidays, and outside of typical working hours to ensure the proper care of the birds.

This can include responding to emergencies or unexpected issues that may arise.

With enough experience and knowledge, an aviculture manager may advance to larger facilities or potentially open their own bird breeding and conservation center.


FAQs About Becoming an Aviculture Manager

What is needed to become an Aviculture Manager?

Becoming an Aviculture Manager generally requires a degree in biology, zoology, animal science, or a related field.

It’s also helpful to have practical experience in handling and caring for birds.

You should have a solid understanding of avian behavior, nutrition, and breeding.

In addition, you’ll need skills in management, communication, and problem-solving, as you’ll be overseeing staff and dealing with various operational issues.

A passion for bird conservation and welfare is also essential in this role.


How long does it take to be an Aviculture Manager?

The time it takes to become an Aviculture Manager can vary widely depending on your educational path and previous experience.

If you pursue a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, it will typically take around four years.

However, gaining practical experience through internships or volunteering at zoos, aviaries, or wildlife rehabilitation centers is often essential.

After graduation, you may need several years of professional experience before you’re qualified for a management position.


Can I be an Aviculture Manager without a degree?

While it’s possible to become an Aviculture Manager without a formal degree, many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Practical experience in caring for and managing birds is of utmost importance, which can be gained through volunteering, internships, or other work experience.

However, a degree can provide a comprehensive understanding of the scientific aspects of aviculture, such as avian biology, behavior, and conservation, which can be advantageous in this role.


Is being an Aviculture Manager a stressful job?

Like many management roles, being an Aviculture Manager can be stressful at times.

You’ll be responsible for the health and well-being of the birds, managing staff, maintaining the aviary, and sometimes dealing with unpredictable situations such as medical emergencies or adverse weather conditions.

However, the rewards of playing an active role in bird conservation and management can far outweigh the stresses.


What are the prospects for Aviculture Managers in the next decade?

The prospects for Aviculture Managers are expected to grow steadily in the next decade, particularly in conservation centers, zoos, and wildlife parks.

The growing interest in wildlife conservation and the increasing recognition of the importance of professional avian care in these settings are likely to result in more opportunities for Aviculture Managers.



And there you have it.

Embarking on a journey to become an aviculture manager is no easy task, but it’s undeniably rewarding.

Equipped with the appropriate skills, knowledge, and tenacity, you’re set on your way to making a significant contribution in the world of aviculture.

Remember, the route may be demanding, but the opportunities are boundless. Your innovations could pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in bird care and conservation.

So, take that initial leap. Immerse yourself in learning. Connect with aviculture experts. And most importantly, never stop nurturing your passion for birds.

Because the world is waiting for what you can achieve.

And if you’re in search of personalized guidance on starting or advancing your career in aviculture management, check out our AI-powered Aviculture Career Path Advisor.

This complimentary tool is designed to provide tailored advice and resources to help you navigate your career path effectively.

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