Apprentice Education and Experience:
As the human population expands and environmental changes affect habitats, the role of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation will continue to grow. Due to the highly specialized skill set required for full-time employment in wildlife rehabilitation and animal care, most paid positions require several years of hands-on experience. To help meet this need for experienced caretakers, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation has developed apprenticeship programs that cater to different experience levels so that individuals can begin to develop or continue to build their skills in wildlife rescue and animal care.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation is looked to as a model for wildlife rehabilitation nationally and internationally. Completing a twelve month apprenticeship at either our San Antonio or Kendalia locations will give an individual the skills and knowledge they will need to apply for permanent positions or graduate and professional schools. WRR programs are challenging and will test an individual’s strengths and weaknesses emotionally and physically. Wildlife rehabilitation requires hard work and dedication. Some seasons demand long hours. However, through this experience, apprentices will create new passions, narrow down career paths, and be a part of a family-like community. Take advantage of this short but great opportunity! For more information on the details and requirements for each program, please visit our Careers page.Careers
Wildlife Rehabilitation Apprenticeship:
Want to learn what wildlife rehab is all about or continue to develop your animal care skills? For recent college graduates or individuals looking to explore a career in wildlife rehabilitation, WRR offers a Wildlife Rehabilitation Apprenticeship program. Apprentices in this program complete six weeks of combined classroom and hands-on practical training to learn the natural history, diets, enclosure setups, and care protocols of many of the most common native species we see including small mammals, songbirds, fawns, waterfowl, and turtles. Individuals will be introduced to basic sanctuary animal nutrition by preparing daily diets for a variety of large carnivores and primates. As handling and observational skills improve, apprentices will also have the opportunity to care for our No Harm Farm sanctuary animals, learning the basic levels of care for permanent resident livestock and many non-native birds, reptiles, and mammals. Great communication skills with both team members and with the public are an essential part of this program. Therefore, apprentices are also trained to respond to wildlife emergencies and assist with public education through our 24-Hour Wildlife Hotline.
As you progress through the program we will begin to expand on knowledge and skills for more critical or sensitive animals in the hospital, including juvenile carnivores, porcupines, cottontails, shore birds and birds of prey. One of the most highly sought-after skills in Wildlife Rehabilitation is the ability to safely triage and stabilize an injured or orphaned animal on arrival. Apprentices will learn how to correctly calculate and administer fluid therapy and pain medication, clean and dress wounds, and stabilize injuries until the animal can be assessed by the veterinarian. Leadership skills are required for this program as the apprentice will assist with managing a team of staff, apprentices, and volunteers to complete a hospital shift. Apprentices continue to develop the ability to work independently on a shift while increasing knowledge of domestic and non-native small animals in sanctuary. The Wildlife Rehabilitation program is also available for the Sherman Animal Care Complex in San Antonio. At this location, there is a greater focus on medical intake skills and public interaction. Less attention is given to sanctuary animal care as the Sherman Complex is primarily an admission clinic.
Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship:
Considering going to veterinary school or becoming a veterinary technician? The Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship is an ideal program that allows individuals to gain fundamental knowledge of basic animal husbandry and also begin working with an experienced wildlife veterinary team. The Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship mimics the first six weeks of the Intro to Rehab program. However, after the initial training, the Veterinary Technician Apprentice will start transitioning into working full time with the veterinary staff. The apprentice will assist with procedures, complete lab work, learn about and administer medications used in wildlife rehabilitation, and obtain responsibilities of upkeep in the surgery suite and office.
All of WRR’s apprenticeship programs are twelve months long and can be extended to meet an individual’s experience needs. Housing is provided for all apprentices along with a monthly stipend to be used for personal expenses. Each program requires the apprentices to complete a project by the end of their apprenticeship. This project is to not only demonstrate the knowledge and skills each apprentice has obtained at WRR and to reflect their career goals, but also to leave a legacy that improved an aspect of WRR. Evaluations at two month intervals determine the progression of an individual in his or her program. Evaluations are also used to develop project ideas and to assist apprentices in determining their potential career paths following completion of the apprenticeship program. After successful completion of a WRR apprenticeship, each apprentice will receive an Certificate of Completion and a reference from the Apprentice Program Supervisor and Training Specialist, Hospital Coordinator, or Director of Animal Operations. Download history, description, and participant duties. Download the entire program and progression outline.
How do I apply?
Applications for any of the apprenticeship programs are accepted year round. When applying, please indicate which program you are interested in.
Please send your resume, a letter of interest explaining why you would like to be considered for the program, and one professional letter of recommendation, to:
Mail: Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
Attn: Apprentice Supervisor
PO Box 369
Kendalia, TX 78027
Fax: 830-336- 3733Back to Top