A good general education is useful. However, entry can be competitive so it is also helpful to have a group of subjects at National 4 or 5.
You may get in through a Modern Apprenticeship. There is a framework in Rural Skills at Levels 2 (SCQF Level 5) and 3 (SCQF Level 6/7).
You could take a National Certificate (NC), National Qualification (NQ), Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) in gamekeeping and wildlife management or conservation, countryside skills, countryside management or a similar subject before applying for a job.
Entry requirements for the NC are up to 4 subjects at National 4 or 5; for the HNC or HND normally 1-2 Highers or the NC are required.
Previous countryside work experience is helpful, for example in agriculture or forestry.
You usually need a full, clean driving licence.
You need to be fit as there is a lot of active outdoors work, often on rough ground.
As you will use a shotgun, you must have the necessary licence.
interested in wildlife, the countryside and the environment
good with your hands
sharp-eyed and observant
reasonably fit and willing to do physical work
able to work on your own without supervision
aware of health and safety issues
able to use a gun safely.
Training is normally on the job, often combined with study for a relevant qualification.
You might be able to take a part time college course to get an HNC, NC or a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ).
SVQs in Game and Wildlife Management are available in five specialisms at Levels 2 and 3 (SCQF levels 5 and 7): Deer, Gamekeeping, Game Rearing, Lowland and Upland/Grouse.
Organisations such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the British Deer Society (BDS) may be able to provide information on other courses and training opportunities.
There can be a structured promotion route from underkeeper to second underkeeper or beatkeeper.
With further experience, you can become ‘single-handed’ gamekeeper on a small estate.
You could become a specialist keeper such as a deer stalker or water bailiff.
You might progress to head gamekeeper on a large estate with responsibility for supervising other staff.
Some gamekeepers move into related fields such as conservation, countryside management or forestry.