I'd have to agree with what dihardhunter has to say. Getting a 4 yr degree keeps you making technician wages. And if you want to contribute more who ever you work for may always just consider you as a technician (my experience) and so your opinion might not matter. . So now I am working towards wrapping up my master's degree. However, departments like the US Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service have programs called "Student Temporary Employment Terms" or "Student Career Employment Positions" in which they are basically paid internships and gain experience while getting a Bachelor's degree. Its one way to get your foot in the door for working for such departments.
I'm looking at getting a PhD in the future. I've found what I enjoy the most and that's wildlife research. Dihardhunter- keep in mind that although pickings seem slim now, hopefully sooner or later, positions will open because professors and researchers have to retire sometime. I look forward to reading some of work in the future in JWM.