If you are looking for a unique career you won’t go far wrong with becoming a zoologist. Zoologists are biologists who study animals, this can range from wild animals, livestock or domestic pets. They study animals in their natural habitats, whether that is in the jungle, the sea or exotic domesticated animals. Once trained as a zoologist there are many career pathways open, you may work in animal pharmacology, wildlife rehabilitation, and predator management or even within research or education.
To become a zoologist you will need a Bachelor’s degree in zoology. It is possible to study at master’s and doctorate level. It can take up to 4 years to complete a bachelor’s degree, although employment options are more widely available the higher educated you are.
A zoologist can earn in the region of $58,000 per year although top salaries can reach above $95,000 per year. Many zoologists find employment within government, both state and federal. As with all jobs salary tends to reflect experience, expertise and location. Top salaries are found in Columbia, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
There is lots of online information about zoology training and it is worth exploring the different courses on offer, especially if you are hoping to specialize. Zoology courses have a strong biology strand and you may also study animal anatomy, environment and evolution. Many programs allow you to have hands on experience throughout your training and some programs may also arrange internships for you. It is important to show that you have work experience when it comes to landing your dream job.
Zoologists may work alongside other specialists such as zoo keepers, veterinarians, wildlife biologists or marine biologists. They may become in animal welfare issues, education, conservation or captive breeding programs. Working conditions are variable depending on where you work, there may be the potential for travel or to undertake further study in areas of management. There is lots of opportunity to specialize and many zoologists may find themselves as experts regarding a particular animal group. Membership to groups such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or the zoological association of America may help employment options.