Zoologists analyze animal behavior and interactions in their natural environments, as well as the genesis and evolution of species. They’ve been taught how to conduct research and gather biological data in order to better understand the impacts of environmental changes on animals. By studying the evolution, physiology, behavior, and environment of animals, zoology and zoologists have an effect on our world. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists are not zookeepers.
Curators, directors, and zookeepers are all roles performed by zoologists. Zoologists serve as teachers and researchers in academic contexts. The majority of zoologists have postgraduate degrees and specialize in fields such as animal research and management. Mammalogy, paleozoology (the study of extinct animals), and anthrozoology (the study of animal-human relationships) are all zoology subfields.
What Are The 5 Main Tasks a Zoologist Must Do?
The following are the five responsibilities of a zoologist:
- Investigating animal behavior and interactions in their natural habitats.
- Organizing and carrying out research initiatives.
- Zoological data collection and analysis
- Contributing to scientific publications and writing academic papers
- Increasing the effectiveness of animal conservation initiatives.
Curators at zoos and aquariums are usually zoologists or animal scientists. Curators must have a solid scientific education in areas such as biology, microbiology, and chemistry.
The majority of curators have a master’s or doctorate degree in a subject such as marine biology, mammalogy, ornithology, or ecology. Animal husbandry abilities, as well as management and leadership expertise, are required of curators.
Strong communication, managerial, and research skills are also required of curators. General curators are in charge of overseeing the whole zoo or aquarium. Animal curators work with other administrators and specialize in the day-to-day operations of a zoo or aquarium. According to a national museum salary study, curators earned between $25,000 to $107,000 per year in 2017.
Directors at zoos do not interact with animals; their primary responsibilities involve administrative tasks such as fundraising and public relations.
Zoo and aquarium directors work with curators to ensure that zoos and aquariums are well-managed and that animals are well-cared after.
Directors are in charge of organizing and executing events, as well as launching new programs and exhibitions and formulating and implementing new regulations.
Secretaries, researchers, zookeepers, and administrative staff work with directors on a daily basis. Directors of zoos should have significant expertise in management and supervisory positions.
The L.A. Zoo General Manager’s salary was $210,909 in 2021, while the typical pay for Directors in a 2017 study of museums and zoos was $68,000 to $80,000. According to the National Alliance of Museums’ 2017 National Museum Salary Survey, the top 10% of museum or zoo directors earned more than $200,000.
Academic jobs are available to zoologists who have earned their Ph.D. and have an interest in teaching and research. Most schools and institutions hire Ph.D.-holding zoologists to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, mentor students, undertake independent research, and publish their results.
In addition to their teaching and research duties, zoologists in academic areas may serve as part-time consultants for government organizations and the commercial sector.
As an assistant professor, zoologists with a Ph.D. may expect to earn $81,000 in their first year. We verified our estimate by comparing salaries of AAU colleagues in 2018/2019, finding that the average pay for four new associate professors of zoology was $81,000.
Zookeepers are often mistaken for zoologists. Zookeepers, on the other hand, are responsible for the day-to-day care of animals as well as ensuring that zoos run smoothly. They are responsible for feeding, cleaning, and monitoring animals, as well as ensuring that they get enough exercise and medical care.
Zookeepers collaborate with curators and directors to offer valuable insights on animal behavior, including interactions with other species and any health problems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for zookeepers in 2020 was $26,080.