Zoologists are scientists that specialize in animal behavior, diseases, genetics, and life cycles. One of the most important characteristics of a zoologist is a love for studying animals. To become a zoologist, you’ll need to immerse yourself in college courses and hands-on learning experiences to acquire zoologist skills and certifications.
During your studies, you may get interested in a certain field of zoology, which will lead you along the road of specialization. To name a few possibilities, you might become an ornithologist who studies birds or a herpetologist who studies snakes.
A degree in zoology or a closely related subject like wildlife biology may lead to a variety of exciting career opportunities. Some zoologist professions include direct interaction with animals, while others concentrate on study and public outreach. Whatever zoology career path you choose, you’ll be able to apply your understanding of animal habitats and behavior to real-world problems like endangered species conservation and ecological imbalances.
Working as a zoologist may take you to a zoo, a wildlife preserve, an aquarium, or a government institution like the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Duties may include providing educational programs to the general public in order to raise public awareness of conservation techniques.
Collecting data or specimens, monitoring animal populations, producing reports, and publishing articles in professional journals are all part of a zoologist’s work description. You may present articles or talks to students, legislators, or community organizations about how different types of hazardous pollutants impact animals.
Zoologist Education Requirements
High school is an excellent time to begin planning for a zoology career. The College Board’s Big Future program promotes challenging courses like Advanced Placement (AP) biology and chemistry. Choose courses that will help you improve your research, writing, and computer technology abilities.
Look for a college that offers zoology, wildlife biology, or ecological majors or specializations. Consider taking math and statistics subjects in addition to animal-related courses like herpetology. You’ll probably learn about global positioning systems (GPS) and how they’re used to monitor animal populations and migratory patterns. To learn how to be a zoologist, look for field learning programs at your school and elsewhere. For prospective zoologists, the Institute for Broadening Participation website, for example, offers fellowships, internships, and study abroad excursions.
For entry-level zoology jobs, a bachelor’s degree in zoology or wildlife biology is sufficient. Your journey, however, may not stop there. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master’s degree is necessary for many research jobs, and a Ph.D. is usually required to lead a research team or work in a university.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019, zoologists and wildlife biologists make a median annual income of $63,200. Half of the population earns more than the median income, while the other half earns less. The largest employers of zoologists were state government entities, which paid an average of $57,210 per year. For conservation initiatives and tourism, several states employ zoologists to manage wildlife.
Zoologists may work in a variety of settings, ranging from a cozy office or laboratory to a polar research station. Working in isolated, remote locations can be a part of field research. Even if the research includes observing nocturnal animals, the hours may be lengthy and unpredictable. Some zoologists use radio collars to tag and track animals like bears and wolves, which may be deadly if done incorrectly.
Importance of Years of Experience
A zoologist’s earning potential is determined by his or her experience and education. The lowest-paid 10% of zoologists, such as technicians, make less than $38,880 per year. Experienced, well-educated zoologists in the top 10% of the pay scale may make up to $101,780 per year.
Zoologist Growth Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand for zoologists is projected to increase by a modest 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is around average. A total of 800 new jobs will be created as a result of the change. According to the BLS, individuals who gained practical skills in college via internships, summer employment, or volunteer work in zoology will have the best chances.