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A zoologist studies the behavior of animals and wildlife. They may also study the diseases and genetics of animals.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Monitor the health of animal subjects
- Create plans or strategies to help animals recover from illness, injury or habitat change
- Analyze and collect potential pollutants from animal habitats; solve environmental problems that affect subject animals’ health
- Identify harmful diseases threating animals
- Conduct research activities and experiments around animal health and behavior
- Regularly utilize lab equipment and collect specimens to study
- Dissect and perform autopsies on deceased animals; ensure proper preservation
- Maintain records of research and studies
- Work with veterinarians to administer medication and perform surgeries and births
- Occasionally conduct animal education courses or workshops, or create exhibits
- If in a caretaker role, prepare food for animals; groom and clean animals and their habitat or enclosure
- If in a rehabilitator role, care for ill or injured animals and release back into natural habitat once recovered
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in zoology, biology, or ecology is required to become a zoologist.
To pursue a career as a Zoologist:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, biology, anatomy, animal science, natural resources, computer courses, and mathematics.
Where can I work?
Zoologists are most often found working in zoos, wildlife centers and parks, aquariums, for conservation groups, animal pharmaceutical companies, research firms, governmental agencies, or colleges and universities.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for a zoologist will be fair over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- American Society for Animal Science
- Zoological Association of America
- Association of Zoos and Aquariums
- International Society of Zoological Sciences
- City Zoological associations