Animal management associate degree programs teach individuals how to care for animals in zoos, aquariums and other animal care facilities. Classroom lectures are typically combined with weekly hands-on training to create a well-rounded educational approach. Associate's programs are two years in length and applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Associate Degree in Animal Management
Curricula for animal management programs incorporate the characteristics of more than five groups of animal species while preparing students to handle the animals in each group in exhibit-based environments. Students learn about exhibit creation and maintenance, common zoo diseases, and ethical care. Additional topics include:
- Vertebrate biology
- Animal breeding and behavior
- Animal genetics
- Animal training methods
- Aquarium training
The training received in an animal management associate degree program provides a comprehensive education, facilitating a choice of positions and animal care facilities in which graduates may work. Job positions may include the following:
- Zoo keeper
- Animal trainer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Employment opportunities for animal trainers are projected to grow 11% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These workers earned a median salary of $26,610 in 2015.
Some 4-year bachelor's degree programs in animal sciences offer concentrations in animal management. The education focuses on the business, finance and production aspects of animal care. Unlike an associate degree program, a bachelor's degree program relating to animal management involves the care of companion animals like cats, dogs and horses while also introducing students to the maintenance of farm or cattle animals that play an integral role in U.S. agriculture. The program prepares students for jobs in companion animal care or animal agriculture.
An associate degree in animal management gives students the animal care and training skills that they would need to pursue a career as an animal trainer or to continue their education.