Animal-Related Career Options with a Biology Degree
Biology is the study of life, and a degree in biology can be applied to several different animal-related careers that often involve hands-on interactions. Learn about an assortment of these animal-related careers that utilize a biology degree.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||$60,520||8%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Animal-Related Careers with a Biology Degree
Animal trainers typically work with dogs, horses and marine mammals, but may work with other animals as well. They train these animals to respond to hand signals or voice commands with a specific action. Usually these trainers work with animals to improve obedience, prepare for competitions or to train the animal for life as a service animal. Animal trainers need at least a high school diploma, but some positions may require a bachelor's degree in biology, animal science or another related field.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study a wide range of animal species to learn how these animals interact with their environments. They may also study animal behavior, reproduction, population dynamics, and effects of invasive species to help improve the conservation efforts of a particular species. Their findings are usually presented in research papers or presentations and may be used by policymakers and other officials to influence human impact on the animal species and/or environment. Zoologists and wildlife biologists can find entry-level work with a bachelor's degree in zoology or wildlife biology, but most research positions require a master's or doctorate degree in the field.
Veterinarians provide medical care for pets, livestock and other animals. They examine animals to diagnose a variety of illnesses and injuries and then provide care through vaccinations, medications and surgeries. They also advise animal owners on proper care, nutrition and medical conditions of their animals. Veterinarians need a state license, and although they must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, many veterinarians have undergraduate degrees in biology or a related field and must have taken courses in biology and other sciences.
Animal scientists usually work with domestic farm animals to find ways to improve food production. They do this by studying animal genetics, reproduction, growth rates, and diseases. They use their findings to work with farmers to take action to increase the quality and efficiency of animals, such as using crossbreeding or improving housing for animals to lower rates of disease and death. These scientists need at least a bachelor's degree in biology or another related science, but many hold advanced degrees or even a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Although they do not typically work with what most people consider animals, microbiologists do conduct research on parasites and other microorganisms. They may research how these tiny living things affect larger animals and humans, as well as identify microorganisms taken from animals, plants, humans or the environment. Microbiologists report the findings of their complex research projects in research papers and technical reports that are available to the public and other scientists. These scientists need at least a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, microbiology or a closely related field, but most research positions require a Ph.D. in the field.