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Careers Involving Animals & Science

There are a number of career options that involve working with animals and science. We will look at the educational requirements to obtain these jobs as well as the types of responsibilities that are associated with each job.

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Careers Involving Animals and Science

Individuals who would like to find a job that involves both animals and science have a number of diverse career options to consider. Some of these jobs involve working with animals directly, while others are more research-oriented and may involve animals in a more indirect way. We will look at five of these different jobs in greater detail below by exploring the necessary education requirements to be qualified for each job as well as the responsibilities that each job entails.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Veterinarian $88,770 18%
Veterinary Technologist/Technician $32,490 20%
Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist $60,520 8%
Agricultural and Food Scientist $62,920 7%
Microbiologist $66,850 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Information About Careers Involving Animals and Science

Veterinarian

Veterinarians are charged with providing animals with medical care, which may involve both general health check-ups as well as emergency and live-saving care through surgeries and medical procedures. There are different types of veterinarians, as some work in clinics and primarily see pets, while others work with livestock animals or may work in the food safety and inspection industry. All veterinarians must have a solid understanding of animal science, anatomy, biology, and physiology. They typically learn these skills by completing a bachelor's degree and then obtaining a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Veterinary Technologist/Technician

As a veterinary technologist or technician, you will also work directly with animals, typically in a veterinarian's office or in a research laboratory. Technologists are typically able to do more advanced tasks involving research and work more often in labs, while technicians usually work in veterinary offices. Both roles require an understanding of animal science and the ability to perform standard science-related tasks, like sample analysis and research. Technologists typically need a four-year bachelor's degree in veterinary technology while technicians generally have an associate's degree in veterinary technology.

Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist

Zoologists and wildlife biologists are scientists who are interested in studying different types of animals, natural environments and ecosystems, and the interaction that occurs between animals and their environment. There are many different types of zoologists and wildlife biologists, as these scientists typically specialize in a specific species or part of zoology, like entomology, ornithology, teratology, or histology. This job requires a high level understanding of science and the scientific process, as zoologists and wildlife biologists engage heavily in research and often publish their findings in scientific journals and papers. To become a zoologist or wildlife biologist, you will usually need a bachelor's degree at minimum, though more research-oriented positions often require a master's or doctoral degree.

Agricultural and Food Scientist

Agricultural and food scientists are involved in studying different types of agricultural products and methods, which often involves studying farm animals and livestock. Some of these scientists work specifically as animal scientists, which entails researching farm animals to understand their development, health, and nutrition and then providing farmers with guidance as to how to care for animals most effectively to produce the best products. They are also involved with making sure the living conditions of animals are humane and safe. To become an agricultural and food scientist, you will typically need at least a bachelor's degree in agricultural science, though many of these professionals also have more advanced degrees.

Microbiologist

Microbiologists are a type of scientist who are interested in studying and researching various types of microorganisms, like viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Some microbiologists may focus specifically on how microorganisms affect animals, like in the case of clinical microbiologists who may run tests on animals in laboratories, or parapsychologists who are responsible for researching the nature of the relationship between a parasite and its host, which is often an animal. Regardless of their specific subfield, microbiologists all generally are involved in conducting research and using the scientific method. To become a microbiologist, you will usually need a bachelor's degree though a doctoral degree is typically necessary to work independently.

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