Career Options for Jobs Involving Animals and Math
Animals are involved in many aspects of our lives. They may be pets that provide us with companionship, or they may be working animals that are trained to perform specific services. Animals also contribute to food production and are responsible for providing meat and dairy products. In some cases, their hides are also used to provide people with goods, such as leather products. Many careers that involve working with animals also involve using math. Math can be used to calculate the costs of services, to weigh animals and measure food amounts, and to maintain financial records related to the service offered.
|Job Title||Median Salary* (2016)||Job Growth* (2014-2024)|
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||$62,920||5%|
|Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers||$66,360||-2%|
|Animal Care and Service Workers||$22,230||11%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Jobs Involving Animals and Math
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Agricultural and food scientists must have a bachelor's degree; those who pursue careers as animal scientists may choose to earn a veterinary degree. Animal scientists specifically focus on studying farm animals to determine ways to improve food production. Part of their work involves math because they may need to study birth and death rates and production outputs while considering factors that may be contributing to low production or low birth rates.
Veterinarians are required to earn a doctoral degree and obtain a veterinary license. They provide medical care to animals. Their work also involves math, because they may need to consider an animal's weight when determining how much of a specific medicine is safe to prescribe to them. They may also assess the animal's height and weight and other physical characteristics to determine if it needs to lose or gain weight. They may also need to be able to calculate the costs of procedures and treatments.
Animal breeders work with animals to determine breeding strategies to produce desired results. They must record a lot of data concerning the animals they work with; for example, if they're working on milk production they may record the weight of each cow, how much it consumes daily and how much milk it produces. They use the data to determine variables that may be affecting production, and this may involve mathematical computations. They may need to measure specific amounts of different types of food for animals, as well as work to determine if there's a relationship between the volume or type of food and the animal's output. They need a high school diploma, and some employers may prefer those with postsecondary training.
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers
Although some ranchers and agricultural managers may choose to earn an associate's degree, it's possible to enter this career field with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training. They are responsible for overseeing the daily care of their livestock. Their work can involve feeding, grooming or obtaining veterinary care for their animals, and it can also involve purchasing supplies such as food. Their work involves math because they need to determine the cost of care of their livestock to determine fair market value. They also need to be able to assess market conditions to determine if they want to continue raising a specific type of livestock. They also have to keep financial data on hand, and may be responsible for calculating paychecks for employees.
Animal trainers work with animals to teach them desired or appropriate behaviors. They may work with pet owners to help their dog learn basic commands, or they may train working animals who can be used in fields such as law enforcement. Some animal trainers may be able to enter the field with a high school diploma, but animal trainers may also need to have a bachelor's degree. They may use math in their work to determine how consistently an animal they're training is demonstrating the desired skill, and they may also use math in their work to calculate things like how high the animal should be able to jump so that they set appropriate targets in their training.
Animal Care and Service Workers
People who want to work with animals may be interested in providing animal care services. This can include working as a dog groomer or running a dog-sitting business. Other professionals in this field may also manage kennels. Their work can involve math because they may need to calculate the costs of providing services if they operate their own businesses. They may also need to determine the right amount of food to feed a pet based on their weight and activity level.