Career Options for Jobs that Deal with Animals and Nature
There are several career options that involve working with animals and nature. Your particular interests, educational goals, and in what capacity you want to work with animals and nature will likely influence what path you decide to pursue. To aid in this decision process, we will look at a few career possibilities in detail below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Animal Care and Service Worker||$22,230||11%|
|Fish and Game Warden||$51,730||2%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information About Careers that Involve Working with Animals and Nature
As a zoologist or wildlife biologist, your job mainly involves observing how animals live in their natural environment, which includes studying animal behavior and the effect that people have had on ecosystems. You may specialize in a particular area of zoology depending on the species or type of ecosystem you are interested in, like entomology, ornithology, marine biology, or botany. To become a zoologist or wildlife biologist, you will need at least a bachelor's degree, though higher level and more research-oriented positions usually require a master's degree or Ph.D.
Veterinarians provide medical care for all types of animals. Some vets may specialize in working with commonly kept pets and domesticated animals, while others may work with more exotic species or work primarily with farm animals. Depending on the animals they work with, they may work in a clinical setting or may often travel to farms, ranches, or wildlife areas. These professionals are responsible for doing regular heath checks on animals, as well as identifying and diagnosing various illnesses and diseases and performing surgery when necessary. To become a veterinarian, most students already have a bachelor's degree and then pursue a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Animal Care and Service Worker
There are many different types of animal care and service workers, some of whom work with animals in a nature setting. For example, grooms primarily work with horses and some of their duties include exercising the horses, grooming them, feeding them, and caring for their living environment which is often a stable or outdoor corral. Keepers generally work in zoos caring for a wide variety of non-native and native animals. This may involve making sure their basic needs are met, but also assisting in the birthing process and monitoring the animals' overall health. Education requirements for animal care and service workers in general range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree. For example, some animal trainer positions require a high school diploma or its equivalent, while keepers will usually need a bachelor's degree in a field like zoology.
Conservation scientists and foresters are responsible for making sure that lands and natural resources are properly managed, especially in relation to activities like forestry, forest-clearing, and land use. They must be knowledgeable about the federal laws and regulations that govern how these lands can be used and also contribute feedback in regard to how the land can be used in a way that protects the environment. Some of their duties may include checking soil samples, working to reduce the harmful impact of invasive animal and plant species, monitoring controlled burns, and making sure that lands remain healthy and hospitable to local plant and animal species. To become a conservation scientist or forester, you will normally need a bachelor's degree in a field like forestry or conservation science.
Fish and Game Warden
As a fish and game warden, you are a specialized type of police officer who works to ensure that people are abiding by laws that relate to hunting, fishing, and wildlife areas. This includes making sure that people are not hunting or fishing outside of a designated season and that protected animals and wildlife areas are being respected. Fish and game wardens may have authority over a large area and spend much of their time outdoors. To become a fish and game warden, you will usually need a college-level degree with a background in a topic like natural resource management or biology.