Although there are not too many careers that directly require a master's degree in zoology, there are several related careers for which this degree could prove beneficial. Graduates with a master's in zoology likely want a job working with animals in some way, but other career options may draw upon the broader biology skills and knowledge gained through the degree program. Below are a few related jobs for those with a master's degree in zoology.
Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Zoology
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||$60,520||4%|
|Natural Sciences Managers||$119,850||3%|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||$32,490||19%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
An obvious career choice for those with a master's in zoology is that of a zoologist or wildlife biologist. These scientists typically specialize in studying a group of animals or particular species to learn about the animals' behavior, social interactions, habitat needs and more. They may conduct research experiments out in the field to observe these animals in their natural habitat, as well as researching how human activity has affected the animals. Much of their work is presented in research papers and may be used to help in various kinds of conservation efforts for a species or group of animals. Although only a bachelor's is needed for entry-level positions, more advanced scientific work requires a master's.
Natural Sciences Managers
Natural sciences managers need a postsecondary degree in a natural science, like zoology, chemistry, biology and others, as well as years of work experience as a scientist. Some have bachelor's degrees, but many have master's or Ph.D.s. These managers coordinate and oversee the different procedures and activities of teams of scientists as the teams work to collaborate on research projects. They must keep the projects within the allotted budget and timeline and provide progress updates to their clients. Natural sciences managers must ensure that work in the lab is done safely, follows all regulations and is accurate.
Animal scientists usually need an advanced degree in a life science to research farm animals. A master's in zoology would give them the necessary background in biology and genetics to help farmers crossbreed different animals to produce more productive offspring. Animal scientists may study factors on farms that may be causing lower survival rates, disease, lack of growth and more, and then suggest ways to improve those factors. These scientists also explore ways to produce food products from these animals more efficiently.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Although a veterinary technician only needs an associate's degree and veterinary technologists only need a bachelor's degree, a graduate with a master's in zoology may choose to work as a technologist in preparation for veterinary school. Also, some positions as veterinary research techs may require a master's degree. A master's in zoology would give a veterinary technologist advanced laboratory skills and knowledge in handling animals that would prove beneficial in the position. These technologists usually conduct more advanced research with scientists or veterinarians, but they can also help veterinarians perform various procedures. They may also administer medication to animals, take laboratory samples from animals, provide emergency care to animals as needed and more.
Conservation scientists need a bachelor's degree at minimum, but some choose to pursue a master's degree or Ph.D. to further increase their knowledge of managing natural resources. Those in this position with a background in zoology may have additional insight into the effects of forestry and conservation activities on various species of animals, as well as different species needs for natural resources. Conservation scientists work with farmers, landowners and governments to determine the best way to use the land in a particular area that improves the quality of the land and protects the environment. Much of their work requires negotiating contracts and monitoring the sustainability of lands.
Zoology can be applied to various careers that require a background in the life sciences, and a master's degree in the field may be required or beneficial for advanced scientific positions. Most of these careers offer decent median salaries (greater than $60,000) and are expected to have job growth in the future.