If you’ve ever asked yourself how do I become a zoologist, then you must certainly be interested in the fields of science and in learning about animals. Working with animals and helping them live healthier and happier lives is one of the most rewarding pursuits a person can strive for.
A zoologists day on the job will rarely ever be routine. Depending on where a zoologist works, whether in a University in a teaching capacity, or in a zoo or museum, or for government agencies that specialize in wildlife conservation, the daily routine will always be varied.
Although the jobs are very different, one similar aspect is that zoologists will usually spend a part of their time doing research. Exploring animal diseases and various facets of animal behavior requires different types of research activities. Duties will be divided according to the type of animal species being studied.
To become a zoologist, students will need to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in a science or zoology field. Ones major focus of study should be on zoology if a student plans to stop after they have earned a bachelor’s degree. Traditionally, bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees have both been available to become a zoologist, and it is often recommended to choose the bachelor of science degree. The bachelor of science degree offers the student more options upon graduation.
Most colleges that offer programs to become a zoologist offer basic programs including classroom study and science laboratory study. Once a student receives a bachelor’s degree, they can decide if they want to move forward in a certain specialty and receive a graduate degree. A graduate degree is required if a person wishing to become a zoologist wants to go into specific scientific research fields. Master’s degrees usually require an extra two years to earn, and some choose to go further than that by earning a doctorate degree.
The level of education needed will depend on the specific career field a prospective zoologist is interested in entering. A program that includes some fieldwork is always a great choice, giving students a competitive edge over those that don’t have this added experience.
Zoologists employed by government can normally expect a salary range of $61,000 to $75,000. Those zoologists working in large cities and in more highly visible positions and in positions with higher levels of responsibility can sometimes make over $100,000.
The employment outlook for zoologists is positive, with future increases expected due to factors such as desiring to help protect the environment. Advances being made today in biotechnology fields also factor in to the future employment outlook for zoologists. A zoologist can expect to work in a variety of positions from teaching to research to caring for animals in zoos or wildlife care facilities.
Some become wildlife rehabilitation specialists, while others become involved in research to help achieve a better life span for animals and in biomedical research to understand disease processes in animals. Job opportunities are as varied as the many species of animals that can potentially be studied. A career focused on becoming a zoologist is an admirable and exciting endeavor.