A zoologist studies wildlife and other animals to gather data..


What does a Zoologist do?

Median Pay $60,520
Growth Rate 4%
Citation Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org

A zoologist studies wildlife and other animals to gather data on how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the impact humans have on wildlife and natural habitats and the physical characteristics of animals and animal behavior. Zoologist may work in laboratories or offices. However, they often work outdoors in the field to study animals and gather data in their natural habitats.

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How to Become a Zoologist

Zoologists require at least a bachelor’s degree in zoology and wildlife biology, or in a related field like ecology. An undergraduate degree in biology with studies in wildlife biology and zoology is a good preparation for this career. For higher level investigative work or scientific work, a master’s degree is needed. A Ph.D. Is required for the majority of independent research positions and for university research positions.

Students take courses in anatomy, ecology, cellular biology, and wildlife management. Courses may also focus on a particular group of animals, like ornithology (birds) or herpetology (amphibians and reptiles). Because zoologist should be well-rounded with scientific background, courses in physics, botany, and chemistry are important. Students should also have courses in statistics and mathematics in order to do complex data analysis.

Job Description of a Zoologist


Depending on the level of education of a zoologist, they typically develop and conduct experimental studies with animals in their natural habitats or in controlled settings. They collect specimens and biological data for analysis and study the characteristics of animals, including diseases, population, reproduction, and movement patterns. He or she studies how human interaction effects wildlife and their natural habitats.

A zoologist attempts ways to improve breeding programs that support healthy endangered species, game animals, or other wildlife populations. They write research papers, reports, and scholarly articles explaining their findings and/or give presentations to the general public or academics. They may develop conservation plans and make recommendations on wildlife management and conservation to policy makers and the general public.

Zoologist Career Video Transcript

When the climate changes, how are wildlife habitats affected? What relationships exist among animals in the wild? If you like the idea of working in the great outdoors to study questions like these, consider a job as a zoologist or wildlife biologist. Zoologists study animals, and usually specialize in a specific type of animal, like birds or amphibians, studying their behavior, diseases, and development. Wildlife biologists are more likely to study specific ecosystems or animal populations, such as an endangered species, and work to protect and manage wildlife populations. Zoologists and wildlife biologists design experiments, collect data, and share their findings through publications and presentations. Depending on their role, these scientists may conduct fieldwork, traveling to deserts, or remote mountainous and woodland regions that may have few modern comforts. Other zoologists and wildlife biologists may teach college students in classrooms, or conduct research in laboratories. Whether working alone, or teamed up with other scientists, they hold positions in government, colleges and universities, utility companies, environmental consulting firms, and conservation groups. For entry-level positions, these scientists need a bachelor’s degree in zoology, microbiology, biochemistry or a related field; a master’s degree or Ph.D. is often needed for higher level research or scientific work.

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