By: Jordan Johnson

Education & Training

Most Zoologists typically have a master's degree however a bachelor's degree can qualify you for entry-level positions and a Ph.D is necessary to lead independent research and for most university research positions. I plan to get a Ph.D in zoology for this career.


I plan on moving to Maryland for this career because the salary is way over the U.S. average here. The average salary for the U.S. in the top percentile is $96,720, the median percentile is $58,270, and the low percentile is $38.080. The average for the top percentile in Maryland is $138,140, the median percentile is $90,740, and the low percentile is $57,490.


The tasks zoologists do are:

  • Study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry.

  • Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.

  • Organize and conduct experimental studies with live animals in controlled or natural surroundings.

  • Make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.

  • Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.

  • Study characteristics of animals, such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases, development, genetics, and distribution.

  • Inform and respond to public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.

  • Coordinate preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases.

  • Analyze characteristics of animals to identify and classify them.

  • Prepare collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease.

  • Perform administrative duties such as fundraising, public relations, budgeting, and supervision of zoo staff.

  • Collect and dissect animal specimens and examine specimens under microscope.

  • Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.


Employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. More zoologists and wildlife biologists will be needed to study the impact that human population growth and development has on wildlife and their natural habitats. However, because most funding comes from governmental agencies, demand for zoologists and wildlife biologists will be limited by budgetary constraints.


  • Biology
  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Computer and Electronics
  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Geography


  • Active Listening
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Active Learning
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Coordination
  • Monitoring
  • System Analysis
  • Time Management
  • Instructing
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Systems Evaluation

Working Conditions

Zoologists and wildlife biologists work in offices, laboratories, or outdoors. Depending on their job, they may spend considerable time in the field gathering data and studying animals in their natural habitats.

Similar Occupations

  • Animal Scientists
  • Biologists
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Microbiologists
  • Veterinarians

Why Its My Dream Job

Being a zoologist is my dream job because I love the idea of studying animals and it has just drawn me towards this career. When I was little I wanted to be a vet, but now that I've matured, I realized instead of sitting in an office helping animals, I could be out in the field learning more about them to help in the future.


  • Zoology is a Small Field
  • Zoology is a Foundation for Other Careers
  • Zoologists Have Variable Working Conditions
  • Zoologists are Well-Educated
  • Zoologists Often Specialize