- Monitoring wildlife health and creating recovery plans
- Communicating with the public by conducting field trips to point out scientific, historic and natural features of a park
- Setting up equipment to monitor and collect pollutants from sites, such as smoke stacks, manufacturing plants and mechanical equipment
- Conducting experimental studies indoors and outdoors
- Studying the origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories, diseases, development, genetics and distribution of organisms in basic research
Students planning careers as field biologists need strong mathematical skills and should like working with computers. Perseverance, curiosity and the ability to concentrate on details and work independently are essential.
In addition to basic biological knowledge, interested students should seek opportunities to demonstrate they can work well with a wide variety of people. Good oral and written communication skills are critical, as many scientists work as part of a team, write research papers or proposals and have contact with clients or customers with nonscience backgrounds.
Experience through internships, undergraduate research or co-op programs is valued highly by employers and graduate schools. Although there are career opportunities for zoologists with only a bachelor’s degree, many professional field biologists hold either a master’s degree or a Ph.D. For this reason, individuals interested in careers in zoology should give careful consideration to graduate study and should research the different jobs available at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. levels as part of choosing a major of study.
The average salary range for a zoologist in the initial stages of his or her career is $30,000 to $45,000 per year. After five years of work experience, the range is $40,000 to $55,000 per year. After 10 years of work experience, the range is $45,000 to $65,000 per year. For senior zoologists (20 or more years of work experience), salary range is $55,000 to $80,000 per year.
Zoologists work in a wide range of areas including:
- developing and testing new drugs
- improving agricultural crops and livestock
- disease and pest control
- conserving endangered habitats and species
- animal welfare and education
- developing policies and enforcing regulations for government agencies
To become a zoologist, you will need to have:
- an interest in animals and the environment
- an aptitude for science, particularly biology and chemistry. the ability to carry out detailed work accurately and methodically
- the ability to plan research, analyse and interpret data, and write reports
- practical skills
- problem-solving skills
- patience, perseverance and the ability to concentrate for long periods
- the ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team
- strong communication and IT skills
You could be employed by:
- government research institutions
- the NHS
- medical research establishments
- museums and other cultural organisations
- zoos and wildlife trusts
- environmental protection agencies
In the private sector you could work as a consultant or in a technical and research role, for example in:
You could use your experience as a zoologist to move into other jobs such as management, marketing, sales or scientific journalism. You may also be able to work and study overseas.