Do You Want To be a Zoologist?
By: Raquel Eichelmann
- Median income of $57,430 in 2010
- The range of pay can be significant depending on the location and type of work.
- Zoology work in metropolitan areas often pays over $100,000 annually.
Skills, Talents, and Experience
Education and training
To become a zoologist, you need to begin by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology. Completing undergraduate coursework in wildlife biology, conservation biology, ecology, zoology, chemistry and mathematics is a great way to build an educational foundation for your career as a zoologist. Depending on where your career ambitions and interests lie, you will likely need a graduate degree in zoology or biology to become a zoologist. Depending on the requirements of the employer, a Master’s degree in zoology is typically sufficient for many applied research positions. To become a zoologist who works in research and university teaching positions a PhD in Zoology is needed. Zoologists must also complete education throughout their careers in order to keep their skills current stay up to date with advancements in the field.
Who can do this job
Obviously, the average day for a zoologist or wildlife biologist differs considerably depending upon whether or not they are in a lab or academia setting versus being in the field in a remote wilderness location engaged in research and collecting data. While in the field, zoologists and wildlife biologists may face tough working and living conditions, maybe exposed to harmful organisms and, on occasion, dangerous wild animals. This is clearly in stark contrast to their work in the lab.
- 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.