12 Careers for Zoology Graduates
Do you love spending time with animals? Are you passionate about wildlife conservation? Are you fascinated by science?
If so, a degree in zoology might be for you. Zoology is a special branch of biology dedicated to the study of animal science and anatomy. Students in this field study topics like animal biology, behavior, adaptation, and conservation. They develop practical skills in field research and laboratory techniques, gaining hands-on experience working with animals of all kinds. They graduate with strong abilities in data collection and analysis, written and oral communication, project management, and team work.
These qualities—paired with their deep understanding of biology, ecosystems, and animal science—prepare zoology majors for a wide range of careers. Let's take a look at a few of the most common ones.
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Not surprisingly, zoologist is a dream job for many zoology majors. These professional scientists work in research laboratories, academic institutions, or out in the field. They can study animals in captivity or in their natural environment, monitoring their behavior and development. They also prepare research reports, publish their findings in academic journals, present at conferences, and more.
A zoologist studies the origins, genetics, diseases, life progression, and behaviors of animals.
2. Park Naturalist
Park naturalists help the public make the most of the world's parks and recreational sites. They use their knowledge of the natural world to educate visitors about the fascinating plants, animals, and ecosystems that surround them. But park rangers do more than help people enjoy nature; they also teach others how to protect and respect the incredible wildlife that call this planet home.
A park naturalist is a lover of the outdoors and someone who loves to share what they know about nature with others.
For zoology majors who love aquatic life, a career as an aquarist is a perfect match. These professionals care for the fish and other animals living in aquariums. They feed the creatures, entertain them, monitor and clean their habitats, and more. Some also play an educational role, offering presentations to visitors about the special animals in their care.
An aquarist usually works for the aquatic section of a zoo or for a public aquarium and takes care of the fish and the aquatic animals.
4. Veterinary Assistant
In the US, several zoology programs offer specialized pre-vet training that prepares graduates for a veterinary career. Although some students in these programs continue studying after graduation, many choose to gain professional experience before entering veterinary school. An entry-level job, like veterinary assistant, is an excellent option to consider.
Do you feel passionate about caring for animals and providing them with the best possible care?
If additional education isn't an issue, becoming a veterinarian can be an ideal career path. Veterinarians help animals of all kinds heal from injury, illness, and more. They conduct physical exams, provide emergency care, give immunizations, perform surgery, and offer advice to clients on how to care for their pets. This job requires clear communication, a scientific mind, and a true passion for animals—all of which zoology majors possess.
A veterinarian is a medical professional who protects the health and well-being of both animals and people.
6. Zoo Educator
If you enjoy interacting with people as much as you do with animals, a career in zoo education may be a perfect fit. Zoo educators teach visitors about the fascinating creatures at the zoo. They give educational presentations, answer questions, and provide information about the animals, the facility, and its conservation efforts.
A zoo educator is responsible for providing information about the zoo facility and teaching visitors about the animals kept at the zoo.
7. Wildlife Rehabilitator
For a more hands-on role, consider becoming a wildlife rehabilitators. When animals become injured, sick, or orphaned, these compassionate professionals help them recover and return to their home in the wild. They use their deep knowledge of animal behavior and habitat to seek the appropriate veterinary assistance, care for the creatures, and nurse them back to health.
When an animal in the wild gets hurt, sometimes human intervention can get them back to ideal health.
8. Marine Biologist
Marine biologists are specialized scientists who study saltwater plants and animals. They work with algae, whales, fish, plankton, and other species. Marine biology careers can vary widely, but most positions involve a mix of research and teaching. Tasks can include collecting and analyzing seawater samples, writing research reports, educating university students, and more.
A marine biologist is someone who is interested in learning and studying marine organisms and what their lives are like in their natural habitats.
9. Animal Trainer
From racehorses to family pets to professional service dogs, lots of animals need professional training. Animal trainers work with species of all kinds, helping them learn to respond to commands, perform certain behaviors, and avoid other ones. Zoology majors possess the knowledge and passion for animals needed to excel in this role.
Do you love animals?
10. Sustainability Officer
Rather than working directly with animals, some zoology majors choose to focus on preserving animal habitats. Many become sustainability officers, working with companies to decrease the environmental impacts of their activities. Sustainability officers help employers assess their energy usage, waste production, and pollution outputs. The also suggest ways to make the company's systems and processes as environmentally friendly as possible.
Within the last twenty years, corporations have begun to make the environment a priority while producing goods or providing services.
11. Conservation Scientist
Another habitat protection job, conservation scientists work to research, improve, and sustain natural spaces. They work closely with governments and landowners to manage wildlife habitats in environmentally safe ways. This can include monitoring and assessing large areas of land, testing water quality, conserving minerals and other resources, and more. Analytical and action-focused, this career can be an ideal fit for an environmentally-minded zoology major.
Do you love the outdoors?
Finally, zoology majors who absolutely love to learn may find their perfect career in academia. Zoology professors work at universities and colleges across the world. They conduct research, publish academic journal articles and books, teach undergraduate classes, supervise graduate students, and more.