Zoology degrees often translate into career opportunities that involve zoos.
Being an integral component of a local zoological garden is important, but there are many additional job opportunities that a degree in zoology can provide.
What Can I Do with a Major in Zoology?
Outside of working in a zoo, the jobs for zoology majors are in many different industries and specializations.
You can work in the marine sciences, the veterinarian sciences, or your own preferred subject almost anywhere in the world.
Here are some of the most popular career options.
There are many animal-related jobs that are available to you as a zoology graduate.
There is also a need to teach other students interested in the subject.
It requires someone with experience in this career field to teach future generations about this science.
You could teach at a high school with a teaching certification, earn a graduate degree and teach at a graduate level, or earn a PhD and conduct research studies that teach others more about your field.
Teachers earn a salary that is based on their level of education and local pay scales.
A high school teacher in the US Midwest might earn $35,000.
With a PhD, you could potentially earn $100,000 or more.
In this career option, you would be responsible for grouping organisms into specific categories.
You would look for relationships between different animals and what their life origins would be.
Your worksite could be at home watching videos of animals, going out into the field to study behaviors, or working with private organizations or non-profits/NGOs that work to save habitats.
This job is often confused with “taxidermist,” but the two jobs are very different in their responsibilities.
Taxonomists typically earn above $40,000 per year with a Bachelor’s degree in zoology.
Additional education and experience can increase this wage.
Ethology is the study of animal behavioral habits.
This information is obtained by working directly with the animals who are being studied.
An ethologist would examine communication habits, reproductive behaviors, and family unit interactions.
Findings from these studies would be noted and then published so that the world of science can benefit from the information so a greater understanding of the animal can be obtained.
Ethologists usually have a graduate degree at minimum.
Salaries can often be above $60,000, with more usually offered to those with a doctorate.
#4. Laboratory Technician
With a degree in zoology, your responsibilities as a lab technician would be to assist medical or biological scientists.
You could work in a laboratory that supports a local veterinarian, work with zoologists in research studies, and other general assistance work.
You would be responsible for taking blood or fluid samples from an animal or observing an animal who is being treated for a specific condition.
A laboratory technician is generally considered to be an entry-level job in the world of zoology, but a 4-year degree is usually required to be considered for hire.
State licensure is often mandatory as well.
A beginning salary will average about $40,000.
#5. Wildlife Biologist
Many of the jobs for zoology majors are highly specialized, especially if you take advantage of a career opportunity as a wildlife biologist.
The zoology degree will allow you to branch off into a specific field of study, such as entomology, herpetology, or marine biology.
This allows you to study that type of animals that are most interesting to you.
Some wildlife biologists may focus on habitat studies instead of specific animal studies.
This might include limnology, forest ecology, or eremology.
The goal would be to understand the world better in these fields so that humans and animals can live together in greater harmony.
Wildlife biologists typically earn around $60,000 per year.
#6. Animal Training
Although animal captivity has become less popular over the last decade, especially in the marine sciences, there are still jobs available for trainers who can work with animals.
This includes working at an aquarium, at a game park, or for an organization like Sea World.
Animal trainers are usually responsible for the general welfare of those under their care, which includes their habitat, diet, and medical needs.
Many trainers are required to have a graduate degree with a specialization in a specific management discipline.
Some jobs may only require a 4-year degree, but would be more of an entry-level position.
Trainers typically earn around $50,000 per year.
Assistants will typically earn around $30,000 per year.
If you love animals and pursue a zoology degree, then the next step in your career might be to follow that up with a veterinarian degree.
A veterinarian would diagnose and treat domestic pets, livestock, farm animals, and sometimes exotic pets.
Some veterinarians work out of an office or clinic, while others travel around their community to visit farms or homes that may not be able to bring their animal to the clinic.
You would need to earn a DVM degree (Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine) to work as a veterinarian.
One of the first steps on this road could be to earn a degree in zoology.
Veterinarians average about $90,000 per year.
Zoology is more than the study of mammals or marine life.
It can also include some of the smallest forms of life that are on our planet today.
As a microbiologist, you would use your degree in zoology to study bacteria, algae, fungi, viruses, and parasitic life forms.
The actual job duties would be similar to other research positions: you would be working to understand how these organisms live and interact.
Many microbiologists work in an office setting.
For those with research responsibilities, there may also be laboratory work.
The average microbiologist can earn about $70,000 per year.
#9. Medical Illustration
If you’ve always loved artwork and you’ve got a love for zoology, then combining the two is possible if you pursue a career in medical illustration.
A professional medical illustrator or animator would create a visual representation of animals that can be referenced by veterinarians, content specialists, researchers, and teachers.
This work would allow students to learn more about zoology or be used as a reference guide for those who are already working in the field.
If you take your creativity into the world of animation, you could help create movies, video games, or apps with your degree in zoology.
Medical illustrators can earn over $60,000 per year with an entry-level position.
Experienced animators can easily earn above $100,00.
If your career takes you into a creative director or supervisory role, you could earn close to $200,000 annually.
Many illustrators also freelance in their spare time to earn more.
#10. Wildlife Rehabilitation
One of the most rewarding jobs for zoology majors is to work in the field of wildlife rehabilitation.
The job duties in this career option involve caring for abandoned, injured, or displaced wildlife, with the goal of returning the creature back to their natural habitat.
If the animal cannot return to the wild, then they may need additional care if they are included in local outreach or educational programs.
All aspects of care are required to be completed with this job, from diet to habitat care to wound maintenance.
There is often an educational component to this job as well, taking animals to local schools or programs to talk about them and answer questions.
There are local, national, and international opportunities that are available in this career option.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is just one example of many organizations that are looking for qualified people with a zoology degree that have a passion to care for animals.
Many jobs in this career field are for non-profit companies or NGOs.
Salaries are typically between $40,000-$50,000.
There may also be formal standards or licensure required to work in this specific field in some areas.
Fisheries hire managers and biologists with a degree in zoology to manage local marine life resources.
Many fisheries cultivate shellfish, specific fish species, or other forms of marine life with the goal of harvesting the animals for food one day.
Fisheries can also be used to help preserve threatened marine species, providing them with a safe place to live so that population levels can be stabilized.
This position may require frequent outdoor work, including exposure to adverse weather conditions.
Hours can be variable and there may be a lot of independent work responsibilities.
You may also be responsible for researching behavioral habits, managing the surrounding environment to support the fishery, and other duties that are directly related to animal health.
Managers in this career opportunity can typically earn about $45,000 per year.
Biologists can earn about $80,000 per year, but may be required to have a specific graduate discipline in addition to their 4-year zoology degree.
#12. Shelter Management
There are more than 70 million feral cats and dogs on the streets of the United States.
Some estimates place that number above 100 million.
These animals may be abandoned, born in the wild, or have escaped from their home.
A local animal shelter will provide these animals with a refuge, especially if it is a no-kill shelter.
That way there is the potential of an adoption at some point in the future.
Animal shelters don’t just take dogs and cats.
They’ll also accept farm animals, livestock, horses, and other animals that may need help for some reason.
Many local shelters also operate as a quarantine facility if an animal is considered dangerous or sick.
A shelter manager would be responsible for maintaining the business structure of the shelter, creating animal care programs, supervising technicians that directly care for the animals, and much more.
This is a job opportunity that can sometimes be obtained while still in school, studying for your zoology degree.
Hours can be variable and there are safety precautions that must be followed on a regular basis.
In return, you could earn a salary that is typically between $30,000 to $50,000 per year if the position is full-time.
#13. Science Writer
If you’ve always loved zoology and you’ve always loved writing, then becoming a science writer can be a very rewarding career opportunity.
Writers in this area cover a field that is rapidly advancing in knowledge and understanding.
You can work independently as a zoology blogger, get hired as a journalist or columnist that specializes in zoology, or create your own opportunities as an author.
Because a science writer often takes complex ideas and terminology and simplifies it for the average person to understand, there are numerous high-paying opportunities available in this field.
A science journalist can earn up to $200,000 per year if they are working for a major publication and have a graduate or doctorate degree.
Authors have unlimited earning potential, based on the sales of their books.
Thanks to programs like Amazon Direct Publishing, the traditional publication process doesn’t have to be followed to start earning a good salary.
You can self-publish e-books that share personal knowledge and experiences.
The same is true for bloggers with regards to unlimited earning potential, though it can be more challenging to create a high-paying opportunity in that area of science writing.
Bloggers can also join affiliate programs that supplement their income by selling someone else’s products or services.
If you want to learn how to make money blogging, you’re in the right place.
Click here, create your free account and start your education today.
If you don’t quit, in a few years’ time your blog may become your main income stream.
Is a Career in Zoology Right for You?
If you love working with animals or understanding more about who they are and what they do, then a career in zoology could be right for you.
You’ll find that a degree in zoology can open many opportunities for you in a variety of industries.
From the classroom to a zoological habitat, you can have a direct impact on the future of this field thanks to your education and personal interests.
The jobs for zoology majors can be very rewarding.
Look for opportunities in these areas and you’ll get into a job that you’ll love.