Definition of Zoologists -
Zoologists are scientists who study and work with animals. Sometimes also known as animal biologists, they observe animals in natural settings, laboratories and other settings like zoos to learn as much as possible about animal life. The field of zoology is broad and highly specialized. It includes the study of both simple and complex processes that range from animals as small as ants to those as large as elephants. Zoologists also conduct research on animal traits like genetics, diseases and population trends.
Educational Requirements for Zoologists -
The minimum educational requirement for zoologists is a bachelor’s degree. However, the field is very competitive so those without post-graduate degrees are often limited to jobs such as laboratory technicians or zookeepers. Those with master’s degrees generally qualify for jobs in teaching or as research assistants. Obtaining the top-level jobs for zoologists requires a doctoral degree.
Skills Necessary for Zoologists -
Aside from liking animals, zoologists require advanced skills in research, mathematics, computers and communications. Depending on the setting, the work of zoologists also often requires the ability to work long hours outdoors in all kinds of weather.
Job and Career Outlook for Zoologists -
The salary range for zoologists is between $35,500 to over $100,000 per year depending upon the position and a person’s educational background. Zoologists are employed by many types of organizations including Federal and State governments, universities, zoos, museums conservation groups and private laboratories. Employment for zoologists is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018; especially for zoologists who are working on finding cures for diseases and researching the impact of animals on food production. Advancement opportunities in the field are very limited for those with only bachelor’s degrees, but are generally very numerous for those with doctoral degrees.