Career and Job Search Guide


Zoologists study animal behaviors, specie characteristics, and evolutionary trends in animals. Some zoologists that specialize in disease are called animal biologists or scientists.

Since zoology is a broad field of study, there are numerous research opportunities available. Many people study zoology to contribute to conservation efforts and protecting the earth's ecology. The majority of zoologists work at universities and colleges teaching and conducting research.

All zoologists study or work directly with animals. Zoologists either study specific animal systems and parts, or specialize in the whole animal. Like other biological scientists, zoologists are responsible for observing animals in their natural habitat and conducting experiments in laboratories, and like other scientists, they utilize sophisticated technology and conduct field work. Certain zoologists work in distant regions and inclement weather which can be exhausting and uncomfortable.

Many local and federal agencies hire zoologists, and in some cases, the agency hiring the zoologist is not always associated with zoology, such as the United States Department of Energy. Zoologists working for government agencies frequently conduct research and are often involved with environmental issues.

Opportunities also exist in manufacturing and private companies. These jobs frequently involve environmental protection and conservation.

Students interested in working as a field biologist must have advanced mathematical training and feel comfortable using computers. Field biologists must also be dedicated, independent, and hardworking.

Field biologists must be trained in biology and have the ability to work with diverse groups of people. Since scientists frequently publish their research and must submit research proposals, they must have effective written and verbal communication abilities.

Companies and graduate programs at universities value candidates that have conducted college research and participated in internships.

Job opportunities exist for zoologists possessing bachelor's degree, but most field biologists have earned post graduate degrees, so people wanting to pursue a career in field biology should consider attending graduate school in a biological science.

Most zoologists do not earn large salaries. In 2003, zoologists that possessed a bachelor's degree averaged salaries beginning around $31,000; however, most individuals beginning in entry level positions earned salaries in the bottom $20,000 level. Zoologists average $47,740 annually with those in the upper percentile earning about $71,000 annually.