Enjoy Helping Animals? Consider an Education in Zoology
Today’s guest post is from Amy Silver. Amy is a Public Health student and an animal lover. She enjoys spending time with her two dogs, and suggests studying animal care for those who wish to turn their love into a career.
Are you considering a career path that will let you interact with and help animals? Most of us would immediately think about entering into a program of study to become a veterinarian; however another exciting field to consider is that of a professional zoologist.
Zoological professionals, also known as animal biologists, zoologists and animal biologists, are scientists who study animal life — observing them in both natural habitats and laboratory settings. Zoologists study behaviors, interactions and habits of animals. These professionals also study the development and origin of animal species. Zoologists work in several different venues; however most work in academic institutions in the areas of teaching and research. Others may work in wildlife management, agriculture and conservation. Some zoologists work in the area of biomedical or agro-chemical research. Where zoologists work depends greatly on the field of specialization of the individual. This field offers many career paths and opportunities, as it is a wide-open field of research.
The opportunities for those seeking a zoological profession include:
- Working at zoos or aquariums
- Working at zoos as curators where they are responsible for acquiring animals, either through buying them from other zoos or overseeing breeding programs
- Working as educators in sanctuaries, aquariums and other such venues.
- Working as a rehabilitation specialist to care for injured, sick or orphaned animals. Many times these animals are injured by major disasters such as oil spills or fires. Zoologist working as the rehab specialists also work to release these injured animals back into their natural wild environments.
- Working as animal behaviorists to help employees at zoos care for and interact with the animals in their care.
- Working as an animal science researcher at colleges or universities.
And just what types of activities will you be doing as a professional zoologist? While job responsibilities will vary depending on the type of environment you’re working in you may do any number of tasks. Here’s a quick look at some of those tasks:
As a wildlife educator you may:• Live and work at a particular site while you study and research animal behavior• Write informational materials such as brochures and pamphlets• Prepare and implement displays.
As a zookeeper you may:• Care for the animals — preparing meals, cleaning exhibits and so on. • Monitor animal behaviors• Groom and exercise the animals• Speak to visitor groups about the animals.
As a researcher you may• Conduct experiment• Identify and record new data• Preserve specimens for additional study and identification• Conduct research in the natural environments of animals.
As an animal rehab professional, you may:• Care for injured or sick animals for release back into the wild.
To become a zoologist you will need to gain an educational background in the areas of chemistry, math and biology. Generally you will need to complete an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences field. If you intend to become researcher, you will also need to obtain a PhD as well. As you can see, zoology is a wide-open field for anyone who wants to be involved in the care, as well as the research of the animal world.