ZOOLOGISTS study the basic aspects of animal life, such as their origin, structure, behavior, growth, development, diseases, life processes, and habitat. They study animals in their natural habitat, in zoos, and in labs. They usually specialize in one type of animal or animal family, or in certain aspects of animal life, such as genetics or family classification. Some experiment with live animals in controlled or natural settings, while others dissect dead animals in order to study their structure. They may do research on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of animal diseases. They may collect and analyze biological data to determine the affect of animals on the environment.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $57,000 average per year ($27.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (17,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.3% per year)
A Ph.D. degree is required for ZOOLOGISTS in independent research, college or university teaching, and for advancement to administrative positions. A master's degree in zoology is sufficient for some jobs in basic or applied research and for jobs in management. A bachelor's degree in biological science is adequate for some non-research positions. Courses include biology, chemistry, zoology, mathematics, and computer science. Computer skills are essential for modeling and simulation tasks and to operate computerized lab equipment.