Becoming an Animal Behaviorist

Apart from skill set and training, the most important requirement to become an Animal Behaviorist is the love and affection for animals and pets. The Animal Behaviorists study the way animals behave and act and then determine the causes and effects. They also analyze change in their behavior. Their research includes domestic animals, fishes, birds, wild animals etc. Apart from the movement and behavior of the animals, these professionals also focus on hunting, mating, productions etc.

Working Environment: They work in universities, research facilities, zoos, animal training centers, pet product companies, pharmaceutical firms, animal welfare organizations etc. They are usually smart people, who can easily understand the animals and their requirements. There are two types of Animal Behaviorists. Some work as specialists, while others work as teachers at a university or college.

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: It is mandatory for the aspirants to complete a bachelor’s degree in life science such as zoology, biology or ecology if they want to become Animal Behaviorists. Coursework in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and psychology are the basic requirements for Animal Behaviorist programs. Animal Behavior topics include behavioral ecology, neuroendocrinology and animal cognition.

Those having a bachelor’s degree might get employment at zoos with various positions such as Zookeepers, Assistant Zoo Directors, Zoo Directors etc.

  1. Advanced Education: After completing a bachelor’s degree, the aspirants may go for a master’s degree in the relevant field and even go further to complete a PhD or Doctorate. During that period, they will learn about evolution, genetics, neurobiology and physiology along with wildlife conservation and attend seminars on animal behavioral pattern.

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Animal Behaviorists remains good, if not excellent. Animal behaviorists working in private companies typically earn more than researchers or those working for zoos and other non-profit organizations. The average salary of Animal Behaviorists was $35,000 to $90,000 in May 2012.

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