Becoming a Zoologist takes hard work and a large commitment to studying marine or wildlife biology, but in the end a career in this field is extremely rewarding.
Put simply, Zoologists study animals, their behaviour, natural environments and can conduct group or independent research into a variety of areas.
The pathway to a career in zoology is typically through higher education (i.e. bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree) but with so many job opportunities within the field, entering zoology is easier than you think.
What is a Zoologist?
Zoology is the study of living organisms, i.e. animals; Zoologists study a variety of species in different environments, ecosystems and specific behaviours.
This field is quite scientific as one of the main responsibilities is conducting research and analysing data. Many Zoologists find employment at universities, zoos and at government agencies.
There are actually a few specialised careers within Zoology including:
A Herpetologist is someone who specialises in reptilian and amphibian species. In studying herpetology, these specialised Zoologists provide care and conduct research on species like frogs, snakes, turtles, crocodiles and lizards looking at their behaviour, genetics, anatomy, health etc.
Ornithology looks at the biological and applied research on birds, including their evolution, structure to habitats and other trends. They are a specific wildlife biologist looking at their physical structure, behaviour, environmental issues and even diseases.
Ichthyology comes under the study of marine biology, where an Ichthyologist is knowledgeable about all fish species, including their habitats, history and developmental patterns. It is common for these specialised Zoologists to conduct deep-sea and underwater research, therefore requiring a SCUBA certification!
A Mammalogist studies a variety of mammals and wild animals/species in their natural habitats and there biology. Mammalogists typically work at zoos and reserves but can also be found in an academic setting like at museums.
How to Become a Zoologist
The pathway to a career as a Zoologist is simpler than you may think, Zoology degrees are available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The minimum education requirement in this field is a bachelors degree typically a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology; completing a master’s degree qualifies for higher-level positions within a variety of work spaces as well as increased pay and responsibilities.
Choosing to complete a Ph.D. is recommended if you choose to go into a field that requires you to conduct research and developing plans for conservation/management.
It is important that throughout your degree, you undertake a variety of practical experience and/or volunteer work. You may be able to complete your masters and your Ph.D. whilst completing work in an entry level job.
Employers will typically look for good communication skills, a background in science, critical thinking and problem solving.
Other skills include active learning, proficiency with a variety of softwares and of course a passion for wildlife biology, animal behaviour or whatever your main interest in Zoology is!
At Training.com.au, we currently offer 2 short courses that’ll give you the right skill set and knowledge to work in related fields that are similar to a Zoologists work.
Both of the Zoology Certificates offer career outcomes that centre on assistant work to Zoo Keepers and Vets, or offer the communication skills and coursework needed to become a Wildlife Officer or Ranger.
There are plenty of short courses and certificates out there to complete if you don’t think a Zoologist job is exactly right for you, but know this field is your calling.
You can check out these short courses here.
Other Career Opportunities
Being a Zoologist is not the only career path that offers you an opportunity to work with different animal species and their natural habitats.
Completing an undergraduate degree alone still offers you with plenty of job varieties for you to choose from (especially a the completion of a Bachelor of Science).
There are also many entry level positions at zoos, vets, ranges etc that offer practical experience for you to build on climb your way up to the job you want. Some other career options that are similar to a zoologists job description include:
Zoology is such a broad field for you to explore as a career option; studying the biology of animals and animal behaviour being a Zoologist offers a variety of life changing experiences, where you get to conduct research, work with a variety of animal populations and make a difference.
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