Zoologists and wildlife biologists essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $57,710
- 2011, number of jobs: 18,650
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 7 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Zoologists and wildlife biologists; what they do:
It’s hard to watch one of those nature documentaries without becoming completely immersed and fascinated by the living things on this planet – but have you ever stopped to think what it would be like to be a zoologist or wildlife biologist, the individuals paid to study these fascinating creatures?
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals: where they live, how they live, and how they interact with one another. Both a zoologist career and a wildlife biologist career involve conducting scientific experiments with animals in controlled or natural environments, as well as collecting data and specimens for further analysis.
Knowing as much about an animal as possible helps a zoologist and a wildlife biologist more accurately estimate wildlife populations and determine the level of influence human activity has on specific animals.
Zoologist careers and wildlife biologist careers include writing about experiments, studies, and conclusions and sharing the information with others through published reports, papers, and scholarly articles.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists commonly work together and with other professionals, such as environmental scientists and hydrologists, in a research team.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists may specialist by species, such as entomologists, herpetologists, ichthyologists, mammalogists, ornithologist, Marine biologists, limnologists, ecologists, or evolutionary biologists.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists job titles:
- Fish and Wildlife Biologist
- Fisheries Biologist
- Wildlife Manager
- Aquatic Biologist
- Assistant Research Biologist
- Conservation Resources Management Biologist
- Environmental Specialist
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
A zoologist career or a wildlife biologist career typically begins with a Bachelor of Zoology or Bachelor of Wildlife Biology degree. A Bachelor of Ecology degree is also often acceptable for entry-level zoologist and wildlife biologist positions. Higher level zoologist or wildlife biologist positions require a master’s degree, and independent research positions require a Ph.D.
Some colleges and universities offer the following degree programs:
- Master in Wildlife Biology
- Master in Wildlife Ecology and Management
- Master in Natural Resources with a concentration in wildlife conservation management
- Master in Environmental and Forest Biology
- Master of Zoology
- Master in Anthrozoology
Zoologist and wildlife biologist programs cover subjects such as:
- Wildlife management
- Cellular biology
Zoologists and wildlife biologists don’t need specific licenses or certifications.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Zoologists and wildlife biologists traditionally advance in their career through years of experience and additional education obtained. Zoologists and wildlife biologists with a Ph.D. often lead research teams and determine the overall goals and pace of a project.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 7 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for zoologists and wildlife biologists, slower than the average for all occupations.
The growing human population affecting wildlife through pollution, habitat loss, and other factors, increases the demand for the services of zoologists and wildlife biologists. The budgets of state, local, and federal government agencies limit the number of zoologists and wildlife biologists they can hire.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $57,710
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $73,010
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $37,100
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Employers
- State government
- Federal government agencies
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
- Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences