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What is needed to become a zoologist?

Updated April 17, 2017

Zoology can be a rewarding career, especially for those who love animals. Far from being limited to work in zoos, this field can encompass anything from marine biology to animal behavioural science.

Earn a Bachelor of Science degree in general biology or any other life science, and maintain a high grade-point average (GPA).

Earn an advanced degree in a subject related to the area in which you would like to work. For example, if you want to work in an aquarium, pursue a master's degree in marine biology.

Gain strong recommendations and work experience through internships or research fellowships.

Develop good verbal and written communication skills so you can speak to the public or write lengthy papers documenting your research findings.

Tip

If you have a place in mind where you would like to work as a zoologist, try to get an internship there while you’re in school, even if it is unpaid.

Warning

Don't be squeamish. If you are, you will never make it through school and you certainly will not like your job. Zoology is a hands-on field, and working with animals can get dirty, whether you’re cutting raw meat to feed to tigers or preparing specimens in a research lab.

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