How much does an animal behaviorist earn?

Animal behaviourist is a profession that is not specifically tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; however, the nearest profession listed, animal trainer, does convey a realistic range of what an animal behaviourist can expect to earn due to the similar nature of the work. Animal behaviourists may also be considered an advanced form of the animal care and service profession also tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Animal behaviourists and other animal specialists are likely to earn fairly low wages compared to other professions, with the chief consideration for most of these individuals being very keen compassion and love of animals.


The most basic role of the animal behaviourist is to study in the area of animal behaviour for the benefit of agricultural professionals in order to raise the healthiest and most profitable livestock possible. Animal behaviourists also play an important role in the administration of zoos, animal laboratories and can even cater to the public through consultation services for pet owners.

Educational Requirements

Animal behaviourists can have a contemporary variety of educational backgrounds and may hold degrees in zoology, biology or psychology, considering animal psychology as an offshoot of standard human psychology. Some animal behaviourists may also come from an agricultural background, either holding a degree or informal expertise acquired through long-term and significant on-the-job experience. Animal behaviourists that hold a veterinary degree should use wage information relating to the veterinarian field; however, animal behaviourists in and of themselves are not considered veterinarians.

Entry-Level and Best in Field Earnings of an Animal Behaviorist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal behaviourists of the class of animal trainer can earn just under £11,050 annually in the lowest 10 per cent of earners; presumably these are entry-level workers. Animal trainers in the highest 10 per cent of earners reported annual incomes of approximately £33,800. Operating on the assumption that the field is more likely to fall under animal care and services as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the low-end entry-level wage becomes closer to £9,750 annually, with the highest 10 per cent group earning £20,475 annually. Niche specialists catering to elite clientele may demand higher earnings, such as the animal behaviourists who deal specifically in thoroughbred livestock or pets.

Average Salaries for Animal Behaviorists

Operating on the assumption that animal behaviourists are covered in the animal trainer subdivision of income reporting as the best fitting reported profession by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal behaviourists are likely to earn a middle-of-the-road median wage of £22,425 a year when focusing on a support role for livestock applications, such as animal husbandry. For those who view animal behaviourists a greater match to the reported animal care and service profession, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage ranges from £11,700 to £13,000.

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About the Author

Daniel R. Mueller is a Canadian who has been writing professionally since 2003. Mueller's writing draws on his extensive experience in the private security field. He also has a professional background in the information-technology industry as a support technician. Much of Mueller's writing has focused on the subjects of business and economics.