A career in zoology can be very rewarding. Zoologists and wildlife biologists are scientists and preservationists who study the habitat and behaviour of various types of animals. If you plan on getting into the field of zoology, you should have a deep interest in biological science. Careers in this field tend to not be very lucrative financially speaking, but you can still make a substantial living if you work in the right sector.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and biological scientists work in various settings when performing their research on various wildlife species. For instance, some zoologists may work directly for a zoo, conducting research within the confines of a closed environment. Other researchers may work for the government and conduct research in the wild to determine the impact of environmental changes on various wildlife species. Salaries within this field of employment tend to differ based on where you are employed. Payscale.com notes, for instance, that zoologists employed by the federal and state governments made an average salary of £24,882 to £38,651, as of October 2010. At the same time, those working for zoos made considerably less at £21,456 to £32,888 per year. In any case, you will need a bachelor's degree as a minimum in this field; in some cases a master's degree or doctorate may be required. Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 21 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Environmental Researchers and Consultants
Environmental research and consulting is another field within this sector that yields similar salary results. Payscale.com notes that environmental consultants made between £22,954 and £34,766 in October 2010, while environmental researchers made a slightly higher salary in the range of £24,203 to £38,005. Compared with wildlife biologists in the government sector, the salary figures are very similar while higher than the expected salary of those working for zoos. Environmental researchers and consultants perform many of the same duties as biological scientists, except they may also spend considerable time studying environmental changes and their impact on plants, soils and the atmosphere, in addition to wildlife. These scientists and consultants are sometimes referred to as conservationists or foresters. A bachelor's degree in biology, forestry, zoology or another related field is required for employment. The BLS expects the number of jobs in this field to increase by 12 per cent from 2008 to 2018.
Veterinarians are among the highest paid professionals that have the opportunity to work with animals. Payscale.com noted the average salary for veterinarians to be between £38,168 and £56,617 in October 2010. The BLS noted that the median salary for veterinarians was £51,382 in May 2008. Although the difference in pay is substantial, so too are the educational requirements. Veterinarians must spend an additional four years in school beyond the bachelor's degree to obtain their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Only 28 colleges nationwide offer degrees at this level that are accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Employment of veterinarians is expected to increase by over 30 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to BLS projections.