There are many different types of animal scientist jobs, from scientific researchers to zoologists to animal scientist technicians. Animal scientists collect information on how to feed, shelter, and care for animals. They may also study ways to protect an endangered species or preserve a certain animal. Getting animal scientist jobs begins with the right education, and most colleges and universities offer this type of curriculum for students with an interest in research.
Research jobs make the majority of scientific breakthroughs in animal care possible. Animal scientific research jobs require a great deal of study and work, and involve taking courses in biology, reproduction, and nutrition. Most secondary schools require students to have a degree in agriculture as well. The types of animal research jobs available include biological scientists, dairy nutritionists, and animal behaviorists.
Zoologists study animals in their natural habitat and in captivity. This form of animal science can include a wide variety of areas of research, such as behavior, species interaction, and reproduction. Some people take jobs in one specific field of zoology; for example, a zoologist may specialize in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles, while another may have interest in fish or ichthyology. Zoologist jobs also include working in wildlife sanctuaries and, of course, zoos.
People who enjoy the technical side of science may choose to pursue technician or technologist jobs; these animal scientist jobs employ people in a laboratory setting or in a veterinary office. Laboratory animal technicians may administer medications, perform tests, help during surgeries, and provide treatments. Like most types of animal scientist jobs, technicians often perform several duties and take on several different roles. Veterinary technologists may perform similar duties, although a technologist usually is required to complete a four-year degree.
Sometimes, animal scientist jobs require tough decisions be made. An animal that cannot be saved due to an untreatable disease, illness, or severe injury must be euthanized. Animal scientists who work in facilities where this is part of the job must be able to put aside the emotional side of his or her work in order to carry out such tasks.
It may not be easy choosing which one of the animal scientist careers to pursue; with a great number of choices open to researchers, biologists, and other similar professionals, the choice can be hard. The first step to making the right choice begins with finding the right education. Most colleges and universities offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Programs can take four years or longer, if pursuing a master's degree or higher. Students learn in clinical laboratory settings as well as in external sites.