What Do Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Do?
If you like the sound of studying the genetics, origins, behavior and diseases of wildlife and animals, then you might be interested in becoming a wildlife biologist or zoologist. Depending on your career goals and interests, you might also prefer going into wildlife management and research. As far as future employment opportunities, zoologists and wildlife biologists are expected so see a job growth of five percent, which is about 700 job openings every year. To take full advantage of this prediction, be sure to explore the specific future job growth potential for any state to which you might be interested in relocating.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Skills and Abilities
Some of the more common abilities needed to become a competent zoologist or wildlife biologist include recognizing the potential for complications, oral and written comprehension, and oral and written expression. Necessary skills you’ll want to hone consist of reading comprehension, writing, active listening, utilizing the rules of science and using logic and reasoning to develop alternative solutions.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Duties
Observing wildlife in its natural habitat, offering recommendations on management systems and studying characteristics of animals are some of the duties you’ll fulfill as a wildlife biologist or zoologist. Others include rearing specimens for observation, preparing microscopic slides and specimens, completing administrative tasks and making sure you’re in compliance with the most current environmental laws. Other duties are drafting reports and scientific papers, developing preventative programs aimed at responding to wildlife diseases and taking inventory of wildlife and plant populations. Zoologists and wildlife biologists also offering advice on environmental management and make plans for future biological research.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Tools and Technology
Tools you’ll use as you study animals and carry out your duties include:Water samplersCommercial fishing netsSpecimen collector containersSporting trapsEntomological catching equipmentTypes of technology often used for this specific occupation consist of:Corel WordPerfect and other types of word processing softwareQuery and database user interface softwareScientifical and analytical software, such as SAS and HATPROSpreadsheetsMap creation software
Education and Training for Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
A bachelor’s degree is the most common degree held by wildlife biologists and zoologists. The next most common is the master’s degree followed by a doctoral or other professional degree. To increase your overall earning potential, it’s often beneficial to earn a higher degree. That being said, there is a small percent in the industry who have an associate’s degree. There’s usually no need to have prior work experience to qualify for jobs, and employers often don’t provide new employees with on-the-job training.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Salary
As a wildlife biologist or zoologist, you can expect a median yearly salary of $58,300, but top earners often take home about $96,700 a year. If you’d like to make more, you might consider moving to a different state. For instance, biologists and zoologists in California earn an average of $59,500. Those in the top 90th percentile make as much as $111,900 a year.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Jobs by Geography
While you can expect a five percent increase in your future job prospects, locations most likely to see a majority of those openings include Texas, California and North Carolina. States where there is predicted to be a decrease in jobs for zoologists and biologists include New Mexico, Michigan and the District of Columbia. As far as overall wages, states with the highest average wages for professionals who study wildlife are the District of Columbia, Maryland and Connecticut. Those where you’ll most likely make less than $50,000 every year on average are Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma.