What Do Animal Scientists Do?
An animal scientist has to conduct research about animals. You may look at animal genetics, nutrition, reproduction or growth. An animal scientist usually focuses on the development of domestic farm animals. Oftentimes, an animal scientist is doing this research to better understand animals and what they need to really thrive and produce useful eggs, milk and meat for society.The job growth in this field is supposed to about 9% across the country. That means that on average there will be about 120 new job openings.
Animal Scientists Skills and Abilities
As an animal scientist, you are expected to have a familiarity with biology and chemistry. You should be experienced with scientific rules and methods for performing experiments. An animal scientist has to have great critical thinking, communication, speaking and writing skills in order to be able to share what they are learning about animals with their peers and the public. You also will have to use reasoning and problem sensitivity abilities in order to better do your job.
Animal Scientists Duties
Because animal scientists are trying to learn new things, you have to be able to communicate what you learn. You also have to:
- Conduct research on animal nutrition, management and breeding in order to improve processes and the products they provide.
- Study what kind of nutrition animals require and subsequently what value of nutrition the animal feed provides.
- Control and research animal breeding and selection in order to improve overall animal quality and production efficiency.
- Develop better feeding, sanitation, housing and disease control of animals.
- Crossbreed animals to achieve new combinations of looked-for characteristics.
- Understand principles of genetics and use them to define genetic composition of animal populace and heritability of traits.
- Prepare technical, scientific reports and presentations
These are just a few things that an animal scientist would be expected to do.
Animal Scientists Tools and Technology
The technical nature of this position requires that you have a familiarity with a number of technologies and tools to help you do the job more efficiently.
- Analytical and Scientific Software, such as, DNA Sequence Analysis Software
- Computer Aided Design Software, such as, Autodesk AutoCAD Software
- Database User Interface Software, such as, Microsoft Access
- Email Software
- Web Browser Software
- Animal feeders
- Artificial Insemination Kits
- Calf Pullers
- Cattle Scales
- Brooders and Incubators
This tools and technologies aid in the research, presentations and experiments that you have to do as an animal scientist.
Education and Training for Animal Scientists
Typically, an animal scientist is required to have a doctoral or professional degree. The reason this profession requires so much education is because there is very little on-the-job training done, and yet you are expected to perform very technical procedures. Someone aiming to become an animal scientist would need the following courses:
- General Agriculture
- General Animal Sciences
- Animal Nutrition and Health
- Diary Science
- Poultry Science
- Agricultural Animal Breeding
- Range Science and Management
These courses will give you the understanding you need to do all of the animal scientist duties.
Animal Scientists Salary
An average animal scientist is going to make pretty good money. For example, the lower 10% of animal scientists make about $37,400, which is a fairly good income. The higher 10% are making about $124,800. While the average animal scientist makes about $61,100.
Animal Scientists Jobs by Geography
In Nebraska, Maryland and Wisconsin an average animal scientist will make more money, while in Arkansas, North Carolina and Florida you will make less. The states that are seeing the most job growth are North Carolina, Arkansas and Nebraska. However, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa actually have the most animal scientists by population. When you start considering where you should live in order to be a successful animal scientist, you have to consider job openings in the field, average pay and what the cost of living tends to be.