Zoologist Job Description

Zoology Careers
Zoology Careers

Do you have a basic understanding of the zoologist job description but aren't quite sure about all of the details? A zoologist is essentially a biologist who studies animals, but individuals who work in this field do a great deal more than sit back and watch! They research, manage, and analyze animals and wildlife.

Becoming a Zoologist

The path to becoming a zoologist may be longer than you think! It requires a doctoral degree, but if you love science and working with animals, it could be worth it. As an undergraduate, you'll need to focus on biology or zoology. As a graduate student, you will specialize in a specific are of the study of animal science, such as genetics.

The Zoologist Job Description

So what exactly does the job description include? Studying, analyzing, experimenting, and more. A zoologist studies:

  • How different animals interact with other animals and their own species
  • Classification and history for various animals
  • How animals interact with and adapt to the environment-sometimes this is their natural habitat and sometimes this is in a lab
  • Animal diseases and how they are passed from generation to generation when applicable
  • Life processes, growth, and development of animals

Also, they:

  • Are sometimes teachers, too, working for colleges and universities in addition to their animal research
  • Conduct experiments in order to analyze and document animal behavior and more
  • Create microscopic slides from specimens
  • Raise specimens or breed animals

Zoologists often specialize in a type of animal since the job description is so broad and to greatly understand an animal, intense study and experimentation is required. The study of a single type of animal could include that animal as a whole (its skeletal structure, for example) or a single part of the animal, like the brain.

Zoologists study animals in their natural habitat and in the laboratory, collecting data and specimens to get a better understanding. Sometimes dissection of the specimens is required. If you enjoy working with animals but dislike hard science, consider researching the field very thoroughly-even try shadowing a zoologist for a short length of time-before making the commitment to a zoology or biology program.

Job Expectations

The employment outlook is good for the zoologist field and the median pay is roughly $50,000 per year. You may be able to find a job in the field without a terminal degree, but opportunities will be limited and pay may be substantially lower.

Job opportunities for zoologists include positions in museums, laboratories, colleges, universities, government agencies (from wildlife management to agriculture), pharmaceutical companies, and zoos. The field is incredibly varied and the zoologist job description encompasses many facets of understanding animal life, from insects to elephants, mice to sharks.

Depending on the type of work you get within the zoology field, the work environment could change. You could be out in the elements studying wild animals or in the comfort of a classroom or lab.


The zoologist job description is a vast study of animals both in the laboratory and in their natural habitat. Zoologists study all animals, from those so tiny that you need a microscope to larger ones such as elephants and sharks. From there, they can research any one part or whole of the type of animal they've chosen to study..

Zoologist Job Description