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What Degrees Do You Need To Be A Zoologist

By David Krug 2 minute read

Animal scientists, known as zoologists, do research on animals in both their natural habitats and in labs. In order to gain a better understanding of animal behavior and physical traits, biologists spend a lot of time observing animals.

By taking blood samples and tracking and releasing the animals, zoologists collect information about their travels. 

To get a better understanding of animal populations and how people impact their natural habitats, scientists evaluate this data and conduct analyses.

Animals may be studied in the lab or in their natural habitat by these scientists. There are two types of zoologists: those that study animals just to contribute to our knowledge of nature, and those who use this information to help save endangered species.

Additionally, zoologists employ computer modeling tools and geographic information systems (GIS) to track the movement and changes in an animal population.

Ornithologists, herpetologists, ichthyologists, mammalogists, cetologists, and other zoologists specialize in researching birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, mammals, and insects (entomologists).

Botanists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists are all included in the broad category of wildlife biologists. Zoologists can find work in a variety of settings, ranging from academic institutions to private consulting firms. Federal, state, and municipal governments employ a large number of zoologists.


A bachelor’s degree in zoology, wildlife biology, or a similar discipline is required for aspiring zoologists. Aspiring academics and independent zoologists who want to work in academia should aim for a Ph.D. in order to move up the career ladder.

Zoology students may expect to take courses in a wide range of areas, including wildlife management, botany and ecology; chemistry; anatomy; cellular biology; physics; mathematics; and computer science, among others.

Specialized courses on a wide range of animals, from mammals and birds to reptiles and insects, are common.


An average yearly salary for zoologists in the United States is $58,710. (BLS). At 72%700 a year, nearly one-quarter of zoologists work for the federal government, which increases their income potential even further.

While just 5% of job opportunities for zoologists and animal biologists are expected to increase over the next decade, there is still a significant need for individuals who are passionate about their profession.

In the face of environmental problems such as pollution, habitat loss, climate change, and disease, academic institutions, and scientific consulting organizations will continue to require zoologists.

Bottom Line

A zoologist is a scientist who studies animals and nature. They study the physical traits, reproduction mechanisms, population dynamics, and mobility of animal species.

They may study how animals interact with each other and how people have impacted their environments through pollution, deforestation, and climate change.

Some zoologists are dedicated to preserving animal populations by establishing and implementing conservation programs.

David Krug