What Does A Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.

Salary
$70510
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.

  • Make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitats, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.
  • Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.
  • Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.
  • Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitats, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options. They perform administrative duties, such as fundraising, public relations, budgeting, and supervision of zoo staff.

  • Raise specimens for study and observation or for use in experiments.
  • Inform and respond to the public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.
  • Study animals in their natural habitats, assessing the effects of the environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings, and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry.
  • Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.
  • Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists also study characteristics of animals, such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases, development, genetics, and distribution. They may also inform and respond to the public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs. They might also inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.

In addition, they make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitats, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them analyze the characteristics of animals to identify and classify them.

To some Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists, it is also their responsibility to raise specimens for study and observation or for use in experiments.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

77% said they were satisfied with their job and 75% said they found their job meaningful.


Charli Burbidge

For most of the day, we are field-based, which means this is not the type of office work. When I was a young zoologist, I took lots of time following and observe the action, behavior, and habit of animals (horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, etc). My place of work sometimes is based in the place where the animals live. Following their daily habit like how they react when fed, what do they like during training sessions, what are the differences in the behavior of different dogs breeds, etc.

We also need to spend some time doing a report and working with the data that we collect through the time to find patterns, straits, and sometimes, make a specific report for a specific pet if our client requires it. We also need to continuously update with the latest research of the academia on the animals and pets behavior, or different diseases treatment, which would help us during our work a lot. Some of the days we will go on a special field trip in which we can observe the animals in the connection with others, and see the reaction to compare with their natural habitat. I also work with vets specializing in different fields to discuss different cases as each animal/pet has its own characteristics, besides the species/breeds.

Pros

Working as a professional zoologist gives me a chance to increase my empathy and love for all creatures on earth, not only humans but animals and plants. It gives me a sense of responsibility to live more eco-friendly as I understand we are sharing a home with many other creatures. Nature is also a healing environment to be in, and working in this environment is a perk to me. I apply the ethic training of being a zoologist into my daily life and would like to pass it to my children also.

Cons

There are difficulties working as a zoologist, such as sometimes it is dangerous to deal with such situations, or there are some strange diseases of animals which might be dangerous for humans and we might be the first ones to get it. I also need to continuously develop my physical strength as the job requires much of it. The working environment is not always peaceful, especially when the animals are angry. However, at the end of the day, the passion for the job and the ethical responsibility of being a zoologist keeps me going. I know I bring values to the community and I am happy with that.

Charli Burbidge
Animal Lover, Zoologist, and Pet Nutrition expert


Pros

Suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

Very good salary.

Demand for this career is growing.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skills, knowledge, and experience are required for this career.

How much do they make

Average salary

$70510 per year

Average hourly wage

$34 per hour

Entry-level Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $41,720 to $52,630 per year or $20 to $25 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $106,320 $51
Senior (Top 25%) $82,670 $40
Median $66,350 $32
Junior (Bottom 25%) $52,630 $25
No experience (Bottom 10%) $41,720 $20

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $88390 $42.49
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $80490 $38.70
Scientific Research and Development Services $78610 $37.79
Local Government $75190 $36.15
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $72110 $34.67
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $70050 $33.68
State Government $61120 $29.38
Civic and Social Organizations $58790 $28.27
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions $57310 $27.55
Social Advocacy Organizations $56360 $27.10

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
State Government 7110 $61120 $29.38
Federal Executive Branch 3860 $88390 $42.49
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1630 $72110 $34.67
Local Government 1210 $75190 $36.15
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 850 $70050 $33.68
Social Advocacy Organizations 720 $56360 $27.10
Scientific Research and Development Services 680 $78610 $37.79
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions 570 $57310 $27.55
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 250 $80490 $38.70
Civic and Social Organizations 60 $58790 $28.27

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
3%

40 hours
52%

More than 40 hours
45%

Working schedule

63%

37%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
98%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
43%

Every day
54%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
23%

Every day
75%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
2%

Once a year
62%

Once a month
31%

Once a week
2%

Every day
2%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
5%

Slightly competitive
4%

Moderately competitive
46%

Highly competitive
31%

Extremely competitive
14%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
5%

Once a week or more
48%

Every day
47%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
24%

Once a year or more
14%

Once a month or more
25%

Once a week or more
33%

Every day
4%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
34%

Once a week or more
43%

Every day
13%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
29%

Once a year or more
28%

Once a month or more
27%

Once a week or more
16%

Every day
1%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Very Hard
You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge, and experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require graduate school and more than five years of experience. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include Pharmacists, Lawyers, Astronomers, Neurologists, and Veterinarians.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
1%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
42%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
4%

Master’s Degree
35%

Post-Master’s Certificate
4%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
13%

Post-Doctoral Training
1%

Relevant majors

Marine Sciences

A program that focuses on the study of biology, chemistry, geology and physics applied to marine, estuarine and coastal environments. Includes instruction in marine biogeochemistry, atmosphere and ocean dynamics, coastal ecology, coastal ocean processes, microbial ecology, marine ecosystem modeling, and polar microbiology.

Environmental Biology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of the origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and natural history of living populations, communities, species, and ecosystems in relation to dynamic environmental processes. Includes instruction in biodiversity, molecular genetic and genomic evolution, mesoscale ecology, computational biology and modeling, conservation biology, local and global environmental change, and restoration ecology.

Evolutionary Biology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of the genetic, developmental, functional, and morphological patterns and processes, and theoretical principles; and the emergence and mutation of organisms over time. Includes instruction in molecular and morphological systematics; genetics and development; evolutionary transformation; paleobiology and paleontology; morphogenesis; mutation; locomotor, biomechanical and craniodental form and function; evolutionary theory; and systematic biology.


Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

A program that focuses on the scientific study of the ecology and behavior of microbes, plants, and animals inhabiting oceans, coastal waters, and saltwater wetlands and their interactions with the physical environment. Includes instruction in chemical, physical, and geological oceanography; molecular, cellular, and biochemical studies; marine microbiology; marine botany; ichthyology; mammalogy; marine population dynamics and biodiversity; reproductive biology; studies of specific species, phyla, habitats, and ecosystems; marine paleocology and palentology; and applications to fields such as fisheries science and biotechnology.

Ecology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of the relationships and interactions of small-scale biological systems, such as organisms, to each other, to complex and whole systems, and to the physical and other non-biological aspects of their environments. Includes instruction in biogeochemistry; landscape and/or marine/aquatic dynamics; decomposition; global and regional elemental budgets; biotic and abiotic regulation of nutrient cycles; ecophysiology; ecosystem resilience, disturbance, and succession; community and habitat dynamics; organismal interactions (co-evolution, competition, predation); paleoecology; and evolutionary ecology.


Wildlife Biology

A program that focuses on the application of biological principles to the study of vertebrate wildlife, wildlife habitats, and related ecosystems in remote and urban areas. Includes instruction in animal ecology; adaptational biology; urban ecosystems; natural and artificial habitat management; limnology; wildlife pathology; and vertebrate zoological specializations such as mammalogy, herpetology, ichthyology, ornithology, and others.

Animal Behavior and Ethology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of the psychological and neurological bases of animal sensation, perception, cognition, behavior, and behavioral interactions within and outside the species. Includes instruction in ethology, behavioral neuroscience, neurobiology, behavioral evolution, cognition and sensory perception, motivators, learning and instinct, hormonal controls, reproductive and developmental biology, community ecology, functional behavior, and applications to specific behaviors and patterns as well as to specific phyla and species.

Animal Physiology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of function, morphology, regulation, and intercellular communications and dynamics within vertebrate and invertebrate in animal species, with comparative applications to homo sapiens and its relatives and antecedents. Includes instruction in reproduction, growth, lactation, digestion, performance, behavioral adaptation, sensory perception, motor action, phylogenetics, biotic and abiotic function, membrane biology, and related aspects of biochemistry and biophysics.


Entomology

A program that focuses on the scientific study of insect species and populations in respect of their life cycles, morphology, genetics, physiology, ecology, taxonomy, population dynamics, and environmental and economic impacts. Includes instruction in applicable biological and physical sciences as well as insect toxicology and the biochemical control of insect populations.

Zoology/Animal Biology

A general program that focuses on the scientific study of the biology of animal species and phyla, with reference to their molecular and cellular systems, anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Includes instruction in molecular and cell biology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, ecology and behavior, evolutionary biology, and applications to specific species and phyla.

Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management

A program that prepares individuals to conserve and manage wilderness areas and the flora, marine and aquatic life therein, and manage wildlife reservations and zoological/aquarium facilities for recreational, commercial, and ecological purposes. Includes instruction in wildlife biology, marine/aquatic biology, environmental science, freshwater and saltwater ecosystems, natural resources management and policy, outdoor recreation and parks management, the design and operation of natural and artificial wildlife habitats, applicable law and regulations, and related administrative and communications skills.


Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
4%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
8%

1 to 2 years
29%

2 to 4 years
25%

4 to 6 years
25%

6 to 8 years
8%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
7%

1 month
3%

1 to 3 months
4%

3 to 6 months
21%

6 months to 1 year
32%

1 to 2 years
21%

2 to 4 years
8%

4 to 10 years
4%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

The Builder
76%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
100%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
33%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
24%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
38%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
43%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
76%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
69%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
71%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
43%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
43%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
52%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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