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What Are the Different Types of Careers in Zoology?

Zoologists might focus on large cats and other carnivores.
Zoologists may study animal aggression.
Ornithologists focus on different bird species.
Zoo educators may teach children using small animals such as chinchillas.
Some zoologists work in wildlife conservation.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
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  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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Careers in zoology are extremely varied and unique, and can provide incredible learning and work opportunities for anyone dedicated to animal studies and welfare. Zoology, or the study of animals, is a wide field with many specialties, including research, conservation, veterinary medicine, and the care of captive or domestic animals. For people with a love of animals and some training, careers in zoology may truly be dreams come true.

Some careers in zoology focus on research and scientific studies. These careers may allow those with a good theoretical science background to develop and run studies that improve human understanding of the animal world. Research in zoology can help create safer and more effective products for animals, such as pet foods or humane traps, or can teach humans more about animal behavior in order to aid in conservation, breeding programs, and habitat preservation. Many animal researchers have a background in clinical biology as well as zoology.

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Careers in zoology that focus on conservation place a premium on the continued survival and increased protection of animal species. Conservationists may work with political groups or governments to help develop legislation to protect and preserve animals, or may work in the field gathering information on potential threats to the health of global ecosystems. Some conservationists work in educational fields, trying to improve human efforts to save animals from extinction by educating the public as to their value and importance. For those passionate about animal rights and ecology, conservation-based careers in zoology may be the right fit.

Animals are subject to illness and injury, and some careers in zoology help to create a safe, stable animal population. Veterinary medicine is an important specialty field, and may take several years of intensive training to qualify as a certified veterinarian. While many veterinarians focus on the small-animal practice of domestic pets, vets in rural areas often work with large farm animals, while more adventurous veterinarians may work with exotic species in zoos and wildlife preserves.

Humans love to observe animals, and modern-day zoos and wildlife preserves help satiate that interest while providing facilities to assist with conservation programs and educate the public about animals. Zoology careers in zoos can range from overseeing breeding programs, to creating the proper diet for an okapi, to cleaning the tiger's cage. Though advanced positions often require college degrees in zoology or biology, many volunteer and entry-level jobs are available for people that love animals and want to learn firsthand about the care and maintenance of exotic creatures.

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Krunchyman
Post 4

@Viranty - I agree with you about the intelligence of animals. For example, many years ago, I heard a touching and somewhat hectic story about a boy who fell into the monkey cage at the Brookfield Zoo. Fortunately, he didn't get injured because one of the monkeys caught the boy and cradled him in his arms, until the zookeepers showed up. It really shows how animals, especially primates, have so many similarities.

Viranty
Post 3

Depending on what kind of job you have when you work at a zoo, you can really end up learning a thing or two about how animals communicate, with other animals and humans alike. On another note, I feel that working at a zoo could help you get closer to animals, and maybe even realize that they're not much different from us.

As the human race, the ones at the top of the food chain, I feel that sometimes fail to realize that animals are a lot smarter than we think. Sure, their intelligence might not be on our level, but they still have thoughts and reasoning, just like us.

Chmander
Post 2

One thing I really like about this article is how it starts off by saying that careers in zoology are varied, which is especially true. Working at a zoo is something that you'd really have to narrow down. There are so many positions available, that the possibilities are practically endless.

For example, you could start at one of the "lower" jobs, such as cleaning up the poop of other animals. On the other hand, there are those "higher" jobs, such as tending to the sick animals, and making sure they're fed properly. Whatever career you want to pursue in zoology, always remember that you'll have to start somewhere. Most people have to work their way from the bottom before they can get to the top.

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