Introduction to Zoology as a Career

A famous scientific joke goes, “What do biologists do on Wall Street? They buy and “cell.” Well, in real life, biologists, particularly those concerned with environmental biology or zoology, do a lot of interesting things.

A zoology career can be a very interesting one since it involves discoveries and new things all the time, however, it can be a very challenging one.

Regardless of what specialized job description one might choose within zoology, such as a zoo keeper job description, a zoo curator job description, or even a botanist job description, the zoologist career requires the core attribute of a love for animals and the environment. Let’s explore the individual specializations that one can enjoy through a zoology education.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Zoologist


  • Specialty in the study of the science of animals.
  • Studying and analyzing behavior, nature and feeding habits of different animals.
  • Writing books on different types of animals
  • Researching and teaching animal behavior in colleges and universities.
  • Specializing in the study of a particular group of animal depending on their choice.
  • Working in laboratories in order to study the cell, its structural components of different animals.
  • Wildlife management.
  • Conservation of the endangered animals.
  • Working in close collaboration with other professionals, associated with other fields of life sciences like biologists, physiologists etc.


Salary and Benefits of Zoologists

Salary and benefits incurred by zoologists depend on the type of educational qualifications of the candidates and the number of years of experience they have. The location of the job can also be a decisive factor in the zoologist salary range.

As in most of the other fields, the salary for the master’s and doctorate degree holders is more that that earned by bachelor’s degree holders. Professionals working in the research and development department can earn handsome salaries in this field. In the initial stages of the career, one can earn about USD 30,000 per year.

After five to seven years of work experience, this number can surpass the USD 50,000 per year mark. After gaining more than ten years experience in the industry, you can earn more than USD 75,000 per year.

Diversification Within Zoology Field

Hence, with so many job descriptions within the broader zoologist job description, the zoologist salary can be quite a lucrative one in the longer run. Not only is it a good way to advance your own career, but it’s also a great way to make this world a better place for everyone.

Zoo Keeper or Curator

Nature of Work and Job Responsibilities

Typically, a zoo curator provides for the day-to-day management of the animal collection and the operation of physical plant collections of a zoological park.

In addition to contributing to the overall development of the park, he also communicates with other zoos, conservation organizations and government agencies, local and federal.

Skills and Knowledge Required for a Zoo Curator or Keeper

In terms of skills and knowledge, a zoo curator needs to possess strong people-management skills, since he often interacts with large numbers of people. Furthermore, because large collections of animals are under supervision of the zoo curator, the incumbent must be able to make use of modern applications such as the Animal Record Keeping System (ARKS) in addition to word-processing and email.

Finally, part of the core duties of a zoo curator is the ability to make decision concerning animal husbandry standards and coordinate veterinary activities.

Wildlife Biologist

Nature of Work and Job Responsibilities of a Wildlife Biologist

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a wildlife biologist is a scientist who studies wild animals and their habitats. The wildlife biologist job description entails researching, reviewing data and studying samples in laboratories.

Wildlife biologists also work in the field, observing animals in their natural environments. Tools used by zoologists in this field include items of concern to biology, chemistry, animal physiology and ecology.

Career Opportunities for Wildlife Biologists

Typically, wildlife biologists are employed by organizations such as the US Geological Survey or USDA Forest Service, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 19,500 zoologists and wildlife biologists were employed in the United States in 2008.

That number is projected to increase to 22,000 by 2018. For those with research-oriented personalities, this is a great zoologist job description.

Environmental Consultant

Nature of Work and Job Responsibilities of an Environmental Consultant

In the broader zoologist job description portfolio, the environmental consultant job is somewhat mainstream in orientation.  An environmental consultant works on commercial or government contracts to address a variety of environmental issues.

This entails a wide dimension of activities such as assessment of air, land and water contamination, environmental impact assessment, environmental audit, waste management and the development of environmental policy and environmental management systems.

Educational Requirements

Even if it seems that this might not be something of a typical zoologist job description, it does have typical zoologist education requirements, particularly the disciplines that teach you to learn more about the environment and its functions.

Marine/Aquatic Biologist

Nature of Work and Job Responsibilities of Marine/Aquatic Biologist

Marine science is a vast field, which includes marine biology, geology, coastal science, zoology and oceanography. Marine biology is the study of living organisms inhabiting the, oceans as well as other sources of water.

Traditionally, the marine biologist job description entails research of the sea, its life forms and their interaction with land, atmosphere and the ocean floor. It includes researching and analyzing some of the diverse, and interesting, aspects of ocean life, such as marine plant and animal life, ocean currents and its effect on life forms, rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals as well as preservation of the marine environment etc.

Such data is then handed over to the regulating bodies to take required measures to preserve marine environment. A marine biologist can indulge in various activities ranging from office or laboratory work to field based assignments.


Job Nature of an Ornithologist

The ornithologist job description is concerned primarily with birds and their ecosystems. Ornithologists work in a variety of roles involving study of the behavior, ecology, classification, physiology and conservation of birds, and are employed by organizations such as wildlife trusts, private organizations, regional park authorities, nature reserves etc.

Career Opportunities for Ornithologists

Ornithologists are employed by a variety of organizations, including wildlife trusts, private organizations, regional park authorities, nature reserves, ringing stations or observatories. Usually, they spend their time outdoors.


Job Nature of an Ecologist

The ecologist job description entails studying ecosystems e.g. the abundance and distribution of organisms (people, plants, animals) and the relationships between organisms and their environment. Ecologists usually choose a specialist area (e.g. freshwater, marine, terrestrial, fauna, flora) and then carry out a wide range of tasks relating to that area.

Work Responsibilities of Ecologists

Their work includes duties such as conducting field surveys to collect information about the numbers and distribution of organisms, carrying out environmental impact assessments, habitat management etc.