Careers in Zoology


Science Graduates are in Demand

Every year, the demand for science graduates continues to grow. Dozens of industries are experiencing rapid growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs. These jobs are being created much faster than they can be filled. From the president’s State of the Union address to the latest article from industry blogs, everyone is trying to figure out how to fill the need for these highly skilled jobs.


Zoology Jobs are in Many Industries

Many zoologists and wildlife biologists are identified by the types of species they study.


Entomologists study insects.
Herpetologists study reptiles and amphibians, such as snakes and frogs.
Ichthyologists study fish.
Mammalogists study mammals, such as monkeys and bears.
Ornithologists study birds.

Some wildlife biologists study animals by where they live.

Marine biologists study organisms that live in saltwater.
Limnologists study organisms that live in freshwater.

Other zoologists and wildlife biologists are identified by the aspects of zoology and wildlife biology they study, such as evolution and animal behavior.

Ecologists study the ecosystem, which is the relationship between organisms and with the surrounding environment.

Evolutionary biologists study the origins of species and the changes in their inherited characteristics over generations.



Many diverse job opportunities are available for people trained in zoology. The following is a brief synopsis of the major areas.

Teaching: Biology is taught at all secondary schools, colleges and universities. Thus, there is a continual demand for qualified teachers.

  • Secondary School Teaching: Many people interested in biology find their greatest rewards in introducing other people to the subject. Teaching at the secondary school level may be a very satisfying career for such people. Teaching in secondary schools requires a bachelor's degree and state certification. Secondary school teachers must be generalists capable of giving students a broad spectrum of knowledge about living organisms.
  • College and University Teaching: Teaching at the college and university level requires more specialized training. Generally, a Ph.D. degree is required. College teaching positions are highly competitive. Success as a college or university professor is increasingly dependent upon maintenance of active research as well as excellence in teaching.  For information about preparation for graduate study in zoology click here.

Medicine: The practice of medicine requires an M.D. degree following a four-year undergraduate training program. Click here for details of premedical training at Weber State and information on applying to medical schools.

Dentistry: Dentistry also requires specialized training leading to a D.D.S. degree following college. Click here for information on pre-dental training and application to dental schools.

Veterinary Medicine: Veterinary medicine is a field that deals with the prevention and treatment of disease and injuries in animals. As in medicine and dentistry, specialized training leading to a DVM degree is required after four years of college. Click here for pre-veterinary training and application procedures for veterinary schools.

Other Medically Related Fields: Chiropractic, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy and physical therapy are other fields which can be entered with advanced training beyond a college degree in zoology.

Wildlife Management and other Conservation Fields: State conservation agencies employ people with college training in zoology as wildlife managers, biologists, and conservation officers. Similarly, several federal agencies hire college graduates trained in zoology. These agencies include, but are not limited to, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Other Fields: People trained in zoology may also find employment as pharmaceutical sales personnel, science librarians, science writers, laboratory technicians and toxicologists.


Zoologists Salary



The median annual wage of zoologists and wildlife biologists was $57,430 in 2010. That works out to be $27.61 per hour. Check out the occupational handbook for more information on the job outlook for zoologists.