Is Zoology a Good Career Choice? Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Degree in Zoology

If you’re an animal lover, then zoology may be the perfect career choice for you. Zoology is a field that studies animal life, including behavior, genetics, physiology, evolution, and more. It’s an exciting and fascinating area of study that allows you to gain an in-depth understanding of animals and their habitats. But, the question remains, is zoology a good career? In this article, we’ll explore the different aspects of a zoology career and why it might be a great choice for you.

To start, zoology is a field that offers a wide range of career options. Whether you’re interested in research, conservation, management, education, or any other aspect of animal life, there’s a job out there for you. Another great thing about zoology is that it’s always changing and evolving. New discoveries are constantly being made, and there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference in the field. So, if you’re someone who loves to learn and grow, zoology may be the perfect career for you.

Finally, zoology is a deeply rewarding career. By studying animals and their habitats, you have the chance to contribute to the conservation and preservation of endangered species. You can also help educate the public on environmental issues and encourage people to make changes that will benefit animals and their ecosystems. At the end of the day, there’s no denying that zoology is a good career for those who are passionate about animals and want to make a positive impact on the world.

What is zoology?

Zoology is the scientific study of animals, including their behavior, genetics, physiology, evolution, and ecology. It covers a wide range of topics from the smallest microorganisms to the largest animals, and even extinct species through the study of fossils.

Zoology provides insight into the behavior and habits of animals, how they interact with their environment, and their relationship with other animals. It is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates aspects of biology, anatomy, genetics, and ecology and plays a critical role in developing our understanding of the natural world.

Job prospects in zoology

For those considering a career in zoology, job prospects are generally positive, with a variety of options available in both the public and private sectors. These include roles in animal care and environmental management, as well as research positions in academia or industry.

  • Animal care: Zoologists are needed to care for animals in a variety of settings, including zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and aquariums. These roles typically require hands-on experience working with animals, and may involve tasks such as feeding and providing medical care.
  • Environmental management: Zoologists can work for government agencies, conservation organizations, or private companies to help manage natural resources and protect wildlife habitats. These roles may involve conducting environmental impact assessments, developing conservation plans, or working with communities to promote sustainable practices.
  • Research: Those with advanced degrees in zoology can pursue research positions in universities, government agencies, or private companies. Research in zoology can include studying animal behavior, genetics, evolution, or ecology, among other topics. Some research may also involve developing new technologies or treatments for animal-related issues.

While salaries for zoologists can vary depending on the specific job and industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for zoologists and wildlife biologists was $63,420 as of May 2020.

Overall, job prospects in zoology are promising for those with a passion for working with animals and a dedication to preserving the natural world.

Skills required for a career in zoology

If you have a love for animals and are interested in studying their behavior, habitats, and characteristics, a career in zoology may be the perfect fit for you. However, pursuing a career in zoology requires more than just a passion for animals. Here are some of the essential skills required for a successful career in zoology:

  • Research skills: Zoologists spend a significant amount of time researching and collecting data on various species of animals. They must have the ability to conduct thorough and accurate research using various methods and techniques, including observation, surveys, and laboratory experiments. Zoologists must also be able to analyze data and draw conclusions from their findings.
  • Communication skills: As a zoologist, you will need to communicate your research findings to various audiences, including other scientists, policymakers, and the general public. Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for presenting research findings in a clear and concise manner that is easy for anyone to understand.
  • Problem-solving skills: Zoologists often face complex problems related to animal behavior, conservation, and ecology. They must be able to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to develop solutions and make decisions that best protect and conserve animal species and their habitats.

Along with these essential skills, a career in zoology also requires a strong educational background, typically a bachelor’s or master’s degree in zoology, biology, or a related field. Additionally, many zoologists choose to specialize in a particular area, such as marine biology or animal behavior, which requires further education and training.

Overall, if you have a passion for animals and possess the essential skills required for a career in zoology, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. With the right education and experience, you can make a significant contribution to animal conservation and the understanding of animal behavior and ecology.

Types of Jobs in Zoology

Zoology is a fascinating field of study that involves the scientific study of animal biology and behavior. As a zoology graduate, you can pursue a wide range of careers that involve the study of animals. From working with wildlife in their native habitats to studying the behavior of animals in a laboratory setting, the career options in zoology are diverse and exciting.

Career Options in Zoology

  • Wildlife Biologist – A wildlife biologist studies the behavior, health, and population of wild animals in their natural habitats. They work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and research institutions to monitor and manage wildlife populations.
  • Zookeeper – A zookeeper is responsible for the care and maintenance of animals in a zoo or aquarium. They feed, clean, and provide medical care for the animals and work to ensure their physical and mental well-being.
  • Animal Behaviorist – An animal behaviorist studies the behavior of animals in their natural environments or in laboratory settings. They use their findings to understand the relationship between animals and their environment and to develop strategies for improving animal welfare.

Zoology in the Lab

There are also many career options in zoology that involve working in a laboratory setting. You can use your knowledge of animal biology and behavior to study how animals interact with their environment and other animals. Some of the careers in this field include:

  • Research Scientist – A research scientist studies animal behavior and biology in a laboratory setting. They use their findings to develop new technologies and drugs that can benefit animals and humans alike.
  • Biomedical Scientist – A biomedical scientist studies the biology of animals and their interaction with the environment. They use their findings to develop treatments for human diseases and to improve human and animal health.
  • Conservation Biologist – A conservation biologist studies the biology and behavior of endangered species in order to develop strategies for conserving them. They work with government agencies and nonprofit organizations to develop conservation plans and to monitor the recovery of endangered species.

Zoology Employment Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists and wildlife biologists earned a median annual salary of $63,420 as of May 2020. The job outlook for zoology careers is positive, with an expected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2020) Expected Job Growth (2019-2029)
Wildlife Biologist $63,420 5%
Zookeeper $28,000 2%
Animal Behaviorist $78,810 7%

If you have a passion for animals and an interest in their biology and behavior, a career in zoology may be a great fit for you. With a variety of job options available, you can put your knowledge and skills to use in many different ways and make a positive impact on the world around you.

Challenges in a Zoology Career

While a career in zoology may seem exciting and fulfilling, it is important to consider the challenges that come with it. Below are five common challenges that zoologists face:

  • Competition for Jobs: Zoology is a highly competitive field, and finding job opportunities can be difficult. With many recent graduates looking for work, it can be challenging to stand out in the job market.
  • Physical Demands: Zoologists may be required to work in remote locations, perform fieldwork in harsh conditions, and handle large and sometimes dangerous animals. This can be physically demanding and may require long hours of work.
  • Emotional Toll: Working with animals can be emotionally taxing, as there are often difficult decisions to be made regarding their health and well-being. Zoologists may also witness animal suffering, which can take a toll on their mental health.
  • Limited Funding: Many zoologists work in research and conservation, which can have limited funding. This can make it challenging to conduct research or implement conservation projects without financial backing.
  • Public Misconceptions: There are many misconceptions about zoology and the work that zoologists do. This can make it difficult for zoologists to gain public support and funding for their work.

Coping Strategies

While the challenges of a zoology career can be daunting, there are strategies that zoologists can use to cope with these difficulties:

  • Networking: Building a professional network can help zoologists learn about job opportunities and connect with others in the field.
  • Staying Physically Fit: Maintaining physical fitness can help zoologists perform fieldwork and handle animals more easily.
  • Seeking Support: Zoologists should not be afraid to seek support for the emotional toll of their work. This could include talking to colleagues, seeking therapy, or joining support groups.
  • Finding Alternate Funding Sources: Zoologists may need to be creative in finding funding for their research or projects. This could involve applying for grants or seeking out alternative funding sources.
  • Engaging with the Public: Zoologists can work to dispel misconceptions about their work by engaging with the public and educating them about the importance of their research and conservation efforts.


While a zoology career can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding. By being aware of the potential difficulties and implementing coping strategies, zoologists can overcome these challenges and make meaningful contributions to the field.

Salary Potential in Zoology

When considering a career in zoology, one important factor to consider is the potential salary. While it’s true that money isn’t everything, it’s important to make a living wage in order to support oneself and any dependents. So, what can one expect to earn as a zoologist?

  • The median annual salary for zoologists and wildlife biologists in the United States is $63,420 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • The lowest 10 percent of zoologists and wildlife biologists earn less than $40,290 per year.
  • The highest 10 percent of zoologists and wildlife biologists earn more than $99,700 per year.

It’s important to note that these figures are just averages and that salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, such as level of education, experience, and geographic location. For example, zoologists working in urban areas may earn more than those working in rural areas due to the higher cost of living.

That being said, there are some specific industries where zoologists can expect to earn higher salaries. According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for zoologists include:

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Scientific Research and Development Services $86,240
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) $80,930
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $75,160

So, while the salary potential for zoologists may not be as lucrative as some other fields, such as finance or law, it’s important to remember that many individuals who pursue a career in zoology do so because of their passion for animals and wildlife conservation. For those who have a true love for animals and a desire to make a difference in the world, the rewards of a career in zoology can be far more valuable than any paycheck.

Future of Zoology as a Career

Zoology has always been an interesting field of study for those who love animals and are passionate about their welfare. There are numerous career paths in zoology, from wildlife biologist to zookeeper, and the future of the field is looking bright.

  • Increasing Demand for Conservationists: With the rise of global warming, pollution, and deforestation, the need for conservationists has never been higher. Zoologists are playing a crucial role in developing and implementing conservation plans for endangered species and ecosystems.
  • Advancements in Technology: The field of zoology is rapidly advancing with the aid of technology such as drones, satellite imaging, computer simulations, and genetic analysis. These advancements have opened up new opportunities for research and conservation in the field of zoology.
  • Growing Interest in Animal Welfare: There is a growing interest in animal welfare among the general public, and zoologists are playing a crucial role in advocating for the ethical treatment of animals in zoos, aquariums, and in the wild.

However, with the increasing demand for zoologists comes a need for more specialized skills and education. The following are some of the key skills and qualifications required to succeed in a career in zoology:

  • A degree in zoology or a related field such as ecology, environmental science, or biology
  • Experience with field research and data collection
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Physical fitness and endurance for fieldwork

The table below shows some of the top career options in zoology:

Career Job Description Median Salary (USD)
Wildlife Biologist Study the behavior, habitat, and life cycle of wild animals $63,270
Zookeeper Responsible for the care and wellbeing of animals in zoos and aquariums $25,760
Marine Biologist Study marine life and ecosystems, and work towards their conservation $63,420
Animal Behaviorist Study the behavior and interactions of animals, and work towards improving their welfare $76,230

Overall, zoology is a fulfilling and rewarding career path for those who are passionate about animals and their welfare. With the increasing demand for conservationists and advancements in technology, the future of zoology as a career looks promising.

Is Zoology a Good Career? FAQs

1. What kind of jobs can someone get with a degree in zoology?

With a degree in zoology, someone can become a zookeeper, research scientist, wildlife biologist, veterinarian, or science teacher.

2. How much does someone with a zoology degree typically earn per year?

The average salary for someone with a zoology degree is around $63,000 per year. However, the salary can vary depending on the job and years of experience.

3. How long does it take to get a degree in zoology?

It typically takes around four years to earn a bachelor’s degree in zoology. Some careers require a master’s degree or Ph.D., which can take an additional two to eight years.

4. What are some benefits of pursuing a career in zoology?

A few benefits of pursuing a career in zoology include being able to work with animals, contributing to scientific discoveries, and having job stability.

5. Are there any downsides to becoming a zoologist?

Some downsides of becoming a zoologist include working long hours, dealing with dangerous animals, and potentially working in remote locations.

6. Is it necessary to have a passion for animals to pursue this career?

While it can help, it’s not necessary to have a passion for animals to pursue a career in zoology. A love of science and desire to make a positive impact on the world are equally important.

7. How competitive is the job market for zoologists?

The job market for zoologists can be competitive, as there are typically more applicants than available jobs. However, those with advanced degrees and experience may have better job prospects.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read about the potential of a career in zoology. While there are both upsides and downsides to this career path, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding choice for those with a love of science and a desire to work with animals. Remember to consider all the information provided and do your own research before deciding if zoology is the right career for you. We hope to see you again soon!