Is a career in animal science something that you find yourself interested in? Have you wondered where to start or what the process is? There are many reasons why animal science might be the career for you and this guide can help you figure out everything from whether it might be the right choice, what the requirements are, and how you can advance your career to becoming an animal scientist.
What is an animal scientist?
An animal scientist is trained in physiology, biochemistry, and the biology of animals. They use this training to go into many varying fields and jobs, such as aiding farmers on breeding their animals or coming up with more efficient ways of caring for those animals. An animal scientist might also choose to work in a lab to monitor experiments, plan office studies, or make recommendations for various clients.
Is a career in animal science the right choice for you?
Students who earned their Certificate II in Animal Studies were surveyed half a year after they completed their training and 89.6% were satisfied with the outcome, 43.5% had improved their employment status, and 54.6% had chosen to further their education. The top three occupational outcomes for the graduates of this course were technicians and trade workers (31.9%), sales workers (21.6%), and community and personal service works (15.8%). The top three employing industries were a retail trade (22.5%), professional, scientific and technical services (18.9%), and accommodation and food services (17.5%). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 annual wage of an animal scientist ranged from $35,510 to $114,800, with the median salary being $60,760.
What are the requirements for being an animal scientist?
The degree level for an animal scientist is a bachelor’s degree, and most animal scientists continue their education to earn doctorate degrees. The degrees are in animal science, but graduates can be considered for other jobs such as some agriculture science as long as they have an education in chemistry, biology, or other related fields. An animal scientist may want to earn a certificate, which they can obtain at the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, but it is not a requirement. As far as skills go, animal scientists need to be good with communication, decision-making, and data analysis. An expertise with Microsoft Access and Excel, VSNi Genstat, and DNA sequence analysis software are necessary. And, of course, an animal scientist needs to be able to use animal husbandry equipment, densitometers, calorimeters, microcentrifuges, and other lab equipment.
What are the steps to becoming an animal scientist?
1. Earn your Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to being an animal scientist is getting your bachelor’s degree in animal science. You may choose to earn a degree in a related field, like chemistry or biology. The classes required for these degrees will be lectures combined with laboratory hours. Students will learn topics such as animal nutrition, genetics, behavior, and more. During the bachelor’s degree program, a student may even be able to take part in an internship to gain hands-on experience. Humanities courses are even used to help a budding animal scientist hone their skills in communication.
2. Earn your Graduate Degree
If you’d like to further your education so that you can consider a career in research or another advanced field, then you may want to earn an advanced degree. Many animal scientists even earn Ph.D.’s in animal science. Participating in these programs will allow a student to conduct specialized research in a specific field of interest, such as reproduction or digestion. Most of these programs take around six years to finish and require students to pass an exam and complete a dissertation on their chosen topic for animal science. Doctoral students in these programs may want to join a graduate student association in order to take advantage of even more educational benefits, such as symposia and seminars. A graduate student association is also a great way for students to connect with peers in the field of study.
3. Review your Options for Certification
With just a bachelor’s degree in animal science, an animal scientist can obtain a certificate for Professional Animal Scientists from the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. A candidate would just need to pass an exam and make sure that they have the required amount of work experience.
Will you become an animal scientist?
Now that you know the information about animal scientists and what it takes to become one, the choice is yours.