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Career profile Animal Scientist

Also known as Animal Nutrition Consultant, Animal Nutritionist, Animal Scientist, Beef Cattle Specialist, Dairy Nutrition Consultant, Research Scientist

Animal Scientist

Also known as Animal Nutrition Consultant, Animal Nutritionist, Animal Scientist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$40,720 - $125,250 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Science
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
Core tasks
  • Study nutritional requirements of animals and nutritive values of animal feed materials.
  • Advise producers about improved products and techniques that could enhance their animal production efforts.
  • Develop improved practices in feeding, housing, sanitation, or parasite and disease control of animals.
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What does an Animal Scientist do?

Animal Scientists conduct research in the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.

What kind of tasks does an Animal Scientist perform regularly?

Animal Scientists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Study nutritional requirements of animals and nutritive values of animal feed materials.
  • Advise producers about improved products and techniques that could enhance their animal production efforts.
  • Develop improved practices in feeding, housing, sanitation, or parasite and disease control of animals.
  • Write up or orally communicate research findings to the scientific community, producers, and the public.
  • Study effects of management practices, processing methods, feed, or environmental conditions on quality and quantity of animal products, such as eggs and milk.
  • Conduct research concerning animal nutrition, breeding, or management to improve products or processes.
  • Research and control animal selection and breeding practices to increase production efficiency and improve animal quality.
  • Determine genetic composition of animal populations and heritability of traits, using principles of genetics.
  • Crossbreed animals with existing strains or cross strains to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics.

The above responsibilities are specific to Animal Scientists. More generally, Animal Scientists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

What is an Animal Scientist salary?

The median salary for an Animal Scientist is $63,490, and the average salary is $74,540. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Animal Scientist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Animal Scientists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Animal Scientists earn less than $40,720 per year, 25% earn less than $50,260, 75% earn less than $87,080, and 90% earn less than $125,250.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Animal Scientists is expected to change by 11.4%, and there should be roughly 400 open positions for Animal Scientists every year.

Median annual salary
$63,490
Typical salary range
$40,720 - $125,250
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
11.4%

What personality traits are common among Animal Scientists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Animal Scientist are usually higher in their Investigative and Realistic interests.

Animal Scientists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Animal Scientists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Animal Scientist tend to value Achievement, Recognition, and Independence.

Most importantly, Animal Scientists strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Animal Scientists strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Animal Scientists strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Animal Scientists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Animal Scientists, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Animal Scientists need?

Many Animal Scientists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Animal Scientists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Animal Scientists

  • 60.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 26.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 12.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Animal Scientists

Animal Scientists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as biology, mathematics, or chemistry knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Animal Scientists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Animal Scientists

Animal Scientists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Animal Scientists need abilities such as oral expression, inductive reasoning, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Animal Scientists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Animal Scientists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Animal Scientists frequently use skills like science, reading comprehension, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Animal Scientists, ranked by their relative importance.

Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.