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Career profile Zoologist

Also known as Aquatic Biologist, Conservation Resources Management Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries Biologist, Fisheries Management Biologist, Habitat Biologist, Migratory Game Bird Biologist, Wildlife Biologist, Zoologist

Zoologist

Also known as Aquatic Biologist, Conservation Resources Management Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Biologist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$41,720 - $106,320 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Biology
  • Law and Government
  • Geography
Core tasks
  • Make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.
  • Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.
  • Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.
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What does a Zoologist do?

Zoologists study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife.

In addition, Zoologists

  • may specialize in wildlife research and management,
  • may collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.

What kind of tasks does a Zoologist perform regularly?

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

  • Make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.
  • Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.
  • Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.
  • Study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry.
  • Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.
  • Inform and respond to public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.
  • Study characteristics of animals, such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories, diseases, development, genetics, and distribution.

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

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

What is a Zoologist salary?

The median salary for a Zoologist is $66,350, and the average salary is $70,510. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Zoologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Zoologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Zoologists earn less than $41,720 per year, 25% earn less than $52,630, 75% earn less than $82,670, and 90% earn less than $106,320.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Zoologists is expected to change by 5.4%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Zoologists every year.

Median annual salary
$66,350
Typical salary range
$41,720 - $106,320
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.4%

What personality traits are common among Zoologists?

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 a Zoologist are usually higher in their Investigative and Realistic interests.

Zoologists 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, Zoologists 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 a Zoologist tend to value Achievement, Recognition, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Zoologists 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, Zoologists strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Zoologists moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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 Zoologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, cooperation, and attention to detail.

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

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

What education and training do Zoologists need?

Many Zoologists 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..

Zoologists 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 Zoologists

  • 46.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 30.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 22.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Zoologists

Zoologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as biology, law and government, or geography knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Zoologists 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.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by Zoologists

Zoologists 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, Zoologists need abilities such as written comprehension, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Zoologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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).
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Zoologists

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.

Zoologists frequently use skills like active listening, science, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Zoologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to 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.

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.

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