Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists work in offices, laboratories, or outdoors. Depending on their job, they may spend considerable time in the field gathering data and studying animals in their natural habitats.
How to Become a Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist
Zoologists and wildlife biologists need a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions; a master’s degree is often needed for higher level investigative or scientific work. A Ph.D. is necessary to lead independent research and for most university research positions.
Employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. More zoologists and wildlife biologists will be needed to study the impact that human population growth and development has on wildlife and their natural habitats. However, because most funding comes from governmental agencies, demand for zoologists and wildlife biologists will be limited by budgetary constraints.
This occupation supported 20,100 jobs in 2012 and 21,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 6.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.0% in 2022 to 21,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 20,300, compared with an observed value of 21,300, 4.9% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.5% in 2024 to 22,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 21,300 jobs for 2024, 4.1% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.