Careers in Animal Behavior
What can you do with a major in animal behavior?
Animal trainers: Some behaviorists train pets for basic manners or obedience work, guard dog training, seeing-eye dogs or retrieving. Others train animals for public performance at zoos, circuses, stage or television.
Applied animal behavior: A growing number of animal behaviorists are being hired to apply behavioral knowledge to the training, production, management, conservation and/or care of wild and domestic animals.
College teaching and research: Animal behavior is a growing discipline and jobs in teaching and research are highly competitive. Some animal behaviorists teach and/or do research at colleges and universities. Careers in college teaching and research usually require a Ph.D.
Government and private research institutions: Positions can range from wildlife management to conservation of endangered species to support of animals used in health science research programs.
Zoo, conservation groups, museums: Zoos and museums hire animal behaviorists as keepers, curators or researchers. Curators are responsible for acquiring, maintaining and displaying collections of particular animals or specimens. Researchers are responsible for the scientific study of the animals.
Research assistants: Research assistants are often hired by universities, zoos, museums, governments and private facilities to help conduct ongoing animal behavior research. They work under the direction of faculty or staff researchers and help design, perform and analyze the results of animal behavior studies. Research assistants might work in laboratories or in the field, depending upon the nature of the research project.
Here's what a few of our animal behavior graduates are doing:
- Animal care director, Oaken Acres Wildlife Sanctuary
- Veterinary student, Royal Veterinary College of London
- Research technician, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Assistant manager, Camp Bow Wow
- Ph.D. student, University of Toronto, Department of Cell and Systems Biology
- Naturalist, Audubon Center of the North Woods
Example job titles of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior:
- Wildlife technician
- Animal services associate
- Veterinary assistant
- Animal adoption specialist
- Research technician
- Animal caregiver
Types of employers for animal behavior graduates:
- Government agencies and laboratories
- Research organizations
- Educational institutions
- Foundation or nonprofit organizations