Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

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About the Job

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

It is also Called

  • Zoologist
  • Wildlife Technician
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Wildlife Conservationist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Shark Biologist
  • Protozoologist
  • Ornithologist
  • Nematologist
  • Naturalist
View All

What They Do

  • Raise specimens for study and observation or for use in experiments.
  • Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.
  • Collect and dissect animal specimens and examine specimens under microscope.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as fundraising, public relations, budgeting, and supervision of zoo staff.
  • Prepare collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease.
  • Analyze characteristics of animals to identify and classify them.
  • Coordinate preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases.
  • Oversee the care and distribution of zoo animals, working with curators and zoo directors to determine the best way to contain animals, maintain their habitats and manage facilities.
  • 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 and diseases, development, genetics, and distribution.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $67,200 with most people making between $45,710 and $95,800

Outlook

0.27%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 370 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 380 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 1 openings due to growth and about 9 replacement openings for approximately 10 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education