- Study and report on animals and their behaviour
- You'll need a passion for animals, strong research skills and an enquiring mind
- Opportunities to work overseas, studying animals in their natural habitat
As a zoologist, you'll study and research animals and the environments they live in using scientific techniques.
- Carry out field and laboratory research
- Study animals in their natural environment or in captivity
- Identify, record and monitor animal species
- Gather and interpret information using complex procedures, like computerised molecular and cellular analysis, and in-vitro fertilisation
- Produce detailed technical reports
- Give presentations and publish information in journals and books
- Supervise technicians
You'll usually specialise in an area like ecology (animal environments), herpetology (reptiles), entomology (insects), parasitology (parasites), or paleozoology (fossil remains), and you could work in a range of areas like developing and testing new drugs, improving agricultural crops and livestock disease and pest control, conserving endangered habitats and species, animal welfare and education, or developing policies and enforcing regulations for government agencies.
You might need to work at night if you're studying nocturnal animals, or if you work in conservation you may have to work evenings, weekends and public holidays, to attend evening meetings, supervise volunteers or host public open days. You may also need to travel or live overseas for periods of time for some research roles.
You'll need a strong interest in animals or conservation along with practical and problem-solving skills, patience, perseverance, and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
You'll usually need a degree in a subject like zoology, animal ecology, animal behaviour or conservation, and it's a good idea to choose science subjects like biology at school to prepare for these courses.
Experience volunteering in conservation work or a related area may help when applying for courses.
For some jobs, particularly in research, you'll need a relevant postgraduate qualification, like a master's degree or PhD.
With experience, you could move into other jobs like management, marketing, sales, scientific journalism or consultancy.