How Much Does a Zoologist Make?

In a zoology career, monkeying around is all in a day’s work. Whether you’re employed by a zoo, a research facility, or an animal conservation group, you know the ins and outs of animal behavior — your degree says you do.
Zoologists, also known as Wildlife Biologists, study animals to better understand their origin, behavior, diseases, and how their lives progress. Many Zoologists choose to specialize in one particular animal group, such as birds or mammals. However, others choose to work at a zoo, diving into the animal kingdom like it’s a competitive sport.

The Average Income of a Zoologist

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average income of a Zoologist was $57,430 as of May 2010. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Zoologists earn less than $35,660 annually, while the highest-paid 10 percent earn more than $93,450 annually. The middle-of-the-pack Zoologist income is reported to be between $45,460 and $72,700, providing plenty of room for financial growth as your career progresses.

The two biggest factors contributing to the average Zoologist income are the field of employment and the location. A zoology career with the federal government is the most lucrative, paying an average income of $77,030. Scientific research, consulting services, and local units of governments round out the top-paying industries for Zoologists.

A zoology career in the District of Columbia is likely to be the most profitable, as the annual average income of a Zoologist in D.C. is $106,540 per year. Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Connecticut also provide the highest Zoologist income.

Projected Outlook For A Zoology Career

The prospects for a zoology career are good, but will be very competitive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the biological sciences as a whole will experience faster-than-average growth. However, specialized areas such as zoology, botany, and marine biology will face limitations because of the small size of the field and the high number of interested candidates. Applicants with a Ph.D. are most likely to successfully find employment.

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