Animal Behaviorist

Explore why animals act the way they do.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Animal Behaviorists do?

Ever wondered why cats stare off into space? Or dogs chase their tails? If you’re an Animal Behaviorist, you’ll wonder no more. You work to answer why animals do what they do.

Animal Behaviorist is a broad job title, which means you can hold a range of different positions. Animal Behaviorists can teach, do research, work at zoos or aquariums, curate at museums, or even run businesses and work one-on-one with clients.

What you do depends on what kind of animal you want to work with and what behavior you want to better understand. You can work with exotic animals at a zoo or sanctuary. In this type of position, you help design exhibits or cages, decipher eating habits, or solve mating problems.

If you decide to focus on research, you can work in the fields to keep a certain endangered species from going extinct. Or you can find ways to keep hungry wild animals away from the crops of Farmers. If you prefer to do research indoors, you might carry out medical experiments on animals, or oversee the animals’ well-being to make sure they’re being treated well during the experiments.

If your interests lie in more traditional family pets, then you still have a lot of different work options. You can give private consultations about animal behavior (think Cesar Milan, the “Dog Whisperer”). In this role, you might help with a cat that won’t stop scratching, or a dog that only pees inside.

Should I be an Animal Behaviorist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Animal Biologist

    How to become an Animal Behaviorist

    Most Animal Behaviorists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaadz9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2825%25%29|master%27s+%2822%25%29|doctorate+%2853%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,53
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