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Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist

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Life As a Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Job Description 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.

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Responsibilities

  • Inform and respond to public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.
  • Prepare collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease.
  • Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.
  • Study characteristics of animals, such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases, development, genetics, and distribution.
  • Analyze characteristics of animals to identify and classify them.
  • Study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry.

Things a Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Should Know How to Do

When polled, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Wildlife Manager
  • Ornithologist
  • Zoologist
  • Wildlife Conservationist
  • Behaviorist

Are There Job Opportunities for Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists?

In the United States, there were 19,400 jobs for Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,900 positions for Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist are Indiana, Utah, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Alaska, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Make?

The average yearly salary of a Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist ranges between $40,290 and $102,830.

Salary Ranges for Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $57,600
Alaska $76,640
Arizona $62,950
California $75,840
Colorado $70,650
Connecticut $78,830
District of Columbia $109,420
Florida $51,950
Georgia $63,890
Hawaii $73,660
Idaho $69,430
Illinois $57,920
Indiana $65,180
Iowa $68,670
Kansas $53,550
Kentucky $59,190
Louisiana $68,590
Maine $59,360
Maryland $83,850
Massachusetts $87,950
Michigan $65,220
Minnesota $61,220
Mississippi $68,000
Missouri $52,990
Montana $66,770
Nebraska $60,060
Nevada $69,270
New Hampshire $67,950
New Jersey $66,700
New Mexico $58,730
New York $75,290
North Carolina $59,760
North Dakota $69,890
Ohio $57,370
Oklahoma $48,330
Oregon $73,430
Pennsylvania $68,570
Rhode Island $70,600
South Carolina $62,680
South Dakota $53,810
Tennessee $65,550
Texas $66,150
Utah $59,110
Vermont $67,560
Virginia $64,970
Washington $75,400
Wisconsin $59,090
Wyoming $62,040

Tools & Technologies Used by Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software
  • SAS
  • R
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • Statistical software
  • Corel WordPerfect

How do I Become a Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist?

Education needed to be a Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist:

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Work Experience

Where Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Work

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists employed by various industries.

Zoologist & Wildlife Biologist Industries


Image Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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