Zoologist Career Information
What a Zoologist does
Zoologists who specialize in the study of birds are called ornithologist. Zoologists who deal with birds are called ornithologists and those who study fish and their habitats are known as ichthyologists. Similarly, those who study amphibians and reptiles are known as herpetologists and those zoologists who are involved with mammals are called mammalogists.
Whether it is in the zoos or the natural habitats of animals like forests, zoologists work directly with various species of animals. They prepare reports on various features and aspects of mammals, birds, fishes and worms and manage them at various places. Developing databanks of information about various animal species and DNA identifications of the same are some of the important works of zoologists. These works involve both field and laboratory experiments.
Zoos, wildlife conservation organizations, national parks, nature reserves, colleges, universities, laboratories, wildlife service etc. employ zoologists.
Zoologists can find jobs in research labs established by Government of India or in the R&D departments of various private drug companies. Zoologists can also work on developing therapeutic drugs to working on stem cell research and in many other areas within the medical development field. Biotech companies, food processing industry, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, technical institutes, university research laboratories etc also employ zoologists.
Although zoology as a career option is both challenging and rewarding, it is considered a rare field of science and so the competition is less as compared to applied sciences. Therefore, career prospects for zoologists are good.
Abilities & Traits Required
Students who opt for a career in zoology need to be very courageous .They must also be hard working and must have the ability to work along with diverse groups of people. Zoologists also need to have good written and verbal communication skills as they need to submit research papers.
Anyone with a genuine interest and love for animals and wildlife can pursue a career as a professional zoologist. Career as zoologist is an attractive option for those who love to spend time with nature.
If you wish to become a zoologist, you should opt for zoology in your bachelor’s degree course. You need to specialize in one of the many branches of zoology.
Courses in zoology are offered at bachelor’s degree level, master’s degree level and doctoral level. For bachelor‘s degree program, the basic requirement is 10+2 science. You can pursue a post graduate and then doctoral course. Bachelor’s degree course is of 3 years duration and post graduate program is of 2 years duration. You need to study for an additional 2 to 5 years to obtain a doctoral degree.
The career scope of the students in zoology is also vast due to the need of conservation and management of the wild life in the country and abroad.
Salary for a zoologist varies depending on the educational qualification and experience. It also depends on the area of specialization and nature of work. Zoologists who are employed by research and development departments can earn handsome packages. Initially, zoologists can expect a salary of Rs 12000 -18000 per month. However, after 5-7 years, they can expect much better salaries.
It is worthwhile to mention that zoologists who are employed by big organization abroad can expect more than $ 75000 per year.