in Animal Behavior
A background in animal behavior is an excellent start for a number of types
- Animal control/regulation. Jobs in this area involve typically management
of problem animals in urban or suburban areas. This includes capturing and
transporting stray domestic animals and rescuing wild animals which have become
trapped in inappropriate surroundings or which are perceived by humans as
pests. The two major employers in this area are local governments (counties,
cities) and private pest control management firms. A background in animal
behavior is usually helpful in these jobs, but not required. Positions are
typically open for applicants with a BA or BS in biology.
- Conservation. Animal behaviorists work in a variety of contexts relating
to conservation. This may include management of threatened or endangered species
in captivity, preparing animals for reintroduction to native habitats, and
establishing habitat requirements for animals in field settings. Some positions
focus on management of animals using established techniques. Other jobs involve
research that forms the basis for management techniques. These positions typically
require an advanced degree (MA, MS, PhD, or DVM).
- Government agencies. Federal agencies, such as Fish and Wildlife and BLM
may hire animal behaviorists to work on wildlife management and conservation
issues. Similarly, state wildlife agencies may occasionally seek employees
with training and background in animal behavior to work in wildlife management
positions. These positions typically require an advanced degree (MA, MS, PhD,
- Zoo Biology. In many ways these jobs are like the Conservation jobs, but
are based in a zoo setting. Typically requires an advanced degree (MA, MS,
PhD, or DVM).
- Academia. Most four-year colleges and universities offer courses in animal
behavior. The market for academic animal behaviorists is small, but in a normal
year there are a few such openings. Some college and university positions
offer a mix of research and teaching; these positions have the advantage of
giving the holder great freedom in choosing research topics. Typically requires
an advanced degree (PhD).
- Domestic animal behavioral consultation. Of all animal behavior-related
employment, this is the fastest growing field. Work includes training animals
and their owners, helping owners with managing problem behaviors, and working
with animal shelters to provide appropriate behavioral remediation for animals
which have been abandoned or placed for adoption. Positions are typically
open for applicants with a BA or BS in biology.
- Veterinary medicine. Veterinarians who specialize in animal behavior are
rapidly becoming a recognized part of veterinary practices. In addition to
consulting with animal owners on behavioral issues, veterinarians may prescribe
medicines for management of behavioral problems. Requires a DVM.
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copyright ©2003 Michael D. Breed, all rights reserved.Behavior is the culmination
of many processes and properties acting together.