What Can You Do With An Animal Science Degree?

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Animal science focuses on the biology, health, and profitability of domesticated and wild animals, from kittens to cattle. What can you do with a degree in animal science? Anything from veterinary practices to agricultural management. A more detailed answer is described in this article, with a sample of schools where you can earn a degree in animal science, six examples of career paths you can choose from, and a brief list of companies that hire people who have degrees in animal science.

Studying Animals

When you study animal science, you look closely at a variety of factors in the lifespan of an animal. The field of animal science is meant to provide those who study it with the knowledge to keep animals and their environments healthy. Some factors that are observed and taught in the field of animal science are listed here.

Behavior – study of how and why animals act the ways they do

Nutrition – study of food needed to keep animals healthy and why animals need to live healthy lifestyles

Physiology – study of how animal bodies function with a close look at the organs, muscles, and bones of various animal species

How to Get an Animal Science Degree

Many liberal arts colleges and trade schools around the world offer opportunities for students to earn degrees in some type of animal science. Below are just three of the many schools out there that are looking for students who possess the passion to study animal life.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers students unique experiences in its College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Here, students can earn degrees in animal science, agricultural and biological engineering, crop sciences, and more. With research opportunities utilizing technological equipment, students can further explore whatever fields they find most intriguing to prepare them for careers in those fields. Students can also minor in subjects like nutrition and leadership studies which may enhance their pathways to becoming entrepreneurs.

The University of Connecticut also gives students the chance to excel in animal science. Undergraduate students can earn a bachelors degree in everything from animal biotechnology to food science to pre-veterinary care or focus their studies on the school’s associates program in which they will learn about dairy, livestock, and equine science. Graduate students can pursue master degrees and doctoral degrees in animal science, as well.

At the University of San Diego, a private research school in California, students have outstanding opportunities at their fingertips. The school’s animal science program familiarizes students with the proper procedure for submitting job applications to obtain government-related work, helps students grow accustomed to being around and working with both large and small animals, and gives them research opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience. Instructors are dedicated to the success of their students, offering help when needed after classes and during office hours.

Careers in Animal Science

Once you earn a degree in animal science, many career opportunities will present themselves to you. You will discover jobs you never knew existed, and you may find them particularly appealing. Check out some of the examples of careers in animal science below.

Entry Level Careers in Animal Science

With a bachelors degree in animal science, you will qualify for many career paths. Just a few entry level positions are listed here.

Humane Educator

Humane educators teach people the safe and proper ways to treat other people, animals, and their environments. They can work as independent instructors or work for institutions or companies to promote humane treatment towards others. They possess excellent oral communication skills in order to instruct large or small groups of people, and they must be both personable and punctual.

Humane educators can earn around $30,000 a year.

Animal Nutritionist

Animal nutritionists have a very unique job. They are responsible for creating dietary programs for specific types of animals. These special diets are meant to help animals remain healthy within their environments. Animals cared for can include fish, birds, and mammals. Animal nutritionists typically have a bachelors degree in animal science, focusing on subjects like chemistry, biology, or nutrition. They have excellent written communication skills in order to keep records of animals served and their clients. Animal nutritionists often work for colleges or universities, veterinary hospitals, or they may be consultants to farmers, providing them with advice on the best feed options for their livestock.

Animal nutritionists can start out at around $30,000 a year with the potential to earn over $60,000 with enough years of experience.

Embryologist

An embryologist studies eggs once they have been fertilized and are progressing through their various stages of development in order to ensure the safety and health of the animals inside. Embryologists don’t always work just with animals, though. Many embryologists work in fertility clinics serving human beings on a daily basis. Therefore, they have great analytical and communication skills and talent in strict attention to detail, and their degrees often reflect the study of embryology or other areas related to health science.

Entry level embryologists can earn around $37,000 a year to start.

Advanced Careers in Animal Science

After you achieve years of experience or a masters degree or doctoral degree in animal science, even more doors will open for you.

Marine Biologist

Marine biologists observe the lifestyles of living organisms under the sea, including both plants and animals, and how they interact with one another and the environment in which they live. Marine biologists spend much of their time performing research in order to accurately study marine life. They possess excellent skills in researching and written communication in order to record their findings and compile reports with said data. The position requires a bachelors degree in marine biology or a related field, with a masters degree for more intense research opportunities.

Marine biologists can make over $58,000 a year, depending on their levels of education and experience.

Veterinarian

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Contrary to common belief, veterinarians care for more than just cats and dogs. Many veterinarians also travel to local farms in order to perform health care for livestock, and some even travel to laboratories or zoos to tend to animals there. They perform regular checkups, necessary surgeries, and other necessary care for animals of all kinds. Veterinarians also often work with physicians and researchers to collaborate on projects to improve human and animal health. They are compassionate towards clients and their animals, as well as very personable. Some run private practices, and others may work for government agencies testing meat and livestock to ensure everything is safe for consumers. Most veterinarians start out earning a bachelors degree in animal science or a related field and then progress to veterinary medical school to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. There are 28 veterinary medical schools in the United States.

Veterinarians can earn around $65,000 or more a year.

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

A regulatory affairs specialist is up-to-date on rules and regulations in regard to health standards for food products. Regulatory affairs specialists are often responsible for reviewing labels for accuracy before food is released to the public. They also compile reports for submission to the FDA in regard to what the company they work for is producing. Therefore, these specialists possess impeccable written communication and analysis skills. The position requires a bachelors degree in animal science or a related field and years of experience in the field of regulatory affairs.

Regulatory affairs specialists can earn around $70,000 a year.

Companies that Hire People with Animal Science Degrees

If you are not interested in starting your own practice, you can join teams of other practices or government agencies to improve the health of animals and humans around the world. There are plenty of jobs available to people with animal science degrees. Listed here, you will find just a few companies that hire people with degrees in animal science or related fields.

Dykhuis Farms, Inc. – located in Holland, MI; hires positions for animal caretakers, farm assistants, etc.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary – located in Boston, MA; hires positions for people with experience and education in veterinary science, lab animal care, etc.

Miller Poultry – located in Orland, IN; family owned poultry provider; hires positions for people with experience and/or knowledge in poultry science

James Farrell & Co. – headquarters in Seattle, WA, with locations across the globe; delivers food ingredients and animal nutrition products around the world; hires dairy sales representatives, researchers, analysts, etc.

Butler Schein Animal Health, Inc. – locations around the U.S.; provides veterinary clinics with proper health care supplies; hires positions for marketing directors, sales representatives, etc., searching for individuals with bachelor degrees in business administration or animal science

If you want to spend the rest of your life ensuring the happiness and health of animals around you, then you should pursue a degree and career in animal science. Once you earn a degree in animal science, you will find that jobs are not difficult to come by. This article is just a stepping stone on your journey to find the job that’s right for you.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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