Animal Related Majors
"I love animals and want to have a career
where I can work with them. However, I'm
terrible at science and most majors I've looked
at in these fields are science based. Do you
know of any majors that don't heavily rely on
science? Or any careers dealing with animals?
By the way, I'm not interested in being a vet
but am interested in working with animals. It's
not that I didn't get a good grade in science
either, it's just that I don't understand it."
Ever said this to yourself? Many
students are interested in working with animals
but simply do not enjoy the many science related
classes that are require from the typical
degrees. Below are some animal related
majors students may want to consider that are
not so heavily loaded with science classes.
Careers with Animals-from the University
Animal Related Careers-Melissa Kaplan's
- Horse trainer
- Dog trainer
- Stable owner
- Vet tech
- Animal shelter worker
- Manager, Shelter Operations - The Shelter
Operations Manager oversees all aspects of
temporary sheltering for the Field
Investigations and Response Department
during large scale cruelty seizures and
natural disasters. The Manager is
responsible for day-to-day shelter
operations including animal care,
supervision of volunteer teams, budget
management and accurate record keeping.
- Manager, Animal Assisted Therapy
Programs - The Manager of Animal Assisted
Therapy Programs manages all aspects of the
ASPCA/Delta Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
program including planning and budget
oversight. As well as training and screening
of Pet Partners and evaluation of placement
- Animal Care Technician - Provide direct
care and maintenance for all animals in the
shelter, including feeding, general
husbandry and cleaning of the kennels and
- Zoo Keeper - Individual who cares for
animals in zoological parks or aquariums. A
career as a zoo keeper offers a unique
opportunity in the specialized and demanding
profession of maintaining captive exotic
animals for conservation, research, public
education and recreation.
Zoos are seeking individuals with Associate
and Bachelor's degrees in Zoology, Biology,
Animal Management and related fields to fill
position openings. Having such a degree will
give you an advantage in this job market.
When zoos are hiring they are also looking
for individuals who have good interpersonal
skills, communicate effectively (both spoken
and written), can work as part of a
team-oriented effort, and are comfortable
interacting with the public and with
Listed below are some positions in
zoos and aquariums and a brief description
of duties. Not all positions are found in
all facilities, and responsibilities often
- Director/Chief Operating Officer - Executes
policies as directed by the governing
authority. Responsible for the institution's
operation and plans for future development.
- Assistant Director - Assists the director
and assumes charge in the director's
- Finance Manager/Director - Manages the
institution's finances, including payment of
bills, purchasing, investments, and the
preparation of financial statements.
- General Curator - Oversees an institution's
entire animal collection and animal
management staff. Responsible for strategic
- Animal Curator - Manages a certain portion
of an institution's animal collection; i.e.,
mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, etc.
- Veterinarian - Responsible for the
healthcare program for the animal collection
and the maintenance of health records.
- Veterinary Technician - Assists the
veterinarian and provides care to the
animals under the supervision of the
- Registrar - Maintains computer records on
the animal collection and applies for
permits and licenses to hold or transport
- Curator/Coordinator/Director of Research -
Supervises research projects, serves as
liaison between the institution and the
academic community, and publishes articles
in scientific journals.
- Curator/Coordinator/Director of Conservation
- Oversees the institution's conservation
activities, including field projects. Serves
as liaison with government wildlife agencies
and other conservation organizations.
- Conservation Biologist/Zoologist - Provides
scientific and technical assistance in the
management of the animal collection and
assists in conducting various research or
field conservation projects.
- Head Keeper/Aquarist - Supervises a section
or department of the institution; provides
training and scheduling for keepers.
- Senior Keeper/Aquarist - Provides primary
animal care for a department.
- Keeper/Aquarist - Provides daily care to the
institution's animals, including diet
preparation, cleaning, general exhibit
maintenance, and record keeping.
- Operations Director/Manager - Responsible
for the daily operation of the institution's
physical plant and equipment.
- Curator of Exhibits - Creates exhibits and
assists in the design of graphics.
- Curator of Horticulture - Responsible for
the botanical collection and its application
to the animal collection, as well as daily
maintenance of the institution's grounds.
- Curator of Education - Plans and implements
the institution's education programs.
- Public Relations/Affairs Manager/Director -
Promotes the institution, its mission, and
its programs to the public via the media.
- Development Director/Officer
- Develops and
manages fund-raising activities which can
include writing grant proposals and
attracting corporate sponsors, as well as
soliciting private donations.
- Marketing Director/Manager - Creates
advertising campaigns and other activities
to increase public awareness of the
- Special Events Manager/Coordinator
Develops and implements events to attract
visitors throughout the year.
- Membership Director/Manager - Responsible
for maintaining and increasing institution
memberships for families and individuals and
designing special events for members only.
May also be in charge of "adopt-an-animal"
programs to raise funds.
- Gift Shop Manager - Manages staff and all
aspects of gift shop operation from buying
products to designing shops.
- Visitor Services Manager - Supervises the
staff and facilities that cater to the
visiting public including concessions and
- Personnel Manager/Director - Responsible for
all personnel matters including payroll,
insurance, and tax matters.
- Volunteer Coordinator - Responsible for
recruiting and maintaining a staff of
volunteers/docents. Duties include
scheduling docents for on- and off-grounds
activities and keeping docents abreast of
new developments to relate to the public.
- Docent Volunteer - Duties may include diet
preparation, small animal care, teaching
educational programs, leading group tours,
and staffing special events.
- Junior Keeper
- Some institutions offer a
summer program for high school students who
wish to volunteer in a zoo or aquarium
setting. Duties are often similar to those
of other volunteers, but they are supervised
much more closely.