Animal Science Careers: Career Outlook for the Animal Science Professions

Published Aug 10, 2009

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Animal Science professionals include veterinarians, breeders, zookeepers, trainers and others involved in the management and care of domesticated animals. The following article examines the career outlook for some Animal Science professions.

Veterinarian Overview and Career Outlook

Veterinarians, along with their supporting veterinary technologists, technicians and assistants, provide medical and dental services for companion animals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, projects that employment opportunities for veterinary professionals will increase during the years 2006-2016. That increase is attributed in part to the rise in cat population and the growing availability of advanced medical services for animals. Projected job growth is as follows:

  • Veterinarians: 35 percent growth
  • Veterinary technologists and technicians: 41 percent growth
  • Veterinary assistants: 26 percent growth

Animal Breeder Overview and Career Outlook

Professionals who breed livestock or exotic animals use their knowledge of Animal Science and genetics to produce healthier and stronger stock. Job growth is expected to be slow due to the stability of the occupation, according to the BLS, which indicates that animal breeders experience significant job satisfaction and rarely leave the profession. The BLS predicts growth of four percent from 2006-2016.

Zookeeper and Animal Trainer Overview and Career Outlook

Zookeepers and some trainers, such as marine mammal and exotic animal trainers, are expected to have academic degrees in Animal Science or related fields. According to the BLS, the career outlook for both zookeepers and specialized animal trainers is not favorable because of high competition for few jobs. Employment growth is expected to be slow.

Laboratory Animal Technician Overview and Career Outlook

A laboratory animal technician in a biomedical research facility is a certified Animal Science professional with an associate's or bachelor's degree and up to three years of experience in an Animal Science lab. Lab technicians are responsible for assisting researchers by collecting data, providing treatment and administering medication to lab animals, maintaining research records, cleaning lab equipment and providing routine care for lab animals. Average employment growth of up to 13 percent is expected from 2006-2016, according to the BLS.

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