Animal Sciences: Requirements for a Career in the Animal Sciences

Published Sep 01, 2009

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Do you have an interest in helping animals by improving their health and quality of life? If so, there are many career avenues available in the field of Animal Sciences. Several colleges and universities offer Animal Sciences degrees that can prepare you for a variety of careers in many different industries and environments.

Animal Sciences Career Summary

Animal Sciences experts contribute to the benefit of society through improving the use of animals as recreation, companions or food sources. The field of Animal Sciences was traditionally concerned with farm animals, but companion animals, such as dogs, cats and horses are now included. According to North Carolina's Bioscience Clearinghouse,, animal scientists work in many fields, such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, education, research, industry and government. Additionally, work can be done out in the field or in a lab or office. Job titles may include animal nutritionist, research and development director, animal management systems specialist, dairy consultant and beef cattle specialist.

Education Required for Animal Sciences Careers

A bachelor's degree in Animal Science is generally the minimum requirement for most careers in the field. Animal Sciences students may have special interests, such as equine science, animal nutrition, breeding and genetics, food science, microbiology and animal behavior. Additionally, students will often take courses to improve their technical and business skills. Animal Sciences curricula can vary widely depending upon the student's area of interest and career goals; however, working hands-on with animals at veterinary clinics, livestock barns and research labs is a large part of most Animal Sciences programs. Some jobs in the Animal Sciences, such as veterinarian, require additional education.

Knowledge and Skills Required for Animal Sciences Careers

Animal Sciences professionals must know how to use certain equipment that is essential to their work. According to O*Net Online,, Animal Scientists may use animal husbandry tools, densitometers, incubators, stunners and microcentrifuges. It is also important for Animal Scientists to be skilled in many types of computer software, including word processing programs, analytical or scientific applications, spreadsheets and database user interfaces.

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