Most importantly, the keeper must be able to develop a rapport with his charges and be infinitely cautious to avoid being injured by the animals.
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Paying Your Dues Every zoo employee must first and foremost love animals. Courses in subjects like zoology, anatomy, and virology are a good idea. Most zoos and animal-care facilities have volunteer programs and internships; some even offer paid part-time positions. Experience working with large populations of animals is also advisable, for example as a ranch worker or in a veterinary hospital.
Many of the volunteer and paid training programs at zoos are specifically aimed at aspiring zookeepers. Some zoos require that their keepers pass written or oral exams, and all zoos have strict physical requirements for their zookeepers, since the work is usually physically demanding.
There are two levels of advancement in zookeeping: Senior keeper and head keeper, though these positions usually exist only in large zoos. Beyond this, if zookeepers want to advance further they should look to curating.
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Zoo-related industries are highly competitive, and zookeepers, curators, and directors must stay up-to-date in their fields throughout their careers. Present and Future No one is quite sure when people began keeping animals in enclosed areas. Prehistoric man did not keep animals, but hunted them. Later, people began keeping animals to assist them in hunting.
What does a zoologist do?
The earliest recordings of primitive zoos are in Asia, where emperors kept fish and animals in order to enjoy their beauty. Between and , many zoos, as we think of them today, opened in Europe. Today, zoos serve largely to educate the public. There are only about zoos on this continent, and that number is not expected to grow.
Few zoologists leave the profession, meaning entry-level positions are increasingly scarce, whether for keepers, curators, or directors. Well-educated zookeepers stand the greatest chance of finding employment in this highly competitive field.
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People lucky enough to find a job in this field report incredible satisfaction with their jobs. To become a zoologist, you need to have a Bachelor of Science majoring in any of the following subjects:. Postgraduate qualifications, such as a Master's degree or PhD, are recommended for those wanting to work in senior research roles.
For research-based work at the technician level, a Bachelor's degree in a related science subject is the minimum entry requirement. Though many skills are learned at university, zoologists continue to develop their laboratory and experimental skills on the job. There are limited opportunities for zoologists and roles are mainly within universities or crown research institutes.
Zoology graduates tend to use their qualification in a variety of applied zoology roles in fields such as teaching, environmental research and pharmaceutical research. Job opportunities in environmental research are good for zoology graduates due to an increased need to protect the natural environment and a shortage of people with suitable qualifications. Environmental research scientist appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled environmental research scientists from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information. Biotechnologists use their knowledge of living organisms to create new animal or plant-based products such as pest-resistant crops and pharmaceuticals. Environmental scientists study the environment and how plants, animals and other organisms are affected by it.
They also study external influences, such as pollutants, and advise how to avoid or reduce harmful effects on the environment. Marine biologists study plants and animals that live in sea water, and their relationships with each other and their environment.
Microbiologists study organisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae or fungi, and the effects they have on plants, animals and humans. They also develop products and procedures to benefit humans or the environment. My favourites Contact us for career advice.
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Start to plan or change your career Where do I start? Who am I and what am I good at? What are skills? Figure out your skills What do I want for my life? Thinking about leaving school? I need to change my career or study. Some Bachelor's degree programs in zoology allow for specialization and others are more generalized. Core courses for most programs are general biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
The biology requirement is sometimes divided into courses in molecular and organismal biology. If specialization is permitted or required, options are marine biology, ecology, genetics, animal behavior, or zoo and aquarium science. By taking certain elective courses students may be permitted to create a custom-made specialization in the subject. It may be sufficient to obtain an assistant research post. They will most definitely provide experience in writing research papers and proposals; offer networking connections; and possibly lead to employment or prove to be beneficial in gaining acceptance to a graduate degree program.
For zoologists who wish to teach at the university level or who are primarily interested in conducting independent research, earning a doctorate degree is the best option. Research at this level is used to develop new ideas and plans for conservation of certain animal species. Completing a Ph.
This requires carrying out original research, recording data, writing about findings, and orally defending the research to peers and department faculty members. It is important to look for universities that are home to professors specializing in the desired area of study. Examples of research dissertations include wolf spider foraging behavior, toxicity effects of certain chemicals on rainbow trout, and the effects of nutrient availability on phytoplankton communities.
Zoology is a particularly research-oriented field. It is therefore necessary to stay current on new findings and trends. Its major pillars are conservation, education, and research. The Association conducts animal ambassador programs, classroom education, and comprehensive work with wildlife management professionals around the globe. Its programs involve research in behavioral sciences and genetics and the exchange of information and training in the areas of husbandry, nutrition, best management practices, and veterinary care.
Definition and Nature of the Work
The Wildlife Society facilitates networking of wildlife professionals through magazines, journals, an e-newsletter, an annual conference, and working groups. It also administers professional certification for wildlife biologists. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums , a network of more than six thousand zoo and aquarium professionals and organizations, offers animal management information, business benchmarking data, conference proceedings, grants, and more. Zoologists rank among the happiest careers.