Becoming an Animal Scientist
Animal Scientists conduct varieties of research to improve efficient ways to produce and process animal products as well as develop animal quality. They study the animal genetics, nutrition, breeding, prospective diseases, management practices, environmental conditions and clinical experiments on domestic farm animals. They develop and design laboratory protocols for animal scientist functions. They may crossbreed animals to make them more productive or improve other characteristics.
They communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers, and the public. Some of these professionals inspect and grade livestock food products, purchase livestock, or work in technical sales or marketing. They also educate people how to upgrade proper animal housing facilities, lower mortality rates, manage waste matter, improve techniques, increase production of animal products such as milk, meat or eggs.
Animal Scientists can find employment in different environments. They can work at laboratories, research facilities, educational institutions, private industries, federal government, offices etc. They usually work full time and have standard schedules. Sometimes, they need to do field work that includes visits to farms or processing plants.
At the entry level for the position of an Animal Scientist, the aspiring candidates need to hold a bachelor’s degree with the major of animal biology, biochemistry, or physiology from an accredited institution. However, some Animal Scientists earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) while others hold Ph.D. in the area of animal science, genetics, animal reproduction, biotechnology or any related field.
Since the practice of Animal Scientists is required to be licensed in many states of the U.S.A., the candidates need to pass the licensing examination. The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) offers exam based certification to these professionals.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for the Animal Scientists may rise 5% from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of an Animal Scientist was $ 60,690 in 2014.