Animal Behaviorists


Employment Prospects


Employment prospects for individuals interested in a career as an animal behaviorist are generally good with the exception of positions which depend on government funding. Depending on the individual’s career aspirations, opportunities may be located throughout the United States.

Opportunities include teaching in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities. Research opportunities also exist in universities and government, private research institutions, zoos, aquariums and museums. Other opportunities include positions as curators or keepers in zoos, aquariums and museums.

Applied animal behavior training is a growing field and will continue to grow as people continue to look at their pets as members of their family. Some animal behaviorists have their own business. Others work for companies, clinics or veterinarians. Applied animal behavior training is also utilized on farms and in zoos and aquariums.

Starting Out

Opportunities for animal behaviorists starting out their careers vary depending on the area of the industry they wish to pursue. Some individuals begin as research assistants. Others obtain entry level jobs after completing their education, get some experience under their belt and move up the career ladder. Many find work at humane societies or shelters as animal behavior technicians or specialists.

Advancement Prospects

There are a number of paths for advancement for animal behaviorists depending on the individual's career aspirations, education and experience. Those who are teaching may find positions in larger colleges and universities. Individuals performing research may become supervisors or may find similar positions in larger or more prestigious labs or facilities.

Applied animal behaviorists may find better jobs with larger companies, open their own practice, or expand their practice by acquiring new clients.

Tips for Entry

Find part time and summer jobs in settings where you have the opportunity to interact directly with animals as well as observing human-animal interactions. These jobs might be in zoos, sanctuaries, humane societies, or shelters.

Internships are a great way to get experience. Contact research facilities, colleges, universities, and veterinarians to find opportunities.

If you are trained as an animal behaviorist and want to work with companion animals, contact local veterinarians and dog trainers to discuss your expertise.

While certification is voluntary it illustrates professional expertise and will often give you an edge over other applicants with similar backgrounds. Contact the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) at http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/applied-behavior-caab-application.php to get more information.