If you'd like a career working with animals, a degree in animal science and management can provide a route into a range of jobs involving pets, working animals, livestock and wildlife
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Academic researcher
- Animal nutritionist
- Animal physiotherapist
- Animal technician
- Nature conservation officer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Charity officer
- Environmental consultant
- Field trials officer
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Sales executive
- Science writer
- Veterinary nurse
- Volunteer coordinator
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Many organisations working with animals in the UK are charities, so they rely heavily on volunteers. This is great news in terms of gaining work experience. Approach animal sanctuaries, rescue centres, visitor attractions with animals on site, zoos, safari parks or veterinary practices to offer help. Often organisations have volunteering sections on their websites.
You may be able to find work on livestock farms, particularly during seasonal peaks, such as when animals are birthing. You could volunteer as a dog walker for elderly people unable to exercise their pets, or write campaign documents for animal rights organisations. If you don't have much time to give, you could help out at animal events such as horse shows.
For those with a thirst for adventure, there are opportunities for animal-based gap year experiences, holidays and welfare projects. Some of these will be on a voluntary basis, and others will have cost implications.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Employers include animal charities, who may focus on welfare, training, rescue, conservation, rehoming, or campaigning. Many organisations combine several or all of these strands, and may offer hands-on opportunities in general animal care.
Scientific organisations like pharmaceutical companies or medical research companies may employ graduates to care for animals in laboratories. Zoos and sanctuaries are common employers, as are international welfare organisations campaigning, fundraising and protecting animals worldwide.
Animal nutrition is a growing area with opportunities in animal health, feed development and sales. Local government and animal enforcement organisations employ graduates to protect the welfare of pets, livestock and leisure animals such as those used for racing and riding.
Other employers include scientific publishers, further education and high education institutions, and organisations involved in using genetics to improve domestic animal breeding programmes.
Skills for your CV
You'll develop specialist knowledge in areas such as animal physiology, biology, reproduction, behaviour, welfare, training, conservation, pests and diseases.
Many animal science and management degrees also equip you with a range of practical skills around animal handling, husbandry and training, as well as scientific research skills such as behavioural measurement.
Employers from other sectors also value skills from the degree, such as:
- the ability to explain complex ideas
- observation, research, analysis and reflection
- report writing
- statistical planning
- independent working
- collaborating with others
- time management
- communication and presentation.
Animal-based employment is often competitive, so postgraduate qualifications may provide you with an edge. Areas of study at Masters level include:
- veterinary physiotherapy
- zoo management.
Further study at this level can provide a deeper insight into a particular area of your undergraduate degree. Further study and/or training is required for some jobs, such as veterinary nurse.
It's also possible to undertake a PhD in a subject related to animal science and management.
What do animal science and management graduates do?
One fifth of animal science and management graduates find employment in animal care services six months after graduation. Veterinary nursing is also popular, but this requires extra training.
|Working and studying||6.4|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Childcare, health and education work||37|
|Retail, catering and bar work||14.8|
|Technicians and other professionals||7.6|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.