As well as working as a zoologist, your in-depth knowledge of animal sciences and lab and field work equips you for a career in the environmental, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Academic researcher
- Animal nutritionist
- Environmental consultant
- Field trials officer
- Marine scientist
- Nature conservation officer
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Science writer
Jobs where your degree would be useful:
- Animal physiotherapist
- Biomedical scientist
- Environmental education officer
- Environmental manager
- Higher education lecturer
- Marine biologist
- Veterinary nurse
- Veterinary surgeon
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Some university courses include work placements either in the UK or abroad as part of a four-year sandwich degree. However, zoology graduates may also acquire experience, skills and contacts through carrying out voluntary work. Opportunities can often be found with animal welfare groups, zoos and conservation projects. The skills gained from work experience and extra-curricular activities can greatly enhance your chances of finding a job on graduation.
It's important to get experience in any area you're seeking a career in, and the more relevant the better. You can do this through involvement with university societies and other university groups and opportunities, paid opportunities or volunteer work. These experiences can often be combined with your current study by working in the evenings, on weekends or by pursuing opportunities during the summer holidays.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Jobs are available with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Typical employers include:
- zoos or wildlife parks and environmental protection agencies
- government agencies and research institutions
- medical research establishments and the National Health Service (NHS)
- environmental and animal charities
- schools, colleges, science centres, libraries and museums
- universities and research institutes
- environmental consultancies
- chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum companies
- aquaculture and animal nutrition companies.
Skills for your CV
Studying zoology provides you with specialist knowledge in areas like ethology (the science of animal behaviour), animal biology, conservation and ecology.
You develop practical experience of modern laboratory and field research techniques, giving you a range of technical skills. You also gain a strong set of transferable skills, including:
- analytical skills - to understand, interpret and manipulate complex scientific data and statistics
- data-handling skills - to record, collate and analyse data using appropriate techniques and equipment
- written communication skills - to produce reports and write up research projects
- presentation and oral communication skills - to present research findings and make presentations in a clear, succinct way
- project management skills - organising and undertaking research projects and experiments (including budgeting, contingency planning and time management)
- a good understanding of information technology
- the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Some zoology graduates choose to undertake postgraduate study at Masters or PhD level in order to specialise in a particular area of interest within their discipline, for example wildlife conservation and biology, animal biology, ecology and environmental sustainability, and ecology and management of the natural environment.
Others choose to do further study in a different area entirely. Many postgraduate courses are open to graduates with a degree in any subject.
You may also choose to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Scotland, in preparation for a career teaching biology or general science.
What do zoology graduates do?
More than a quarter of zoology graduates go onto further study six months after graduation.
|Working and studying||5.6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||30.1|
|Childcare, health and education work||14.6|
|Technicians and other professionals||11.6|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||8.1|
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.
Graduate case study
Anna studied for four years at Imperial College London before joining the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). She only discovered the breadth of interesting careers available within horticulture when she was at university.