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Zoologist Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Zoologist. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Zoologist
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Zoologist Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Zoologists study animal evolution, ecology, genetics, behaviour, development and physiology. They have detailed knowledge of subjects like cell biology and genetics, and their work is used to enable advances in areas such as medicine, environmental protection and conservation, agriculture and aquaculture, and marine biology. Work might include the development and testing of new drugs, improving agricultural crops and livestock, disease and pest control, conservation of endangered habitats and species, and in animal welfare and education. Work for governmental agencies may include developing policies and enforcing regulations.

The work involves conducting field and laboratory research using both traditional observational techniques and complex procedures such as computerised molecular and cellular analysis, in-vitro fertilisation and cryogenics. After analysing and interpreting data, detailed technical reports are produced.

Zoologists undertaking research in universities usually specialise in one of the many branches of zoology. These include:

  • morphology and anatomy animal structure
  • embryology reproduction and development
  • genetics and evolution inherited characteristics
  • animal ecology and ecophysiology the relationship between animals and their environment
  • ecotoxicology the effects of pollutants on animals
  • behavioural studies.
  • There will often be some teaching duties associated with university work, and considerable time may be spent preparing and delivering lectures.

Hours and Environment

The basic working week is 35 hours, Monday to Friday, but this varies according to the requirements of the project in hand. Unsocial hours and weekend work may be necessary.

Some research is carried out in modern well-equipped laboratories and involves using sophisticated instruments and computers. Protective clothing may be needed. Zoologists carrying out field work will spend time away from home, often overseas.

It should be noted that some procedures in zoological study require the collection of living and dead specimens, and in some instances dissection is necessary, particularly when studying animal physiology and diseases.

Skills and Interests

To be a zoologist you should:

  • be interested in animals and the environment
  • have an aptitude for sciences, particularly biology and chemistry
  • be able to conduct detailed work accurately and methodically
  • be inquisitive and able to plan research, analyse and interpret data, and write reports
  • have practical skills and the ability to devise solutions to problems
  • have patience, perseverance and the ability to concentrate for long periods
  • enjoy working as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • have strong communication and IT skills.


A first degree and often a higher qualification such as an MSc or PhD is needed to become a professional zoologist. There are related degree subjects other than zoology that focus on specific areas of zoological study. These include animal ecology, wildlife biology, marine biology, parasitology, animal behaviour, and ecology and conservation. Entry to a degree course is with two or three A levels/Highers which should include biology, plus five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) including English, maths and a science subject. Alternative qualifications may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.


Training is delivered through postgraduate programmes in university research departments. The trainee works on a research project alongside senior research colleagues, and develops the skills and determination necessary for sustained individual research. After producing a thesis based on their findings, the student is interviewed at length about the work, and a PhD or other qualification may then be awarded.


Employers of zoologists include universities and government research institutions, the NHS and medical research establishments, water authorities, zoos and wildlife trusts, and environmental protection agencies. There are opportunities in the private sector as consultants or in technical and research roles with veterinary, agricultural, fisheries and biotechnology organisations, and with other employers such as chemical, pharmaceutical, and petroleum companies.

Zoology graduates can also find work in the education sector, with museums or other cultural organisations, or move into other jobs such as management, marketing, sales or scientific journalism.

There are opportunities for work and study overseas.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Recent graduates employed as technical assistants receive around £18,400 a year.
Zoologists in research posts earn up to £27,400.
Senior lecturers in zoology at universities may be paid up to £40,000 a year.

Salaries for those working in private industry and other organisations will vary considerably.

Further information

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Regents Park
Tel: 020 7449 6601

Institute of Biology
20 Queensberry Place
Tel: 020 7581 8333



Other Useful Zoologist Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Zoologist job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-

Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Zoologist Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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