Trying to determine what career is right for you can be a daunting task since there are numerous possibilities. Career counselors generally recommend looking at your interests and your skills when determining what would be a good fit for you. If you are an animal lover, you may find that it is worth your time to learn about and pursue college careers dealing with animals.
One of the most common college careers for people interested in working with animals is becoming a veterinarian. This requires students to complete four years of undergraduate coursework in pre-veterinary science or biology before completing three to four years of veterinary school. Job prospects are excellent for people interested in this field as there are only 28 accredited programs in the U.S., according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which leads to only a small pool of people qualified to be a licensed in a state as a veterinarian.
If you want to work in a veterinary office but without all of the education, you can become a veterinary technician. People in this position assist veterinarians with many of the daily tasks such as dispensing and administering medication and providing care for injured or ill animals. College for vet techs generally takes one to two years depending upon the setup of the program you take, and graduates earn an average hourly wage of $12.88, although it can be higher at a rate of $18.68 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wildlife Conservation Officer
Individuals who enjoy the great outdoors and animals in
their natural habitat may find serving as a wildlife conservation officer the
right job for them. These officers work
in state parks and conservation areas to protect the animals living there while
educating the public about the animals and how to respect their habitats. Most officers complete a bachelor's degree in
wildlife management, natural resource conservation or biology before undergoing
training, which can include first aid, CPR, water rescues and law enforcement
Zoos are a popular place for people to see wild animals since many can only be found in exotic locations in specific parts of the world. Feeding and caring for the animals in the zoo is the responsibility of zookeepers, who also put on educational programs for the public to learn more about the animals. Becoming a zookeeper requires a bachelor's degree in biology or animal science, and many zoos require previous experience working with animals. This can often be accomplished by serving as a zoo volunteer while obtaining your degree.
The ocean is home to many different species of animals, some of which are just now being discovered. The responsibility of studying and protecting the fish and other animals found in ocean waters and along the coast belongs to marine biologists. Choosing this college career, students generally spend four years completing an undergraduate program in biology or wildlife conservation. While some begin work immediately others focus on obtaining a master's degree or PhD focused specifically on marine biology or a specific animal species found in the water.