Hello! I'm a biology student looking to pursue a career with animals. I used to always say I would become a veterinarian, but I worry that I will burn out in vet school. My mom tells me that if I don't become a vet, my only other animal-related option will be to test on laboratory animals. I, of course, know that there are options in the zoological field, and I appreciate the things you've recently reblogged on the topic! Do you have any other career ideas to share?
You’ve absolutely got other options - there are lots of ways to work with or around animals that are not veterinary or lab work. Some options, in no particular order:
- Dog training
- Pet behavior consulting
- Conservation research (could watch animals in situ, or work with reintroduction / outreach efforts)
- Education (with a small company, at a zoo or aquarium, with a media company)
- Wildlife rehabilitation (lots of veterinary-related work)
- Science communication (newspaper writing, tv shows, internet blogging)
- Veterinary technician
- Animal shelter work (multiple jobs, everything from kennel staff to adoption assistants to behavioral science and vet tech work)
- Animal husbandry in non-zoo settings (sanctuaries or game ranches)
- Farm staff (lots of manual labor in this one)
I’m sure there’s a whole bunch more, but that gives you an idea of the range. It really comes down to how much interaction you want with animals, what type of animals, and how much work it takes to get there. Jobs like in-situ research don’t give you much hands-on contact with animals because the goal is to keep them wild, and require more advanced academic work to get into, but are hella rewarding when you’re out watching gorillas or something. Shelter work lets you snuggle a lot more animals, although they’re mostly domestic, and doesn’t require much of a degree but also involves a lot of poop scooping. The more education-based jobs can have you around animals a lot, and sometimes in contact with them, but are not direct-contact focused and require a bit of a different academic background.