How to Become an Animal Behaviorist

There are different paths that a person can follow in order to become an animal behaviorist. The route that an individual chooses to take greatly influences the jobs that the person can end up applying for.

If someone has a certain type of animal behaviorist job that he or she is wishing to obtain, it is best to determine what the exact requirements are to obtain the job; this will help in determining the exact type of training that will be needed.

Going to College to Earn a Degree

How to become an animal behaviorist?

No matter the job position that a person wants to fulfill as an animal behaviorist, it is likely that he or she will have to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The exact degree can vary; however, most people who enter into this line of work pursue degrees that focus on animal behavior, zoology, and/or biology.

It is important to note that the job duties of animal behaviorists vary and are dependent on the training that a person receives. Some animal behaviorists help pet owners who have misbehaving animals.

Others work for zoos, while others go out into the wild and study animals in their natural habitats so that a deeper understanding of why humans behave the way they do can be obtained. Depending on the job that a person wants to have, specializations in different lines of training will have to be obtained such as in psychology or animal science.

Earning a Master’s or Doctorate Degree

With a bachelor’s degree, it is likely that individuals will be able to obtain some type of entry-level job as an animal behaviorist. These jobs can often be found at zoological parks. Some people may even be able to secure a job through a private organization that will supply on-the-job training. In most instances, if a person wants to pursue a lifelong career as an animal behaviorist, it is best to extend one’s education beyond getting just a bachelor’s degree. Master and doctorate degrees are available in fields relating to animal behavior.

Earning a PhD or Becoming a DVM

A great way to earn a doctorate degree as an animal behaviorist is to complete some type of veterinary school program. In doing so, an individual can end up holding the title DVM which stands for doctor of veterinary medicine; this type of degree allows the graduate to practice medicine alongside studying the behavior of animals. On a master’s level, PhDs are also available for students to earn; this type of advanced education allows students to take part in animal behavior research, expand their skills, and work alongside leading professionals. All of this will help a person to become more employable as an animal behaviorist.

Becoming Professionally Certified

Lastly, after earning some type of degree, persons wanting to become animal behaviorists will find it very beneficial to become professionally certified. Professional certification is not a requirement to carry out the duties of an animal behaviorist; however, such certification can open many employment doors.

There are a number of different organizations and associations that offer certifications to people who want to become members, so it is best for animal behaviorists to search around for associations that they believe they will best fit into. In order to be accepted as a member into the associations, generally, applicants must demonstrate a high level of educational competency. Many associations will want to view applicants’ resumes as well as ask them to pass administered tests.