Zoologists are biological scientists who study animals. They observe animals both in their natural habitats and in the laboratory in order to learn as much as possible about animal life. Zoologists study the origin and development of animal species, the habits and behavior of animals, and the interaction between animals and their environment. They also do research to learn how animal diseases develop and how traits are passed from generation to generation.
Zoologists are sometimes known as animal scientists or animal biologists. Their field is zoology, or animal biology. Like botany and microbiology, zoology is a major division of biology. Zoology is a broad field. It includes the study of animals as varied as elephants, kangaroos, and killer sharks. Zoologists work in all areas of animal life, studying both simple and complex processes. For example, a zoologist might examine the overall structure of a cat or just the microscopic cells in its brain. Zoologists study the life functions of a single animal, such as an insect, as well as the behavior of whole colonies of ants, flocks of birds, or bands of gorillas.
Zoologists use many different tools to collect and analyze data. As an example, they sometimes use GPS systems and sophisticated modeling software to forecast and track the migration patterns of particular types of animals. They also collect biological samples (like blood and fecal matter), and test it to determine the health of animals.
Some of the research that zoologists do is based purely on observation. They might observe how one species reacts to another, how they interact with their habitat, what their reproductive habits are, and how they socialize with other members of their species.
Zoologists often work on cross-functional research teams with other scientists. For example, if a zoologist was studying the effects of pollution on fish.
A minimum of a bachelor's degree in ecology, zoology, or wildlife biology is required for most entry level zoologist positions. Zoologists need to have a well-rounded scientific background, and these programs normally include courses in wildlife management, ecology, botany, and chemistry.
Because zoologists spend a lot of their time analyzing data, an academic background in statistics and mathematics can be very helpful. Courses in computer science can also be useful, since many zoologists use sophisticated modeling software on the job.
If you want to spend your entire career in this field, it would be good to get a master's degree. Without one, your opportunities for advancement may be severely limited.
If you want to lead a research team or teach at the college level, then a Ph.D. is required. In a Ph.D. program, students learn how to perform advanced research in their area of interest. Most students also receive real world work experience, which helps prepare them for their careers in zoology.
While in graduate school, most students choose a particular area of animal to specialize in. Some students decide to specialize in a group of animals (like birds or fish), while others may specialize in a single type of animal.
Salary vary depending on the education, experience, nature of work, area of specialization, and type of employing organization. Professionals working in the research and development department can earn handsome salaries in this field. In the initial stages of the career, one can earn about Rs.8000 to 13000 per month.
After five to seven years of work experience, this can surpass to Rs. 25000 per month mark.