Animal Science Careers
Students earning a B.S. degree with a major in animal science are qualified for a wide variety of challenging careers. In fact, there are over 500 different job classifications for animal science graduates. Graduates find employment in academic teaching and research, industrial research in the food and feed industries, in laboratory research programs with governmental and international agencies, private corporations, and in industrial or institutional management positions requiring a high level of scientific training. In government positions, graduates can help draft regulations governing the agriculture industry, or work directly in research. Other traditional employment can be found with feed manufacturers, animal breeding companies, meat packers, pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms, universities, or in primary production. An agricultural science degree is also the gateway to a multitude of possibilities in the growing agricultural biotechnology industry.
What Career Opportunities Are Available?
By majoring in animal sciences, you can prepare yourself for one or more of the many careers related to animal agriculture. Depending on the particular program of study you choose, rewarding career opportunities are available in business, industry, government, education, and research:
Allied animal industries such as feed and equipment manufacturers, artificial breeding associations, pharmaceutical firms, meat processors, and food distributors employ animal scientists in various technical, managerial, administrative, public relations, and sales positions.
Breeding and livestock marketing organizations employ animal scientists as field representatives, managers, consultants, market forecasters, and public relations specialists.
Extension educators with animal sciences training find professional teaching positions as state and area livestock specialists and county agricultural agents.
Food processors, meat packers, and related industries seek persons with meat science background for positions in management, product and process development, purchasing, quality assurance, technical and consumer services, advertising, and sales.
Formal training in the basic animal sciences provides essential background for professional careers in veterinary medicine.
Government agencies employ persons with undergraduate or advanced training in the animal sciences as administrative or technical specialists in livestock marketing, forecasting, environmental regulation, animal health, disease control, meats inspection, and public information.
Livestock breeders and feedlot operators seek persons with strong animal sciences and business training for positions in production management, animal nutrition, physiology, and behavior.
Researchers and laboratory technicians are employed by many government agencies and private firms, working in such specialized fields as animal breeding and reproduction, health maintenance and disease control, animal nutrition, computer modeling, animal housing, waste management, environmental quality, and processing, handling, and quality control with meat, milk, eggs, and other animal products.
Self-employed persons with animal sciences training develop professional careers in such diverse fields as farm and feedlot operation, management services, consulting, livestock marketing, animal breeding, and kennel or clinic operations.
State and national organizations such as the National Cattlemen's Association, National Pork Producers Council, the National Dairy Herd Improvement Association, and others employ animal scientists to promote, educate, and work in the public sector with consumers of animal products; other service organizations employing animal scientists in educational, communications, and public relations roles include banking, insurance, and real estate firms.
Universities, colleges, and other educational organizations employ persons with advanced animal sciences training as teachers, researchers, laboratory technicians, and extension specialists.
Vocational agriculture educators with animal sciences backgrounds find professional careers in secondary schools, area vocational centers, and community colleges.
Writers and communicators with animal sciences training are employed by the various animal industries in advertising, publications work, and public information activities.
Zoos, kennels, animal clinics, horse farms, animal preserves, and similar facilities offer many positions as animal caretakers, technicians, gamekeepers, and veterinary assistants.
Recent advances in genetic engineering, molecular biology, and other biotechnology areas relating to animal production, care, and use underline the significant changes in today's animal agriculture and its growing importance to society as a whole. As new career opportunities emerge, many trained animal scientists will be needed to assume these challenging roles. View job bank