Careers in Animal Science

Career Opportunities

A degree in animal science can lead to many careers with wide ranges in job duties and salaries. An animal science degree is offered on all levels, and many programs provide students the opportunity to work with animals.

Career Title Veterinarian Animal Scientist Farm Manager
Education Requirements Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree Doctoral degree High school diploma, though bachelor's degree is increasingly required
Other Requirements North American Veterinary Licensing Exam None Farm experience
Projected Job Growth* (2012-2022) 12% 9% -19%
Median Salary* (2014) $87, 590 $61, 110 $68, 050
(Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Animal Science Degree Information

An animal science degree program can prepare students for careers in the management, science and medicine fields. Individuals who earn this degree may be self-employed or work in hospitals or for major companies. The employment outlook and annual salary can vary greatly between professions.

Animal science degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many programs incorporate work experience into the curriculum, and some institutions may have facilities for students to learn hands-on. These programs focus heavily on the biological sciences and include many laboratory-based classes. Some animal science programs offer concentrations, like management.


According to O*Net Online, veterinarians diagnose and treat animals by giving medication and performing surgeries ( They can work for animal hospitals, research facilities or in a private practice. Some veterinarians work with all animal types while other vets, such as equine veterinarians, focus on one species. Veterinarians may choose to become specialists and focus on a single area of medicine.

Prospective veterinarians need to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program after finishing an animal science program. Prospective programs must be accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Programs last four years and involve extensive clinical time in the fourth year.

Upon completion of veterinary school, many individuals undergo an internship to gain experience or a residency program to become board certified. All states require that veterinarians be licensed. While there is some variance in requirements, all states require that individuals hold a D.V.M. and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.

It's Interesting

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