Careers Career Paths Career Options for Working With Wildlife Share PINTEREST Email Print Echo / Getty Images Career Paths Animal Careers Technology Careers Sports Careers Sales Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media Legal Careers US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Aviation Advertising Learn More Table of Contents Expand Wildlife Veterinarian Zookeeper Marine Mammal Trainer Herpetologist Wildlife Biologist Ichthyologist Zoo Curator Aquarist Entomologist Zoo Educator Primatologist Fish and Game Warden Zoologist Marine Biologist Beekeeper Wildlife Officer By Mary Hope Kramer Mary Hope Kramer Executive Office Manager/Animal Industry Writer Berry College Mary Hope Kramer works in the equine industry and has a passion for careers in the animal industry. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/10/19 Whether you want to work with native or exotic species, there are many career options for those who want to work with wildlife. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks data for animal care and service workers and reports that they earn a median annual salary of about $38,000, as of 2018. However, the pay range is broad, depending on education level, specific job duties, and experience. The top 10% of earners are paid more than $55,000 annually, and the bottom 10% earn less than about $20,000. Wildlife Veterinarian Wildlife veterinarians are qualified to treat a variety of species including reptiles, birds, and mammals. Becoming a licensed wildlife veterinarian requires a significant educational commitment, but the median annual salary for veterinarians is more than $90,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2018, and board-certified practitioners earn more. Zookeeper Zookeepers are responsible for the daily care of a zoo’s animal collection. Regular duties include feeding, giving medications, cleaning enclosures, and reporting behavioral changes. Most zookeepers have at least a two-year degree. Marine Mammal Trainer Marine mammal trainers condition marine species to perform specific behaviors on command. They also are responsible for supervising daily care and providing behavioral enrichment activities. Most marine mammal trainers have at least a two-year degree. Herpetologist Herpetologists are biologists who study reptiles and amphibians. They may be involved in a variety of areas including research, education, or collection management. Herpetologists must have a four-year degree at minimum, and graduate-level degrees are preferred. Educators and top researchers should expect to earn more than top animal care and service workers. Wildlife Biologist Wildlife biologists study a variety of wildlife species and may be involved in research, education, or managing local wildlife. Wildlife biologists must have at least a four-year degree, and most positions give preference to those with graduate degrees. Like herpetologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Ichthyologist Ichthyologists are biologists who study fish, sharks, and rays. They may be involved in a variety of duties depending on their role in research, education, or collection management. A four-year degree is required, with most ichthyologists holding graduate-level degrees. Like other biologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Zoo Curator Zoo curators oversee the acquisition and management of animals in a zoo’s collection. They also are involved in the management and hiring of staff members. Curators usually have a four-year degree, with an advanced degree preferred. Aquarist Aquarists care for marine mammals and fish kept at aquariums. Aquarists are responsible for general care, habitat maintenance, feeding, and assisting with veterinary procedures. They must have a four-year degree and scuba diving certification to enter the field. Entomologist Entomologists are biologists who study insects. They usually are involved in research, education, or a combination of both. Entomologists must have a four-year degree, and teaching and research roles often require advanced degrees. Like other biologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Zoo Educator Zoo educators teach visitors about the zoo’s collection of animals in an effort to promote conservation. They may be involved in giving tours, presenting formal seminars, and circulating throughout the park to answer questions. Most zoo educators have at least a four-year degree. Primatologist Primatologists are biologists who study primates such as gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. They are most frequently involved in research, education, or conservation. Primatologists must have at least a four-year degree, and graduate-level degrees are preferable. Like other biologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Fish and Game Warden Fish and game wardens enforce laws and regulations relating to wildlife in a designated area. They may be involved with issuing hunting licenses, conducting surveys of local game, and assisting injured wildlife. Two to four years of education in wildlife management or law enforcement are desirable. Zoologist Zoologists are biologists who study a variety of wildlife species. They may work in education, research, or collection management. This position requires a four-year degree, and jobs requiring applicants to have graduate degrees in the field are most common. Like other biologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Marine Biologist Marine biologists study a wide variety of aquatic animals. They may work in research, private industry, or education. A four-year degree is required, and most marine biologists have a master's degree or doctorate. Like other biologists, their pay typically exceeds that of even the highest-paid animal care and service workers. Beekeeper Beekeepers (apiarists) manage bee colonies that produce honey or other products like beeswax. Beekeepers divide colonies, replace combs, and construct new hives. No degree is required to enter this profession, but many beekeepers do hold degrees. Wildlife Officer Wildlife officers serve an important role in the environmental and law enforcement communities. These specially trained officers work to ensure that natural resources, parks, wildlife, and recreation areas remain available to the public and yet as pristine as possible. They protect endangered species and prevent other species from becoming endangered.