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What Does it Take to Be an Animal Scientist?

Job Description & Duties Conduct research in the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.

Life As an Animal Scientist

  • Determine genetic composition of animal populations and heritability of traits, using principles of genetics.
  • Study nutritional requirements of animals and nutritive values of animal feed materials.
  • Develop improved practices in feeding, housing, sanitation, or parasite and disease control of animals.
  • Write up or orally communicate research findings to the scientific community, producers, and the public.
  • Research and control animal selection and breeding practices to increase production efficiency and improve animal quality.
  • Conduct research concerning animal nutrition, breeding, or management to improve products or processes.

What an Animal Scientist Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Animal Scientists say are important on the job.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Research Nutritionist
  • Research and Development Director (R&D Director)
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Swine Extension Field Specialist
  • Nutritionist

Are There Job Opportunities for Animal Scientists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 6,100 jobs in the United States for Animal Scientist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 300 new jobs for Animal Scientist by 2026. The BLS estimates 700 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Animal Scientist are Washington, Nebraska, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Oregon, or Ohio. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Animal Scientists Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of an Animal Scientist ranges between $36,270 and $113,430.


Animal Scientists who work in Maryland, Nebraska, or Ohio, make the highest salaries.

How much do Animal Scientists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $56,840
Colorado $61,010
Georgia $62,210
Illinois $54,610
Indiana $67,510
Iowa $74,830
Kansas $81,310
Maryland $128,700
Michigan $71,230
Minnesota $69,860
Missouri $81,780
Nebraska $93,140
New York $62,140
North Carolina $61,030
Ohio $76,240
Oklahoma $40,060
Pennsylvania $52,420
South Dakota $59,960
Texas $52,360
Wisconsin $70,030

What Tools do Animal Scientists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Animal Scientists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Database software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • SAS
  • Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Tableau
  • Palm OS
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequence analysis software

How to Become an Animal Scientist

What kind of Animal Scientist requirements are there?


How Long Does it Take to Become an Animal Scientist?


Where Animal Scientists Are Employed


Below are examples of industries where Animal Scientists work:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming an Animal Scientist might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Animal Scientist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Billy Hathorn via Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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