Major Overview

If you see yourself breeding, training, or raising animals, then a degree in Animal Science is for you.

Animal Science majors working with animals and envision a program to learn more about the creatures and how to properly work with them. Classes in Animal Science include animal biology and physiology, biochemistry, biology, and life sciences to learn the principles surrounding animal husbandry, livestock operations, and the business of agriculture.

Although schools offer the option to major in general Animal Science, there is also the option to specialize in areas such as Agricultural Animal Breeding, Animal Health, Animal Nutrition, Dairy Science, Livestock Management and Poultry Science.

Required Skills

Working with animals takes patience, compassion, and an interest in their well-being. The job requires strong problem solving skills and close attention to detail to assess any issues that come up during animal training, and to ensure animals are maintaining a proper diet and show no abnormal changes in behavior. Animal Scientists work closely with farmers and animal owners, so it is necessary to possess strong interpersonal and communication skills to ensure information about animals is properly and clearly shared with all necessary individuals.

Depending on the type of job pursued, the typical workweek of an Animal Science major varies. Animals require care around the clock, so hours may be irregular and require work at nights and on the weekends. Depending on where you work however, you may have a more typical office job that sticks to a 40-hour a week schedule.

When pursuing a career in Animal Science, experience working with animals is important. Try interning or working with an animal scientist, trainer or even a veterinarian to gain experience. Volunteering at a local animal shelter will also give you the opportunity to work with domestic animals. Employers look for and prefer previous experience working with animals while hiring job prospects.

Careers

There are many career options available to Animal Science majors. Many people immediately think of a career on a ranch or farm, but a degree in this field opens up opportunities in scientific research, management, or even sales. Animal Science majors also hold jobs as breeders, trainers, and animal nutritionists.

A degree in Animal Science makes you very appealing to employers. This is a field that is growing faster than average and will provide excellent job opportunities to graduates.

Graduates with a degree in Animal Science can expect an average starting salary of $31,092 with a mid-career salary of $52,791.

Major at a Glance

Top statistics for this major

College Ranking by Major

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this Major
Yearly Graduations
 5,485
Average Starting Salary
$31,092
Average Mid-Career Salary
$52,791

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Animal Science might open up.

Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
Animal Scientists
Farm and Home Management Advisors
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers
Salary data estimated by College Factual based in part on data provided by PayScale. Last updated 2013.

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