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    Top 10 Majors for Animal Lovers

    By Varonika Ware

    Varonika Ware is a content writer at Scholarships360. Varonika earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU, she worked with the Center of Academic Success to create the weekly Success Sunday newsletter. Varonika also interned at the Louisiana Department of Insurance in the Public Affairs office with some of her graphics appearing in local news articles.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: June 18th, 2024
    Top 10 Majors for Animal Lovers

    Pursuing your passions and hobbies doesn’t have to stop in college! If your favorite pastime is hanging out with animals, there are a wide variety of animal majors you can choose from when you decide to continue your education. Take some time to look through this list and get inspiration for your new collegiate adventure!

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    Why we chose these majors

    While the majors below aren’t your only options to nurture your love for animals, our list features some of the more commonly seen fields of study. We’ve included a variety of possibilities for animal lovers, from veterinarian to conservationist so that you can start getting ideas for your upcoming career. It makes sense that many of the careers we included are geared for STEM majors. All stats cited are from the latest information found on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Keep reading below to find out more!

    See also: Top ten pet friendly colleges and universities

    List of careers for animal lovers

    1. Zoology

    One of the more straightforward ways to interact with animals of all different species is to pursue a major in zoology. It’s a form of science that studies animals. In this field of study, you’ll be examining domesticated and wild animals, and you can use this degree to start a path toward being a veterinarian. However, there are multiple options for a career in zoology, so do your research and find out what’s best for you. 

    2. Animal Science

    If you decide to pursue a major in animal science, it’s likely that you’ll get a chance to study animals in all sorts of different habitats. As a science degree path, you’ll also be expected to take biology courses on top of classes like animal nutrition and behavior. 

    Since it’s an overall animal degree, don’t be shy when it comes to exploring job opportunities. You could work on a farm or become a breeding manager, whatever interests you the most.

    3. Pre-Veterinary Medicine  

    Pre-veterinary medicine is a straightforward path right toward becoming a veterinarian. However, you will still have to go to vet school after receiving your bachelor’s degree to officially become a vet. Fortunately, this major is aimed at helping you become a desirable vet school applicant. 

    This degree of study will include information on genetics as well as animal diseases and prevention. Try to pair this with an internship to make yourself stand out in your vet school application. 

    • Possible career: Veterinarian
      • 2023 Median Pay: $119,100 annually
      • Level of Education: Doctoral or professional degree
      • Growth Rate (2022-2032): 20% (Much faster than average)

    4. Oceanography 

    This major deals entirely with the largest bodies of water on Earth, the oceans and seas! While uncovering the depths of the ocean, you’ll likely learn about the countless animals that reside in it. 

    Oceanography has a little bit of everything for everyone since it includes climate change, marine life, meteorology, and much more. There will likely be an emphasis on technology since it’s one of the necessary parts of oceanic exploration.  

    • Possible career: Hydrologist
      • 2023 Median Pay: $88,770 annually
      • Level of Education: Bachelor’s degree
      • Growth rate (2022-2032): 1% (Little or no change)

    5. Marine Biology 

    Though marine biology and oceanographers are similar, marine biology doesn’t include underwater volcanoes and tectonic plates. Marine biologists focus exclusively on underwater species with some background in oceanography concepts. There’s no shortage of marine life to study in this field, so you should be able to stay interested and get a feel for your options. 

    6. Wildlife Conservation

    If you’re passionate about saving the environment and the wildlife within it, then this field of study is for you. It’s likely that you’ll learn about different endangered species as well as repopulation tactics. 

    Hopefully, your work will take you into different places to observe and manage wildlife habitats. Wherever you go, you’re sure to make an impact and leave your mark!

    7. Ecology

    Ecology is the study of organisms and their relationships with one another and the world around them. In this major, you’ll be able to get a mix of everything from biology to social sciences. 

    It’s a more general way to study animals, but there are varying group sizes that you can focus on such as an individual species or a population. Be sure to look into the curriculum offered for this major at your school of choice to know the specifics. 

    • Possible Career: Geographer
      • 2023 Median Pay: $90,880
      • Level of Education: Bachelor’s degree
      • Growth Rate (2022-2032): 1% (Little or no change)

    8. Biology

    In STEM majors, biology is one of the more known options. As a result of its broad nature, you have different concentrations and professions available to you. 

    However, if you specifically want to work with animals, you might want to focus in areas such as evolution and microbiology. Biology also provides opportunities to conduct experiments and dissections to understand animals and their biological makeup. 

    • Possible Career: Microbiologist
      • 2023 Median Pay: $85,470 annually
      • Level of Education: Bachelor’s degree
      • Growth Rate (2022-2032): 5% (Faster than average)

    9. Animal Care and Service Workers

    Animal care and service workers work in animal shelters, aquariums, kennels, pet stores, veterinary clinics, zoos, and more. While usually a high school is required, applicants who have prior experience working with animals are preferred. 

    Some animal care workers choose to become licensed veterinary technicians. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) offers a searchable database for students seeking accredited programs. 

    • Possible Career: Veterinary technician
      • 2023 Median Pay: $43,740
      • Level of Education: High school diploma or equivalent
      • Growth Rate (2022-2032): 21% (Much faster than average)

    10.  Environmental Science

    This major is the intersection between caring for the environment and loving animals in their natural habitats. You’ll likely have a chance to research different animal food chains and their effects on the environment around them!

    In your studies, you’ll also examine the impact humans have on the world and possibly theorize ways to cut our carbon footprint. There are many places this field of study can take you, so be sure to do your research. 

  • Possible Career: Environmental Scientist and Specialist
    • 2023 Median Pay: $78,980 annually 
    • Level of Education: Bachelor’s degree
    • Growth Rate (2022-2032): 6% (Faster than average)
  • Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • Once you’ve picked your desired major, try to research schools that specialize in that field for a well-regarded degree amongst your future colleagues
    • Research the job options to figure out the best concentration for your major to get your desired career 
    • Take your study habits seriously since STEM majors are academically rigorous. Get into a groove of what works best for you on exams as soon as possible
    • Try to apply for work study or assistantships on campus to gain hands-on experience with your major
    • Form study groups to get closer to your peers and to stay on top of your coursework

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    Frequently asked questions about college majors for animal lovers

    What’s the difference between zoology and animal science?

    Zoology majors study the behaviors, distribution, and evolution of animals. Meanwhile, animal science majors study animals that live amongst humans, such as farm animals and pets.

    What is the highest paying job working with animals?

      Working as a veterinarian is one of the highest-paying animal careers for animal lovers. Veterinarians can work in many different settings, including their own private practice as well as farms and zoos.

    Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • Once you’ve picked your desired major, try to research schools that specialize in that field for a well-regarded degree amongst your future colleagues
    • Research the job options to figure out the best concentration for your major to get your desired career 
    • Take your study habits seriously since STEM majors are academically rigorous. Get into a groove of what works best for you on exams as soon as possible
    • Try to apply for work study or assistantships on campus to gain hands-on experience with your major
    • Form study groups to get closer to your peers and to stay on top of your coursework

    Start your scholarship search
    • Vetted scholarships custom-matched to your profile
    • Access exclusive scholarships only available to Scholarships360 members
    Get Started

    Frequently asked questions about college majors for animal lovers

    What’s the difference between zoology and animal science?

    Zoology majors study the behaviors, distribution, and evolution of animals. Meanwhile, animal science majors study animals that live amongst humans, such as farm animals and pets.

    What is the highest paying job working with animals?

      Working as a veterinarian is one of the highest-paying animal careers for animal lovers. Veterinarians can work in many different settings, including their own private practice as well as farms and zoos.

    Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • Once you’ve picked your desired major, try to research schools that specialize in that field for a well-regarded degree amongst your future colleagues
    • Research the job options to figure out the best concentration for your major to get your desired career 
    • Take your study habits seriously since STEM majors are academically rigorous. Get into a groove of what works best for you on exams as soon as possible
    • Try to apply for work study or assistantships on campus to gain hands-on experience with your major
    • Form study groups to get closer to your peers and to stay on top of your coursework

    Start your scholarship search
    • Vetted scholarships custom-matched to your profile
    • Access exclusive scholarships only available to Scholarships360 members
    Get Started

    Frequently asked questions about college majors for animal lovers

    What’s the difference between zoology and animal science?

    Zoology majors study the behaviors, distribution, and evolution of animals. Meanwhile, animal science majors study animals that live amongst humans, such as farm animals and pets.

    What is the highest paying job working with animals?

      Working as a veterinarian is one of the highest-paying animal careers for animal lovers. Veterinarians can work in many different settings, including their own private practice as well as farms and zoos.

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