Alternative titles for this job include Field biologist, wildlife biologist, conservation biologist

Zoologists study animals and their behaviour.

Average salary (a year)

£23,000 Starter


£48,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Zoologist

You can get into this job by doing a university course.


You could study for a degree in a subject, such as:

  • zoology
  • animal ecology and behaviour
  • conservation
  • marine biology
  • environmental biology

You may need a relevant postgraduate qualification like a master's degree or PhD for certain jobs, particularly in research.

Some degree courses offer a placement year where you can get relevant experience in areas like conservation.

Doing an internship during the summer holidays can also help you gain useful knowledge and skills. Your university careers department will be able to give you information about opportunities. They may also have links with wildlife or conservation organisations in the UK or overseas.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


Volunteering in conservation work is a good way to strengthen your application for university courses.

Many opportunities won't be advertised, so you could contact organisations directly.

You can also use sites like:

More Information

Career tips

You can search for zoology, conservation and ecology opportunities online, for example through sites like Conservation Jobs.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in zoology from the Institute of Zoology or from other specialist organisations, depending on your interest:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • science skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a zoologist, you could work in agriculture, conservation, pharmaceuticals or for government departments.

You'll usually specialise in an area like:

  • ecology - animal environments
  • herpetology - reptiles
  • entomology - insects
  • ornithology - birds
  • parasitology - parasites
  • paleozoology - fossil remains

Depending on your role, sector and specialism, you could:

  • do field and laboratory research
  • study animals in their natural environment or in captivity
  • identify, record and monitor animal species
  • gather and interpret information and data
  • write detailed technical reports, give presentations and publish research findings in journals and books

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or at a research facility.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

As an experienced zoologist, you could become a research manager. You might also work with zoos on wildlife conservation projects, or overseas on habitat and conservation management assignments.

In an academic post in higher education, you could progress to senior fellow or professor and lead your own research team. You might also supervise postgraduate research students, or work in scientific journalism.

You can get more details about research career development options through Vitae.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Zoologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

BSc(Hons) Applied Zoology

  • Start date: 23 September 2024
  • Location: Northampton

Access to HE Diploma (Veterinary Science & Zoology)

  • Provider: The Manchester College
  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Manchester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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