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

Zoologists study animals and their behaviour.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 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 a zoologist

You can get into this job by doing:

  • a university course


You could study for a degree in a subject like:

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

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

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

Doing an internship during the summer of your second or last but one year at university can also help you gain useful knowledge and skills. Your university careers department may have links with wildlife or conservation organisations in the UK or overseas.

You can also look for opportunities on websites like:

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 will go unadvertised, so you may need to contact organisations direct.

You can also use sites like:

More Information

Further information

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

  • British Ornithologists' Union
  • British Herpetological Society
  • British Ecological Society
  • 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
    • excellent verbal communication skills
    • the ability to work well with others
    • science skills
    • the ability to read English
    • maths knowledge
    • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
    • 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

    You could work in sectors like agriculture, conservation, pharmaceuticals or for the Government and you'll usually specialise in an area like:

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

    Your day-to-day tasks will vary depending on your role, sector and specialism. You could:

    • carry out field and laboratory research
    • study animals in their natural environment or in captivity
    • identify, record and monitor animal species
    • gather and interpret information
    • use complex procedures, like computerised molecular and cellular analysis, and in-vitro fertilisation
    • produce detailed technical reports
    • give presentations and publish information in journals and books
    • supervise technicians

    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

    With experience, you could move into other jobs like management, marketing, sales, scientific journalism or consultancy.

    You could also work and study overseas.

    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

    • Provider: MOULTON COLLEGE
    • Start date: 16 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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    Skills assessment

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