Written by Anna Hollisey
Are you considering a qualification in animal psychology? Or wondering what an animal psychologist or behaviorist does all day? Read on to learn what skills and qualifications people need to succeed in this rewarding line of work.
In the last few decades, the interest in animal psychology has increased. It’s the study of animal behavior and relationships – between themselves and with humans and other species.
Animal psychologists are required in places like zoos and parks as well as animal rescues and hospitals.
You can also become an independent animal psychologist who provides services to pet-owners whose animals have behavioral issues.
Finally, there are many animal psychologists in the academic world – researching and teaching the latest insights in animal psychology. They work with a wide range of animals, from domesticated pets to wild animals all over the world.
Becoming an animal psychologist requires developing skills like:
A bachelor’s degree in animal psychology, science or behavior is usually the basis for this career, but you can start with a more generalized veterinary or science degree and then continue to take a Master’s in Animal Behavior. If you are interested in finding out more about the career, an internship at a veterinarian practice or animal institution will help you to decide if it’s right for you.
According to the US Bureau for Labour Statistics, demand for animal care jobs (like veterinarian jobs) is rising about twice as fast as the average demand for jobs – and this does include all kinds of animal care roles, but we can see that the sector is rapidly growing.
Most people who qualify in animal psychology go on to become academics or animal behaviorists, hired to help care centers to improve their work, preserve species, and educate their associates. Across the spectrum, this work can be immensely rewarding. Some of the roles that you could see advertised include:
A specialist in animal behavior, usually with a view to improving care or relationships.
This role is required by research organizations including non-profits, academic institutions, and government-funded programs.
This role could provide support at an academic institution but is also required in zoos and animal parks, where education and preservation are important concerns.
We love wondering what our dogs are thinking. Find out what’s been discovered about self-awareness in dogs, and what the US Military discovered about the value of petting our dogs. Embark on your own animal psychology research project by studying your dog’s body language.