With an online degree in animal science, you’ll be able to enjoy many different opportunities for your career. Careers include agricultural manager, research biologist, marine biologist, meat inspector, and quality control manager for one of the many companies involved in the production of food. You can work for big industries or for government research institutions, allowing you to take your education into the area that best fits you interest.
Besides the numerous opportunities, one of the top benefits for this career is the fact that you get to work with animals. As a graduate of animal science, you’ll have hands-on experience working with animals of many types, and you’ll be able to apply this experience to your career. From working directly with cattle to observing wildlife in their natural environment, if you love animals, then this education may be perfect for you.
THE CAREER PATH
Animal science is an interesting, engaging career field that brings numerous opportunities and gives you the chance to work with animals every day. Here are two popular career choices.
- Veteranarian—It’s been said that the job of a veterinarian is more difficult than a doctor’s, because a vet’s patients can’t tell them what hurts. A vet has to rely solely on their education, training, and experience to improve the health of animals, which can range from large livestock to tiny pets. From treating wounds to advising in general care, a veterinarian helps create healthier, happier animals, and while a doctorate is needed, a bachelor’s degree in animal science is a great start. This career bring a median salary of $90,420, but the top 10% can expect annual earnings over $159,000. The career is expected to grow at a rapid pace, driven largely by increased in pet-specific spending.
- Wildlife Biologist—Wildlife biologists study animal and wildlife behavior and interactions, helping to increase our understanding of numerous species from the smallest insects to the largest mammals. They work in the field gathering data and in laboratories and offices analyzing information. The pay is strong, and the top 10% of all wildlife biologists can expect to earn over $99,000 a year. With only a bachelor’s degree, you can enter this career and enjoy a solid income and steady growth.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Animal science will give you a huge assortment of skills that you’ll take to your career, but there are some traits that will help along the way. Most important is likely a dedication to the health and wellbeing of animals. In many of the subsequent careers, you will work directly with animals that need your help, so you have to be dedicated to improving their wellbeing and helping them maintain an active, healthy life.
Compassion for animals is a great foundation for this career, but you should also have solid reading comprehension, as you’ll need to research and understand the latest methods and advances in animal science. The ability to analyze information and reach conclusions that might not be obvious is another skill. This will be developed through your education, but an aptitude for analysis is a useful trait for anyone who studies animal science.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Not all animal-science programs offer the exact same classes, so you should start your search by reviewing the coursework for each program. Make sure that the classes will help you reach your future goals; for example, if you want to become a marine biologist, check to see that there are classes directly related to marine wildlife, or at least wildlife in general. If you want to work in the agriculture sector, look for classes related to livestock or animal husbandry.
You also need to verify that the animal-science classes will fit your schedule. If you are a busy professional or parent (or both!), you need to check that the coursework does not conflict with your already crammed agenda. You’ll also want to check whether the course is offered 100% online or if there are in-person requirements. Every program below is offered at least 80% online, some are offered 100% online, with no in-person requirements.
If the classes seem to fit your goals, and the program fits with your busy schedule, you need to check one final factor: accreditation. Accreditation is the process of verifying a program’s standards of education. Conducted by independent organization, accreditation ensures a better class experience with knowledgeable professors and effective coursework. Accreditation gives greater authority to your degree, ensuring you have an education that will help further your career. All programs below hold regional accreditation (the gold standard for both online and on-campus programs!).
Animal science is one of the most interesting, engaging, and rewarding educations available. To find the right program for your needs, click on a listing for more information. We’ll help you get the right information so you can make a fully informed decision!