Are you an animal lover? Every time you go to the zoo, you fall head over heels for the majestic and exotic wildlife. Some of your best memories might be from when you pet reptiles like turtles at the wildlife sanctuary. Jellyfish swimming around in aquariums make you dream of a better life, and the furry animals at the zoo make you want to own them all. While that last part is not possible, you can always choose to work a diverse and fun job as a wildlife handler.
As a wildlife handler, you’ll be able to work with your favorite animals up close and personal. You will be the caretaker for a zoo or a sanctuary where animals are in rehabilitation to be brought into the national parks. You can work with reptiles and exotics at the zoo as well as deer fawns, baby birds, and moose in rural areas. You can earn a median salary of $57,000 with a high school diploma and hands-on training. Additionally, you can speak with a college application consultant to see what college degrees can take you further in your desired career path.
Here are the three most common college degrees that wildlife handlers tend to have.
One of the most popular degrees you can get for any animal field is a bachelor of science in biology. There are other alternatives to this one, such as marine biology, so be sure to pick one that fits well with your career outlook. A degree in biology will help you understand living organisms’ functions and characteristics. This will include their histories, habits, habitats, predators, and anatomy. With a bachelor’s of science in biology, you can become an environmental scientist, forest ranger, botanist, or even manage your own wildlife sanctuary. Afterward, you can earn a post-graduate degree to work in the medical industry as a veterinary.
Likewise, earning a bachelor of science in pre-veterinary studies can open the doors to an increased pay grade in the wildlife handling business. This degree focuses on the preparation to enter the veterinary program to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. It will prepare you with the proper education to handle animal illnesses, conditions, and injuries. You will most likely be required to complete foundational courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. So, if you dream of having a fulfilling career helping animals in need as a wildlife handler, you will highly benefit from earning this degree.
Lastly, you can earn a bachelor of science in zoology. This degree is perfect for people who want to understand animal behavior on a deeper level. The courses will include anatomy, genetics, physiology, evolution, ecology, and conservation. You will be involved in animal habitats to develop a broader understanding of biological concepts. The degree also involves independent research meant to develop critical scientific skills. This will include working in a lab or in the field, outdoors directly with animals, debates, discussions, and written tasks. Also, some courses in this degree may include topics like scientific data analysis, reproduction and development, animal protection, plant and animal interactions, and parasitology. A bachelor in this field can also present students with opportunities as teachers, journalists, and environmental consultancy. After this degree, students can also pursue a graduate degree to become a zoologist or a wildlife biologist, among other options.
These bachelor degrees will help you decide which field you would like to pursue while working as a wildlife handler – your dream job of working with animals is only one degree away.