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Zoologists are scientists who study animals, their evolution, anatomy, behaviour and environment. They can work in fields such as ecology and conservation, forestry, medicine, fisheries, agriculture and education.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary depending on:

Salaries for zoologists vary depending on the type of work done. Starting salaries can vary from £20,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £25,000 and £30,000 a year. Senior zoologists and those working in research or academic posts can earn up to £45,000 a year or more.


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Getting In

You could work in industry (in companies that develop and manufacture pesticides or pharmaceuticals for example) or with organisations and agencies (such as government departments or agencies and research centres) concerned with forestry, agriculture, conservation, ecology or health. Other employers include museums, zoos and wildlife parks, and universities.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:


Getting On

More Information

Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park each run two, one-week zoological science summer school courses each year, usually in July or August. These are aimed at young people aged between 16 and 18 years old (S5 and S6).

You can find out more, and download a Summer School application form by visiting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland website. You do not work directly with animals. The course focuses on animal research and science and you must be genuinely interested in zoology and animal biology. Places are limited and entry is not guaranteed.


Indigo Trotman


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London)
Tel: 0344 225 1826
Twitter: @ZSLScience

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)
Tel: 0131 334 9171
Twitter: @rzss

RZSS owns Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.

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Career Sectors


Aquaculture and Fishing

Arboriculture and Horticulture

Earth Studies

Environmental and Rural Resource Management

Environmental Services


Work with Animals