Working in the animals industry with a degree (or similar)

For jobs at this level, you will need a degree. This will give you the level of training you need to perform the job.

In all jobs at this level, you will need further training once you start work. Jobs include veterinary surgeon, animal welfare officer, animal behaviour specialist, fish farm manager, zoo manager, animal facilities manager and pet store manager.

Example jobs

Pet store manager
Managing a store, including the staff, stock and customer relations.

Veterinary surgeon
Treating sick animals, which could be pets or farm animals.

Animal behaviour specialist
Working with animals to help them modify their behaviour.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • In some jobs with animals, you will work long and unsociable hours as you will have to deal with emergencies.
  • For some jobs, you will work outdoors and need to wear protective clothing.
  • Working with animals can be very stressful, but can also be extremely rewarding.

Qualifications needed

To become a veterinary surgeon, you will need to complete a 5- or 6-year full-time veterinary science course. To access the degree course you will need science A levels. For other career paths, such as jobs in animal behaviour and fish farming, you will need a university degree, so it is essential to get A levels or equivalent first. You will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date by taking further courses.

Career path

For all jobs in this area, you will need additional work experience and/or training to progress to senior jobs.

Some jobs could lead you to become self-employed and build up your own client base. For example, animal behaviour specialists, veterinary surgeons and fish farmers could all decide to set up their own business.

You might choose to progress into specialist areas such as research into animal drugs or behaviour.

Useful links

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Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

RCVS - Setting standards for veterinary surgeons and nurses

Institute of Fisheries Management

IFM - Dedicated to the advancement of sustainable fisheries management

Complete University Guide

Find out about studying veterinary medicine