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Agricultural Careers Animal Behaviorist. By: Dr. Frank Flanders and Anna Burgess Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office Georgia Department of Education June 2005. START. What does an Animal Behaviorist do?. Study the behaviors of many different living organisms

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Agricultural Careers

Animal Behaviorist

By: Dr. Frank Flanders and Anna Burgess

Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office

Georgia Department of Education

June 2005



What does an Animal Behaviorist do?

  • Study the behaviors of many different living organisms
  • Work with animals to correct behavior problems
  • Research effects of drugs or treatments on test animals
  • Design healthy habitats for animals in captivity settings, such as zoos and aquariums
  • Teach pet owners how to handle their pets for desired behavior
  • Train pets such as dogs, cats and horses

What Kind of Qualities and Skills Are Needed?

  • An animal behaviorist has to be/have:
  • Ability to bond with animals and earn
  • their trust.
  • Good interpersonal skills if they plan on
  • working with companion animals
  • because they will be required to work
  • with animal owners.
  • Diligent and hard-working
  • Students will have to be highly
  • motivated and possess a good academic
  • record.
  • Observant and have the ability to
  • recognize patterns in behavior data.
  • Perseverance
  • Patience

Where Can I Work and What is my Salary?

Some animal behaviorists work as private consultants and can earn similar hourly wages as clinical psychologists, up to $200 or more an hour

Many people involved with animal behavior research are employed by colleges and universities as professors or research staff. Earnings for college faculty vary according to rank and type of institution, geographic area, and field. By rank, the average was:

$86,437 for professors

$61,732 for associate professors

$51,545 for assistant professors

$37,737 for instructors

and $43,914 for lecturers.


What are the conditions of the work environment?

  • Work can be done indoors or outdoors
  • May have to work in foul odors
  • Will have to work in various weather conditions
  • Must sometimes work with dangerous animals

How can I become an Animal Behaviorist?

Most jobs in animal behavior require at least a Master’s Degree, if not a Doctorate.

Many professionals have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM.).

Some jobs are available to individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree or less, but these may be limited to applied or assistant positions, such as working as an applied pet behavior consultant or an assistant in a research laboratory.

Many colleges and universities worldwide now offer graduate training programs in animal behavior.


Professional Contacts

The Animal Behavior Society

2611 East 10th Street, #170Indiana UniversityBloomington, IN 47408-2603


The American Society of Mammalogists

P.O. Box 7060

Lawrence, KS 66044


Blue Dog Training and Behavior, LLC.


Association for the Study of Animal Behavior


Domestic Animal Behavior