Jobs With Animals: 8 STEM Majors to Consider

    Posted October 27, 2022, 3:00 pm by Johnathan Kindall

    Are you interested in pursuing a STEM program to find jobs with animals? The animal-related careers in science, technology, engineering or math are as vast as the animal kingdom itself, and with speciality programs all across the country you can make your dream of working with animals a reality!

    Jobs requiring STEM skills vary depending on the type of animals and the working environment you're looking for so it’s important to think about where you want to be and what you want to do. Before you pursue a college STEM program, you should be able to answer these questions:

    • What Kind of Animals Do I Want to Work With (Domestic Pets, Livestock, Birds, Other Animals)?

    • What Jobs With Animals Interest You Most (Teaching, Conservation, Medicine, Technology)?

    • What Tye of Setting Do You Prefer (Clinical, Research, Outdoors)?

    • How Closely Do You Want to Work With Animals (Hands On, Field Work, Observation)?

    • How Much Education Do You Want To Pursue? (Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Work)?

    Once you've answered those questions, use this list to jump around this guide to working with animals:

    College Majors For Jobs With Animals

    Jobs with Animals 1

    It may surprise you to know that there are many different career paths available other than veterinary medicine if you're looking for jobs with animals. Whether you major in a animal science or zoology, there dozens of options for all the animal lover out there.

    Here are just a few major you might consider:

    Animal Science

    Students going to college for animal science focus primarily on the management of livestock species such as cattle, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. Courses might include meat science, reproduction, genetics, nutrition, biology, chemistry and mathematical statistics. Students with these degrees often pursue graduate degrees in veterinary medicine, reproduction and nutrition. Animal science programs are offered at many colleges and universities, and animal science careers are plentiful.

    Animal Behavior

    Animal behaviorists are professionals who make it their life work to understand and affect behavior in different animals. Careers with this major can include conducing field research of wild animals or working with pet owners to phase our poor behavior. These programs are generally graduate-level courses that students pursue after completing undergraduate degrees in a related field. Animal behaviorists generally achieve a master’s or Ph.D. in this field. Coursework may include biology, ecology, anatomy, zoology, psychology or physiology. It is common for colleges to offer advanced degrees in biology or psychology with a concentration in animal behavior.


    Nearly all colleges and universities offer biology degrees for undergraduate and graduate students, and for good reason: its's a great foundation for finding jobs that work with animals. While lots of students with biology degrees go on to pursue careers in medicine or other STEM fields, it's also a great stepping off point for students interested in jobs that involve animals. Biology majors study a variety of topics and are particularly versatile for finding a path into dozens of animal-related careers or graduate study. Coursework typically includes microbiology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics, immunology, anatomy and physiology..

    Dairy Science

    This is certainly a more specific major, but if you're interested in agriculture, farming or other related fields, a college degree in dairy science is a great way to go. Students study dairy cattle management topics including milk production, nutrition, herd health, reproduction, genetics and even marketing. Graduates are qualified to work in the dairy industry as farmers, dairy managers, and other dairy positions. Many state schools with agricultural programs offer dairy science degrees, and its a great way to find job that work with animals.

    Equine Science

    This is another specific college major that is perfect for students looking for careers that work with horses and other such animals. This college major can include equine exercise, physiology, reproduction, anatomy, behavior, nutrition and training methods. Some programs include hands-on riding and competition experiences in various disciplines. Equine science programs are offered by many colleges and universities, and an equine science minor is also a popular option for those studying animal science or biology.

    Poultry Science

    This degree focuses on poultry management topics such as egg production, meat production, reproduction, anatomy and physiology, genetics, nutrition, ration formulation, biotechnology, management and marketing. Once graduated, these students can work as egg producers, meat producers, poultry farm managers, or even pharmaceutical reps.

    Veterinary Technology

    Related to but different from veterinary science, veterinary technology majors study a variety of topics related to animal health, disease transmission, anatomy, physiology, and proper use of medical equipment. Veterinary technology graduates are eligible to sit for the national licensing exam which grants them certification as veterinary technicians. These graduates may work as veterinary technicians, veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives, and a variety of related positions.


    Zoologists are qualified to work in zoos, in research positions, and in wildlife conservations organizations. Coursework includes general zoology and other science-related studies. There are a number of educational institutions that offer this degree and also many that offer a graduate level degree in zoology.

    Jobs With Animals

    Jobs with Animals 2

    By majoring in STEM-related animal studies, you can prepare yourself for employment in many animal-related industries. Opportunities are available in business, industry, government, education and research. The ASAS (Animal Society of Animal Sciences) provides many suggestions:

    • Allied animal industries (feed and equipment manufacturers, breeding associations, meat processors, food distributors, pharmaceutical firms).

    • Breeding and livestock marketing organizations.

    • Extension educators with animal science training at state and local level.

    • Food processors and meat packers.

    • Veterinarians’ services and clinics.

    • Government agencies (marketing, forecasting, environmental regulation, disease control).

    • Livestock breeders and feedlot operators.

    • Researchers and laboratories seeking experts in quality control for animal products.

    • State and national organizations related to cattle, dairy and meat industries.

    • Universities and colleges (teachers, researchers, lab techs).

    • Writers and communicators with animal science expertise.

    • Zoos, kennels, animal clinics, horse farms, animal preserves.

    How To Find Jobs With Animals

    Jobs with Animals 3

    There are lots of animal-related volunteer opportunities for teens at shelters and other organizations, but you can also find a teen summer program or high school internship where you get to work in a lab or out in the field with animals. Start searching our thousands of TeenLife listings today!

    Sign up for Free Tips and Guides direct to Your Inbox
    jonathan kindall headshot

    Johnathan Kindall

    Johnathan Kindall is the Content Editor at TeenLife Media. He attended Boston University’s College of Communications, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism. Johnathan is dedicated to launching teens into life by providing a number of resources that help teens navigate the world of college, enrichment learning and more.