Summary Report for:
19-1023.00 - Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.
Sample of reported job titles: Aquatic Biologist, Assistant Research Scientist, Conservation Resources Management Biologist, Environmental Specialist, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries Biologist, Fishery Biologist, Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife Manager, Zoologist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry.
- Inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations.
- Organize and conduct experimental studies with live animals in controlled or natural surroundings.
- Make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.
- Disseminate information by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs.
- Study characteristics of animals, such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases, development, genetics, and distribution.
- Inform and respond to public regarding wildlife and conservation issues, such as plant identification, hunting ordinances, and nuisance wildlife.
- Coordinate preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases.
- Analyze characteristics of animals to identify and classify them.
- Prepare collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease.
- Perform administrative duties such as fundraising, public relations, budgeting, and supervision of zoo staff.
- Collect and dissect animal specimens and examine specimens under microscope.
- Check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws, and notify law enforcement when violations are identified.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Air compressors
- Air rifles or air handguns — Dart guns
- All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled — All terrain vehicles ATV; Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
- Animal control traps — Animal traps
- Archery bows
- Benchtop centrifuges
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Compound binocular light microscopes; Compound microscopes
- Boat Trailer — Boat trailers
- Calipers — Vernier calipers
- Canoes or kayaks — Canoes
- Commercial fishing nets — Dip net samplers; Gill nets; Jellyfish scoops; Plankton nets (see all 7 examples)
- Conductivity meters
- Counters — Counting chambers
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Tree top peeper and video probe systems
- Digital cameras
- Dissection kits or supplies — Dissecting tools
- Dissolved oxygen meters
- Diving instruments or accessories — Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus SCUBA equipment
- Dropping pipettes
- Dry heat or hot air sterilizers — Sterilizing ovens
- Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying ovens
- Egg inspection or collecting equipment — Egg candlers
- Entomological catching equipment — Aerial nets; Odonata nets; Sweeping nets
- Flow sensors — Flow meters
- Flying insect control traps — Light traps
- Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators — Laboratory mechanical convection incubators
- Forestry increment borers — Tree corers
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers
- Handheld refractometers or polarimeters — Portable refractometers
- Handheld thermometer — Water thermometers
- Hard hats
- Laboratory balances — Monopan balances
- Laboratory beakers
- Laboratory forceps
- Laboratory funnels
- Laboratory graduated cylinders — Graduated glass laboratory cylinders
- Ladders — Extension ladders
- Laser printers
- Magnifiers — Hand lenses
- Masks or accessories — Dust masks
- Masks or fins or snorkels — Snorkels
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Personal motorized watercraft — Jet skis
- Petri plates or dishes — Petri dishes
- pH meters
- Photo attachments for microscopes — Photomicroscopes
- Pisciculture supplies — Fish traps
- Portable data input terminals — Dataloggers
- Protective gloves — Leather gloves; Nitrile gloves
- Pull spring balances — Spring scales
- Radio frequency transmitters or receivers — Animal transmitters; Radio telemetry equipment
- Rafts — Rubber rafts
- Rangefinders — Laser hypsometers
- Recreational motorboats — Small power boats
- Safety glasses
- Safety harnesses or belts — Climbing belts
- Salinity meter — Salinity meters
- Sample changers — Folsom plankton splitters
- Single gas monitors — Carbon dioxide CO2 monitors
- Sledge hammer — Sledgehammers
- Snowmobiles or snow scooter — Snowmobiles
- Specimen collection container — Scintillation vials; Specimen collection containers; Water sample collection containers
- Sporting traps — Culvert traps; Foot snares; Mist nets
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Steam autoclaves
- Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Dissecting microscopes
- Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
- Surface thermometers — Field thermometers
- Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories — Stainless steel scalpel blades
- Tape measures — Metric measuring tapes
- Telescopes — Spotting scopes
- Test sieves — Mesh sieves; Sieve buckets
- Two way radios
- Ultra cold or ultralow upright cabinets or freezers — Laboratory freezers
- Water pumps
- Water samplers — Benthic samplers; Ekman dredges; Multiplate samplers; Secchi disks
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Computer modeling software; HATPRO *; SAS software; Statistical software
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Database management software; Microsoft Access; Relational database software
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software; Mapping software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Detailed Work Activities
- Plan biological research.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Communicate with the public on environmental issues.
- Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
- Analyze biological samples.
- Prepare biological samples for testing or analysis.
- Advise others about environmental management or conservation.
- Collect biological specimens.
- Measure environmental characteristics.
- Examine characteristics or behavior of living organisms.
- Assess compliance with environmental laws.
- Care for plants or animals.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team
- Contact With Others — 47% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Very important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 61% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 36% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Important.”
- Level of Competition — 24% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 47% responded “High responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 26% responded “Not important at all.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IR
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$28.02 hourly, $58,270 annual|
|Employment (2012)||20,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||6,700|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.