Animal science can be described as the study of animals under the control of mankind. This field was first introduced as an academic principle mainly teaching students about livestock and relevant species. Over the years, the field has expanded to cover a wide range of animals such as cats, dogs, and other exotic species. Pursuing a degree in animal science may help interested students prepare for a career in a number of animal-related industries such as livestock, agriculture, and zoo keeping.
There are a number of colleges offering degree programs in animal science. Students can pursue this field at post-secondary level of education. Having an associate or bachelor degree is necessary to qualify for a career in this industry. Many small and large businesses are currently working for the care of animals. There are also a number of regulatory bodies that oversee animal rights, animal welfare, and work towards promoting the well-being of animals.
Animal Science Associate Degree
An associate degree is animal science is designed to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of animal breeding, biology sciences, and animal agribusiness. Students may learn how to supervise livestock in different settings, understand the psychology of domesticated animals, and develop a broad range of skills. This program may help prepare students for advanced study programs at bachelors and masters level.
Here are a few aspects of animal science that are most likely to be covered in an associate degree:
Animal management principles
Animal cell and molecular biology
Training and caring
Animal breeding strategies
Food and fiber production
The coursework may emphasize hands-on practical training. Students may be given the opportunity to practically apply management principles and understand how different animal businesses are run. This is crucial for developing the following professional skills:
Decision making skills
The curriculum components may vary slightly from college to college. Schools may offer a number of majors in animal science associate degrees. Students may subsequently pick a specific area for emphasis and concentration. To successfully complete the program, all components must be studied and the relevant examinations must be cleared. You can also study the program online via accredited online schools.
There are a many different jobs available in the animal industry. An associate degree may help you qualify for many supervisory and entry level jobs. It is important to remember however that the type of job you apply for may depend upon your area of expertise and skill. You may work in all kinds of animal work settings as an animal breeder, animal service worker, animal welfare specialist, livestock technician, ranch manager, and more.
The income will vary from job to job. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported the median salary of animal care workers to be approximately $19,970 per year in 2012.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate in Animal Care?
An associate’s degree in animal care would typically take 2 years to complete with full time study and would teach students how to care for animals in various facilities, such as zoos and aquariums. Online and part-time programs are also offered by some specific community colleges and technical institutes.
What Are the Requirements to Get an Associate in Animal Care?
To get an associate’s degree in animal care, you will have to clear certain coursework. This could include the likes of vertebrate biology, animal breeding and behavior, animal training methods, animal genetics, common diseases in animals etc. Students will also be taught the importance of proper nutrition in animals, how to train them and how to conserve various species. Students enrolled in an associate’s in animal care program will have to complete classroom lectures and hands-on training opportunities to complete their education in this field.
How Much Can I Make after I Get an Associate in Animal Care?
With an associate's in animal care, you can opt for several careers – zoo keeper, animal trainer, aquarist etc. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Care and Service Workers made an annual median income of $23,950 per year in 2018. Jobs in this field are expected to experience a stellar growth of 16%, with 51,700 more jobs to be added by 2028.