The IHC Group. In order to become an animal behaviorist, it is necessary to have a bachelor's degree at a minimum. % of people told us that this article helped them. Finish your Bachelor’s degree. These are all important skill sets for an animal behaviorist. If you’re interested in working as a researcher, you may spend significant amounts of time by yourself in a lab. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. These can often help you meet new people who may share your interests. Investigate the different types of work you could do. There is really no particular degree to becoming an animal behaviorist. Step 1: Undergraduate education. For a veterinary behaviorist to also qualify for the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist designation, they must then complete three more years of field work. What skills would make you a good animal behaviorist? In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Understanding the Educational Requirements for Becoming an Animal Behaviorist In regards to the level of education that is required to become an Animal Behaviorist, there are two schools of thought. Professionals with the official title of “animal behaviorist” are certified by the Animal Behavior Society (ABS). This amount can differ according to your experience and location. To become certified, you must successfully complete the two-day exam. You may also begin your career pathway by working as an animal trainer or carer, or within the veterinary team in order to gain hands on experience. Animal behaviorists come from different academic backgrounds including zoology or ethology, biology, psychology, and veterinary medicine and can work in a variety of settings including labs and private residences. You will find that many animal behaviorists … Another way to become an animal behaviorist is to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and complete a residency program. Be aware that there may be strong competition for jobs as animal behaviorists, especially within academia. As an animal behaviorist, it is important to continue your education throughout your career by attending continuing education events hosted by professional organizations. ", http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/downloads/ProgramsAnimalBehavior-Feb-21-2008.pdf, http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/about-mission.php, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/zoologists-and-wildlife-biologists.htm#tab-6, http://www.indiana.edu/~animal/resources/careers.php, http://www.journals.elsevier.com/animal-behaviour/, http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/2016/index.php, http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/154/Animal_Behaviorist, http://vet.uga.edu/hospital/services/behavior, Diventare un Esperto del Comportamento Animale, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. wikiHow's. Because he is medically trained, a veterinary behaviorist can use all the skills of behaviorists and they can also prescribe medication as needed to help resolve these problems. In some cases, there are online listservs specific to finding jobs in certain fields. For example, the Association for Animal Behavior holds an annual conference for animal behaviorists. For academic positions, you may need a cover letter, CV, writing samples, and proof of ability to win funding. You must also research those animals and become published in scientific journals. Most of these institutions require a PhD, though some may only ask for an MA or MS. Be aware that some universities, such as Indiana University, offer programs specific to becoming an animal behaviorist. For tips on searching for a job after you graduate, keep reading! Ask her if it would benefit you to work or volunteer in places such as zoos, research labs, or at vets’ offices. Approved. A Bachelor of Veterinary Science is necessary to follow this career and a Master’s Degree in Biology or Behavioural Science with Animal Behaviour is an advantage. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This article gave, "This is the most useful site of all websites. You may also want to think about working as an assistant to a professional animal behaviorist to help you to stand out on graduate school applications. As an animal behaviorist, you’ll need to assess the unique situations with each pet, understanding the issues that are causing the bad behavior. If this sounds like a field that you would enjoy, read on to learn about the educational and licensure requirements for an animal behaviorist. But most jobs in animal behavior require a graduate degree. To learn more about veterinary behaviorists, go to What Can a Veterinary Behaviorist Do for My Dog? In doing so, an individual can end up holding the title DVM which stands … While you are getting your undergraduate degree, you may want to volunteer at a local animal shelter or veterinary clinic for more hands-on experience with animals. As a resident, you’ll learn to diagnose and treat behavioral problems in dogs and cats. This article has been viewed 83,391 times. However, a bachelor's degree is commonly the lowest degree that employers accept. For example, if you are a biology major, you may also want to take classes in psychology and anthropology to expand your understanding of the field. The DVM program is a four-year program and a residency program lasts for three years. Send letters of interest and inquire about internships and full-time animal behaviorist career opportunities to places that interest you. Most employers require a doctorate degree, so you must complete a master’s and Ph.D. program in animal behavior. People who work with pets are called Applied Animal Behaviorists. Set up a seminar or regular meeting for other animal behaviorists in your local area. For example, if you become an animal behavioral ecologist, your work would center on how animal behavior is linked to environmental and social conditions. Inquire about her education and any practical experience she had. [2] So, how do you become an animal behaviorist? Animal behavioral specialists may find jobs at all degree levels. Other fields closely associated with animal behaviorists are behavioral ecology and anthropology. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This can be completed in addition to a Ph.D. … If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Once you’ve completed all of the educational requirements to become an animal behaviorist, it will be time to choose a career path. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Veterinary behaviorists have earned their degree in veterinary medicine with the added training and study of the animal behavior sciences. Seek out volunteer opportunities or internships, or work part-time and over the summers in settings that give you plenty of opportunity to interact directly with non-human animals. Asking headhunters is also a good idea. Two professional organizations that certify behavioral consultants who specialize in dogs are the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). There are two levels of certification: Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB). Get a graduate degree. There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. ", levels of education. Are there physical demands? Some even earn a graduate degree and consider voluntary certifications. Research source For example, you may want to work for your university lab and pursue an internship at a zoo or government institution for the summer. A Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist has a doctorate in biological or behavioral science and five years of professional field experience. You may also want to join an organization in your specific discipline. To become certified on either level, you are required to perform supervised hands-on work with animals. Both the CCPDT and the IAABC require their behavior consultants to recertify every three years so that they remain up to date on all the latest research and methodologies. An animal behaviorist has to do field work as well as work in laboratories and offices. There are levels of expertise in the field, from trainers who work with dogs with behavioral issues to behavior consultants, certified applied animal behaviorists and board-certified veterinary behaviorists. Are there emotional demands? For example, inquire at your local university about fellowship opportunities or look at organizations such as the National Science Foundation or Animal Behavior Society. 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