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Jobs & Careers in Animal Science

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Animal scientists deal with the production and management of livestock and focus on everything from animal production and genetics to disease prevention, development, and nutrition. Animal production jobs often focus on maximizing the yield of animal products such as meat, eggs, and milk. Therefore, an animal science degree can open the door to a variety of agricultural jobs, from veterinary jobs to those in artificial insemination. The following are some of the most popular jobs you can find when it comes to animal science careers.

Animal Genetics

Animal geneticists deal with the genetic makeup of different animals, specific genes that cause health and behavioural issues, how to decrease genetic differences, and how to improve selection processes and animal breeding. They handle issues such as how to increase milk production or how to deal with health issues in cattle. Animal geneticists primarily work on improving the heritability of desirable traits in animals, as well as how to prevent health issues and develop selective breeding programs. They also study population genetics in cattle and poultry and can work in both, the public and private sector.

Large Animal Veterinarian

Large animal veterinarians deal with treating animals like cows, horses, goats, pigs, and chicken. They can work for state or private hospitals and make regular visits to ranches and farms to either access and treat animals or to help with births. They can also advise ranchers and farmers on animal health and care, as well as advise on reproduction strategies.

Animal Health Inspection

Regulatory agencies employ animal scientists as health inspectors to ensure that different feedlots, dairies, livestock markets, hatcheries, research labs, and animal production facilities are following health codes and keeping animals in safe environments. They are responsible for ensuring the prevention of abuse and neglect and have to be familiar with the different laws and health codes that they have to ensure facilities are upholding. They may also be in charge of training and can be called upon to testify against those who have violated different animal health laws.

Animal and Dairy Nutrition

Animal and dairy nutritionists are in charge of ensuring that all dietary needs of the different animals they are supervising are met. Not only do they have to be familiar with the different species and their individual nutritional needs, but they also have to be able to perform body condition tests, make adjustments to individual animals’ diets, advise on reproduction and lactation capacity and source ingredients for feeding. Their feeding programs are usually based on the production goals that facilities aim to meet, and their primary responsibilities are formulating and ensuring proper diet.

Artificial Insemination

Those working in animal artificial insemination often work in animal production and are responsible for artificially inseminating cattle. They can also be responsible for preparing breeding programs, making sure that the requirements of breeding programs are met, or advising on improving current breeding strategies and plans. Their work usually involves close contact with ranchers and farmers.

Livestock and Cattle Feedlot Management

Feedlot managers are in charge of supervising large feed yards, often those with more than 150 cattle. This number can reach into the thousands depending on how large the facility is, and feedlot managers have to ensure that the husbandry methods used in the feedlot are adequate and in accordance with the law. In addition to supervising feedlot operators, they are responsible for assessing all cattle for signs of disease and making relevant changes in their diets.

Because they’re responsible for assessing and monitoring animals’ health and treating minor injuries, they work closely with vets to ensure that all cattle are at optimal health. Some feedlot managers also deal with marketing cattle, making sales, and overlooking transportation arrangements.

Livestock Procurement, Marketing, and Management

Livestock procurement and marketing involves working for clients to inspect the health of livestock, negotiating prices, and making arrangements for purchase and transportation. This job includes advising individual buyers or companies on animal care and assessing animal health in different areas. Livestock management also involves both, raising and marketing livestock, as well as regularly evaluating livestock to ensure their health.

Animal Conservation

Animal science jobs also include studying animals and their habitats. Animal conservation officers can work both, in the field or in offices, and work to protect and improve conservation efforts, preserving important habitats, and observing animals’ different functions in the ecosystem. They are also hired by different organizations and can work for governments, charities, conservation groups, wildlife rescues, and more. Animal conservationists also often work on wildlife research, especially that concerning endangered species.

Research and Academia

Those in academia can conduct research on animal genetics and reproduction, nutritional needs, and other categories of animal science. Those with animal science degrees can teach at several different levels, including vocational schools and universities. Those working with undergraduate and graduate students may also supervise research in addition to conducting their own.

Researchers also often supervise lab animal technicians. These technicians monitor animal behavior, provide basic care to lab animals, and work closely with both, vets and researchers, to arrange for exams and procedures.

Get Your Dream Animal Science Job

These are only some of the jobs available in animal science. An animal science degree can get you a variety of jobs in several different fields. However, knowing where to begin can be daunting. That’s where Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help. As global recruitment experts, agricultural recruitment and hiring is where we shine – no matter your career goals, we can help you meet them. Simply reach out to us here or upload your CV here and we can help you find your dream job or help you with other career progression goals.