Working with Animals Careers--Graduate Level

Working with Animals Careers that Require a PhD Degree in Psychology

What career options are there for someone with a Psychology degree who wants to be a PhD Psychologist who Works with Animals?

If you are a PhD Psychologist that works with animals, you will typically be referred to as a Comparative Psychologis. Your PhD will generally be in Experimental Psychology. Your area of research will be the behavior and thinking of animals in comparison with humans. One thing to keep in mind is that you may be required to take additional corsework in Biology. 

To earn a PhD you must either (a) receive your Master's degree from one university and be accepted into a second PhD program or (b) be accepted into a PhD program at one university and complete your Master's thesis as part of the curriculum. Typically, earning a PhD can takes 5-6 years. At most universiies, graduate students in a PhD program have their tuiion paid nad receive a stipend (i.e., salary) for working at the school as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant). A PhD generally offers you the greatest degree of job opportunities and salary. Keep in mind that earning an advanced degree to work with animals will likely require you to be certified by the Animal Behavior Societ, so that you can demonstrate meeting the minimum standards of education, experience and ethics required to work with animals.

With your PhD you can look for a research job in a university setting in a Psychology Department, but possibily in a Biology or Zoology Department. You might also locate job opportunities working for a government agency, a museum. a zoo, a private rlab, a non-profit conservation group, or get involved in animal training.

Read about comparisons between Master's and PhD degrees in psychology here.

Salary Information

apa.org lists the yearly average income of a PhD in Experimental Psychology (all fields: higher ed, industry, research applied fields) at $92,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org. Click here to read important steps to Working with Animals Careers with a Graduate Degree. Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

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Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research Careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Animal Care and Research Careers--Research Lab Assistant

Animal Care and Research Careers--Wildlife Care and Conservation

Animal Care and Research Careers--Animal Training

Animal Care and Research Careers--Veterinary Technician

Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research careers that require a graduate degree:

Animal Care and Research Careers--Master's Degree in Psychology

Animal Care and Research Careers--Veterinarian (DVM)

To learn more about applying to Psychology graduate school check out the following:

American Psychological Association

Columbia University

Working with Animals Careers--Veterinarian (DVM)

What is a Veteranarian?

A career you can consider with a Psychology degree is that of a Veteranarian. You probably know that veteranarians attend to the health of animals. Like a doctor with humans, vets diagnose, treat and work to prevent disease and injury in animals. It is typical for a vet to specialize on a specific type of animal (e.g., small animals or horses). In addition, a vet may specialize in surgery or dentistry.

To become a vet is similar to becoming any type of medical doctor. You must have an undergraduate degree and take certain courses (e.g., Chemistry, Biology). Then you must attend a veterinary medical school (4 years). Keep in mind that like medical school, getting accepted to a vet medical school is very difficulty (think high grades!), partly because there are a relatively small number of vet schools in the US. Also, like most typical medical schools you pay a pretty high tuition amount to go to vet school. Finally, after your time in vet school you will complete a residency and/or gain additional training in a specialty. You can read more about becoming a DVM here.

Salary Information

glassdoor.com lists the average yearly income for a Veterinaraian at $108,000.

Click here to read important steps to becoming a D.V.M Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to homepage of scoutiecareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to the Careers by Category page.

Click here to return to the Working with Animals Careers page.

Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research Careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Animal Care and Research Careers--Research Lab Assistant

Animal Care and Research Careers--Wildlife Care and Conservation

Animal Care and Research Careers--Animal Training

Animal Care and Research Careers--Veterinary Technician

Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research careers that require a graduate degree:

Animal Care and Research Careers--Master's Degree in Psychology

Animal Care and Research Careers--PhD Degree in Psychology

Working with Animals Careers that Require a Master's Degree in Psychology

Can a Psychology degree lead to a Master's degree Working with Animals?

Psychologists with a Master's degree that work with animals are typically referred to as Comparative Psychologists and they will earn their Master's degree in Experimental Psychology. Their main interests are in studying the behavior and thinking of animals in comparison with humans. Those who want to work with animals often take additional coursework in Biology. 

It usually requires 2 years of graduate school to complete a Master's thesis (research project) and typically you must pay tuition. A Master's degree tends to offer greater job opportunities and greater salary than a Bachelor’s degree. If you decide to get an advanced degree to work with animals, you should check out important information about getting certified by the Animal Behavior Society. This certification is important because it is the way you demonstrate that you meet the minimum standards of education, experience and ethics required to work with animals.

Click here to read more about what a Master's degree in psychology offers. Salary Information

The average yearly income for a Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology will typically be lower than the abouteducation.com listing for the median (middle) yearly income for a PhD in Experimental Psychology (all fields: higher ed, industry, research applied fields) of $92,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org. Click here to read important steps to Working with Animals Careers with a Graduate Degree. Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to homepage of scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to the Careers by Category page.

Click here to return to the Working with Animals Careers page.

Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research Careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Animal Care and Research Careers--Research Lab Assistant

Animal Care and Research Careers--Wildlife Care and Conservation

Animal Care and Research Careers--Animal Training

Animal Care and Research Careers--Veterinary Technician

Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research careers that require a graduate degree:

Animal Care and Research Careers--PhD Degree in Psychology

Animal Care and Research Careers--Veterinarian (DVM)

To learn more about applying to Psychology graduate school check out the following:

American Psychological Association

Columbia University