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.
apa.org lists the yearly average income of a PhD in Experimental Psychology (all fields: higher ed, industry, research applied fields) at $92,000.
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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:
Click on the links below to read about other Animal Care and Research careers that require a graduate degree:
To learn more about applying to Psychology graduate school check out the following: