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Reproductive Specialist Career Profile

Do you want to work as a reproductive specialist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

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UPDATED:

10 May 2024

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What is a reproductive specialist?

An Animal Reproductive Specialist is a professional who focuses on the reproductive health and breeding of animals. These specialists work with a variety of animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife, and their primary goal is to ensure successful reproduction and the health of both the parents and offspring.

Doggy 1

Alternative Names

An animal reproductive specialist is known by several alternative names, which can vary depending on their specific area of expertise and the context in which they work. Some of the most common alternative names include:

Theriogenologist:

This is a veterinary specialist who focuses on animal reproduction, including obstetrics, gynaecology, and andrology.

Reproductive Physiologist:

Often used in research and academic settings, this term refers to scientists who study the reproductive systems and processes of animals.

Animal Breeding Specialist:

This title emphasises the specialist’s role in developing and managing breeding programmes for various animals.

Veterinary Reproductive Specialist:

A more general term used to describe veterinarians who have specialized in reproductive health and medicine.

Reproductive Veterinarian:

This term highlights the veterinary aspect of the specialist’s work, focusing on diagnosing and treating reproductive issues in animals.

Breeding Technician:

Often used in the context of livestock and large animal breeding, this term can refer to individuals who assist with the technical aspects of breeding and reproductive health management.

Equine Reproductive Specialist:

A specialist focusing specifically on the reproductive health of horses.

Livestock Reproduction Expert:

Used to describe specialists who work primarily with farm animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs.

Small Animal Reproductive Specialist:

This term is used for those who focus on the reproductive health of pets like dogs and cats.

Animal Fertility Specialist:

Emphasizes the focus on fertility issues and treatments in animals.

These alternative names reflect the diverse roles and settings in which animal reproductive specialists operate, from clinical practice to research and breeding management.

Career Category

The Reproductive Specialist career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Animal Health
  • Farming & Livestock Management
  • Marine Conservation
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Zoos, Aquariums etc
  • Specialists

Years of Study?

Veterinarians study at least 8 years before being able to work with animals

Market Value?

The global veterinary medicine market size was estimated at USD 28.1 billion

What does a Reproductive Specialist do?

Groups of animals a Reproductive Specialist works with

Cats List Icon
Cats
Dogs List Icon OZT
Dogs
Critters List Icon OZT
Critters
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT
Mammals
Birds List Icon OZT
Birds
Fish List Icon OZT
Fish
Reptiles List Icon OZT
Reptiles
Amphibians List Icon OZT
Amphibians
Insects List Icon OZT
Insects
Arachnids List Icon OZT
Arachnids
Crustaceans List Icon OZT
Crustaceans
Mollusks Link Icon OZT
Mollusks
Myriapods List Icon OZT
Myriapods
Worms List Icon OZT
Worms

An animal reproductive specialist works with a wide variety of animals, depending on their specific focus and expertise. Here are the main categories of animals they typically work with:

Companion Animals

  • Dogs: Managing breeding programmes, diagnosing and treating fertility issues, and assisting with whelping.
  • Cats: are similar to dogs, focusing on breeding, fertility, and reproductive health.

Livestock

  • Cattle (Dairy and Beef): Improving herd fertility, artificial insemination, pregnancy diagnosis, and managing calving.
  • Sheep and Goats: Breeding management, fertility treatments, and lambing/kidding assistance.
  • Pigs (Swine): Artificial insemination, managing sow fertility, and assisting with farrowing.
  • Horses: Equine reproductive health, managing breeding programs, pregnancy diagnosis, and foaling assistance.

Exotic Animals

  • Zoo Animals: Ensuring the reproductive health of a wide range of species, including big cats, primates, and ungulates, often with a focus on conservation.
  • Aquatic Animals: Working with species like dolphins, whales, and fish in aquariums or marine parks to manage breeding and reproductive health.

Wildlife

  • Endangered Species: Assisting in conservation efforts by improving reproductive success in endangered species through captive breeding programmes and reintroduction initiatives, such as with reptiles and amphibians.
  • Wild Animal Rescues and Sanctuaries: Managing the reproductive health of rescued or rehabilitated wildlife.

Research Animals

  • Rodents (e.g., Mice, Rats): Managing breeding colonies for research purposes, ensuring genetic diversity, and conducting reproductive studies.
  • Other Laboratory Animals: Similar reproductive management is used for animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and non-human primates used in research.

Arthropods

  • Insects (e.g., bees, butterflies): Specialists may work on breeding programmes, particularly for conservation purposes or for improving commercial breeding of beneficial species like honeybees. This can include artificial insemination, genetic selection, and managing reproductive health.
  • Arachnids (e.g., spiders, scorpions): Though less common, there may be efforts to manage the reproduction of certain species for research, conservation, or ecological balance.

Molluscs

  • Cephalopods (e.g., octopuses, squids): In research settings, managing the breeding and reproductive health of cephalopods can be crucial for scientific studies, given their unique physiology and short lifespans.
  • Bivalves (e.g., oysters, clams): Specialists might work in aquaculture to optimise breeding programmes, improve yield, and ensure the health and sustainability of farmed populations.
  • Gastropods (e.g., snails, slugs): Breeding programmes for gastropods can be important in both conservation and commercial contexts, such as farming edible snails.

Crustaceans

  • Decapods (e.g., crabs, lobsters, shrimp): In aquaculture, managing the reproduction of commercially valuable crustaceans is essential. This can involve developing breeding programs, ensuring genetic diversity, and improving hatchery techniques.
  • Smaller Crustaceans (e.g., krill, copepods): These are often bred for use as food in aquaculture or for research purposes. Specialists may work on optimizing breeding conditions and improving reproductive success rates.

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With who does a Reproductive Specialist work?

Besides working with all of the animals, Reproductive Specialists will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance
  • Veterinary staff

What does a Reproductive Specialist focus on?

The Reproductive Medicine Specialist handles all phases of breeding services including artificial insemination for a variety of large and small animal patients, advanced assisted reproductive techniques, breeding soundness evaluations of male and female, obstetrics, management of diseases or complications of the postpartum period, and medical or surgical management of diseases of the male and female reproductive tract.

Source: vet.osu.edu

What are the daily tasks of a Reproductive Specialist?

  • Discuss brief with clients
  • Examen animal
  • Check for diseases
  • Conduct artificial insemination
  • Extract and freeze sperm and eggs
  • Monitor the estrus cycle of female animals
  • Treat animal with difficulty to conceive
  • Monitor pregnancy
  • Cesarean-section timing and management
  • Administration and filing

Working conditions of a Reproductive Specialist?

Where does a Reproductive Specialist work?

Environment –

As specialist veterinarians they might work equal amount of times in and outdoors, depending on where the animals are located.

Places of Employment –

The can be employed by large animal hospitals, research companies or government. Most do start their own businesses.

What is the average annual salary of a Reproductive Specialist?

As most are self employed, their income is based on obtaining clients. On average the income per year is around $75,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can a Reproductive Specialist be promoted?

Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience. 

The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:

Intern -> Junior Specialist -> Senior Specialist -> Manager

What kind of difficulties can a Reproductive Specialist face?

The most difficult part is always to work with stressed animals that may bite, kick or scratch.

Reproductive Specialists may work long hours and over weekends and holidays under high levels of stress.

​Future growth and Possibilities

The career has seen a very positive growth rate of around 7% year on year.

Availability of Jobs

Average

Which Skills are required by a Reproductive Specialist?

The skills required for a career as a Reproductive Specialist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills
40%

Career Skills

  • ​Business knowledge
  • Animal handling
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy 
Career Skills
60%

Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Reproductive Specialist?

Minimum Educational Requirements

The minimum educational requirements for any veterinary science qualification is a Doctorate Degree.

Study Focus

Most veterinarians focus on working with small domesticated animals and will direct their studies accordingly. Those that want to work with exotic animal, birds, wildlife or even zoo animals, tend to specialize their studies in these directions.

Study Duration

The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Pursuing a career as an Animal Reproductive Specialist involves a comprehensive preparation path that starts in high school and continues through tertiary education and professional development. Here’s a detailed plan based on the points you provided:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Take advantage of career counselling services at your school.
Attend workshops and seminars about careers in veterinary medicine and animal science.

2. Research All Possible Careers:

Explore different roles within animal reproductive health, such as theriogenology, breeding management, and wildlife conservation.
Learn about the various animals that reproductive specialists work with, including livestock, pets, wildlife, and aquatic animals.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Look into undergraduate programmes in animal science, biology, zoology, or a related field.
Research veterinary schools and specialized training programs in animal reproduction.

4. Align High School Subjects with the Educational Path:

Focus on science courses such as biology, chemistry, and physics.
Take math courses to build a strong foundation for college-level coursework.
Participate in advanced placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs if available.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Ensure you meet all graduation requirements.
Maintain a strong GPA to increase your chances of admission to competitive college programs.

6. Learn About Animals You Will Work With:

Gain practical experience by volunteering at local animal shelters, farms, or veterinary clinics.
Participate in youth programs such as 4-H or FFA (Future Farmers of America).

7. Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly, pursue further education, or start a business.
Most aspiring Animal Reproductive Specialists will need to pursue higher education.

8. Gain Experience Through Volunteering, Internships, and Mentorships:

Seek internships or volunteer positions in veterinary clinics, research labs, zoos, or aquaculture facilities.
Find mentors in the field to guide you and provide advice.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Join clubs related to animal science, pre-vet societies, or environmental conservation.
Participate in research projects or science fairs.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Become a student member of organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or the Society for Theriogenology.
Attend conferences and networking events.

11. Gain Specialized Skills:

During your undergraduate studies, focus on courses and practical experiences in animal reproduction.
Consider specializations within animal reproduction, such as livestock, companion animals, or wildlife.

12. Network with Professionals:

Build connections with professors, veterinarians, researchers, and industry professionals.
Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with others in the field.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

After completing your undergraduate degree, apply to veterinary school or a related graduate program.
Alternatively, seek entry-level positions in animal breeding facilities, research institutions, or conservation programs.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Continuously update your knowledge through workshops, online courses, and professional development opportunities.
Consider pursuing board certification in theriogenology or other relevant certifications.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a Reproductive Specialist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior veterinarian.

Join the Reproductive Specialists Group in the Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of educational qualification people had when entering the Career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards veterinary care.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:

CAREER PATH PLAN

Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

SHORT COURSES

Access easy-to-use short courses to make your career preparation easier! The basic information in each course is free, but the rewards can only be unlocked as an OZT member!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

STUDY GUIDE

Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Members Only

But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

Join the OZT community & Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Reproductive Specialist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Reproductive Specialist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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