Do you want to work as an animal nutritionist?

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 the 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: 31 August 2020

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What is an animal nutritionist?

An animal nutritionist analyses the nutritional content and value of food and supplements, and devises nutritious, economical feeding programs for all kinds of animals.

Alternative Names

An Animal Nutritionist can also be known as:

  • Animal Nutritional Consultant
  • Livestock Nutritionist
  • Marine Mammal Nutritionist
  • Zoo Animal Nutritionist

Largest market?

Pets constitute almost 40% of the work for animal nutritionists, followed by pigs.

Market value?

The global animal nutrition market is valued at US$10 trillion

What does an Animal Nutritionist do?

Career Categories

The Animal Nutritionist career can be found in the following career categories:

  • Health
  • Farming and Livestock Management
  • Zoos, Aquariums, Museums and Theme Parks

What does an Animal Nutritionist focus on?

Animal nutritionists assess the nutritional and economic value of different feed products and combinations, investigate nutritional disorders, find ways to correct such disorders through the use of the correct food. They are expected to be very knowledgeable about the nutritional needs of different animals based on their age, size, breed and type, among other considerations. They also play a vital role in ensuring that captive animals (in zoos, aquariums, parks and sanctuaries) are healthy, by considering the vital nutrients that these animals are able to ingest in their natural environment, but can’t eat in their new environment.

What are the daily tasks of an Animal Nutritionist?

  • Assess the nutritional and economic value of feed
  • Investigate nutritional disorders
  • Write reports and give presentations
  • Advise animal owners on nutritious diet plans
  • Give advice cost-effective ways to feed animals
  • Create new combinations of supplements and foods
  • Advise on environmental issues related to feed production and waste management
  • Work with and assist veterinarians
  • Administration and filing

The working environment of an Animal Nutritionist

Where does an Animal Nutritionist work?

Environment –

Work both outdoors and indoors

Places of Employment –

Animal nutritionists may be employed by farms, corporate research, development facilities, pharmaceutical companies, pet or livestock feed companies, government, laboratories, zoos, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities, or be self employed as a consultant to animal owners.

What is the average annual salary of an Animal Nutritionist?

On average the income per year is around $73,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can an Animal Nutritionist be promoted?

Promotion depends on the place where they are employed. Within large organizations, such as government, there would be chances of promotion. Animal nutritionists may also freelance by creating their own consultancy firm.

Possible promotion levels:

Junior nutritionist > Senior nutritionist > Manager – Research and Development

What difficulties can an Animal Nutritionist face?

They travel often if they work in agribusinesses, advising farmers and feed companies, or in order to conduct research.

​Future growth and Possibilities

The future growth for this career is similar to others within the animal science field, at around 9% per year.

Which Skills are required by an Animal Nutritionist?

The skills required for a career as an animal nutritionist 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

Career Skills

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Good animal health skills
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to 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 an Animal Nutritionist?

Minimum Requirements

​​Aspiring animal nutritionists need to obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, a bachelor’s degree is only enough for entry-level positions. Postgraduate degrees ( Masters or Doctoral) are recommended to prepare and advance in this field.

Study Focus

Major -​

Focus is required in agricultural, veterinary science, medicine, biology, ethology (animal behavior) or animal nutrition, or a combination of some of these, such as nutrition and ethology. The focus can shift to more specialized fields or on specific species during Masters or Doctoral Degree.

Short Courses –

Can be completed in subjects such as animal first aid.

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.

Possible Career Preparation Paths

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 your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

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):

Average level of education of all the people who enter 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.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations

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 nutrition.

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Join our OZT community and Animal Nutritionist Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an animal nutritionist.

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 an Animal Nutritionist, 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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