Anthrozoologist Career Profile

Do you want to work as an anthrozoologist?

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.

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Lisa Dory
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17 March 2024

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What is an Anthrozoologist?

An anthrozoologist is a professional who studies the interactions and relationships between humans and animals. This field combines aspects of anthropology (the study of humans and their societies) and zoology (the study of animals). Anthrozoologists examine various aspects of human-animal interactions, including emotional, behavioural, psychological, cultural, and ecological dimensions.

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Alternative Names

Some alternative names for an anthrozoologist include:

  • Human-Animal Interaction Specialist
  • Animal-Human Relationship Researcher
  • Zoopsychologist
  • Human-Animal Studies Scholar
  • Animal Welfare Scientist
  • Animal behaviourists with a focus on Human Interaction

Some interesting fields of study that Anthrozoologists are exploring

  • Medical detection dogs
  • Farmer perceptions of livestock animal welfare
  • Cetacean ecotourism
  • Primates kept as pets
  • Media representations of urban wildlife
  • Animal assisted therapy for children with autism
  • Psychological and biological underpinnings of human attachment to their pets
  • The role of animals in culture, religion and sport

Career Categories

The Anthrozoologist career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Health
  • Specialist

A part of?

Anthrozoology is a subset or part of Ethnobiology, which is the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures

Covert Behaviour?

Behaviour that can't be observed, such as dreaming and thinking.

What does an Anthrozoologist do?

Groups of animals an Anthrozoologist works with

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Farm Animals
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Anthrozoologists work with a wide range of animals across different species. The types of animals they work with can vary depending on their specific area of focus within the field. Here are some examples of the different kinds of animals an anthrozoologist may work with:

Domestic animals:

This category includes pets like dogs, cats, birds, and small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Anthrozoologists may study the bond between humans and their pets, animal-assisted therapy with these animals, and their roles in human societies.

Farm animals:

Anthrozoologists may also work with farm animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. They may study animal welfare practices, human-animal relationships in farming communities, and the ethical considerations of animal agriculture.


Some anthrozoologists focus on wildlife species, including wild mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They may study human-wildlife conflicts, conservation efforts, wildlife behaviour, and the impact of human activities on natural ecosystems.

Exotic animals:

Anthrozoologists may work with exotic animals kept in captivity, such as zoo animals, marine mammals, and exotic pets like reptiles and large birds. They may study animal behaviour, welfare, enrichment programmes, and the human perception of exotic species.

Laboratory animals:

Some anthrozoologists may be involved in research related to laboratory animals like mice, rats, rabbits, and non-human primates. They may focus on animal welfare in research settings, ethical considerations in animal experimentation, and alternatives to animal testing.

Companion animals in therapeutic settings:

Anthrozoologists involved in animal-assisted therapy may work with specially trained animals, such as therapy dogs, horses, and dolphins. They may study the therapeutic benefits of interacting with these animals for individuals with physical, emotional, or psychological challenges.

Anthrozoologists have a broad spectrum of animals they can work with, depending on their research interests, career goals, and the specific context of their work.

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does an Anthrozoologist work?

An anthrozoologist works with various stakeholders and groups depending on their specific area of focus and expertise. Here are some of the entities with whom an anthrozoologist may collaborate or work:

Animal Owners:

Anthrozoologists often work directly with pet owners, farmers, and individuals who interact closely with animals to study human-animal relationships, behaviour, and welfare.

Animal Care Professionals:

This includes veterinarians, animal trainers, behaviorists, and shelter workers. Anthrozoologists may collaborate with these professionals to improve animal welfare practices, enhance human-animal interactions, and promote responsible pet ownership.

Therapists and Counsellors:

In the context of animal-assisted therapy, anthrozoologists work with therapists, counsellors, and healthcare professionals to implement animal-based interventions for individuals with physical, emotional, or psychological challenges.


Anthrozoologists may collaborate with educators at various levels, including schools, colleges, and universities, to teach courses or conduct research related to human-animal studies, animal behaviour, and ethics.

Conservationists and Environmentalists:

Those focused on wildlife and conservation work with conservationists, environmental organisations, and government agencies to study and protect wildlife, promote biodiversity, and address human-wildlife conflicts.

Policy Makers and Advocacy Groups:

Anthrozoologists may engage with policymakers, lawmakers, and advocacy groups to influence policies related to animal welfare, conservation, and the ethical treatment of animals in different contexts.


Anthrozoologists collaborate with other researchers in related fields such as psychology, sociology, biology, ecology, and anthropology to conduct interdisciplinary research on human-animal interactions, animal behaviour, cognition, and welfare.

Community Organisations:

They may also work with community organisations, animal rescue groups, and non-profit organisations to promote public awareness, education, and advocacy on animal-related issues.

Anthrozoologists have a broad network of collaborators and partners across various sectors, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of their work and the diverse applications of human-animal studies.

What does an Anthrozoologist focus on?

A major focus of anthrozoologists is looking at the positive effects of human-animal relationships on either party and the study of their interactions. This is a modern interdisciplinary field which was created by an overlap of several other disciplines, including anthropology, ethology, psychology, veterinary medicine, and zoology.

What are the different specialisations or career directions that an Anthrozoologist can venture into?

An anthrozoologist can venture into various specialisations and career directions within the field of human-animal interactions. Here are some different specialisations or career directions that an anthrozoologist can pursue:

Animal-Assisted Therapy Practitioner:

Focuses on using animals to assist individuals in therapeutic settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centres, schools, and counselling sessions. They may work as animal-assisted therapists, counsellors, or specialists in specific therapeutic modalities involving animals.

Animal Welfare Specialist:

specialises in promoting and ensuring the well-being and ethical treatment of animals in various contexts, including farms, shelters, research facilities, and entertainment industries. They may work in advocacy, policy development, animal rescue, or welfare organisations.

Animal Behaviourist:

Studies and analyses the behaviour, cognition, communication, and social interactions of animals to understand their needs, motivations, and welfare. They may work in research, consulting, training, or educational roles focused on improving human-animal relationships and animal welfare.

Wildlife Conservationist:

Focuses on conserving and protecting wildlife species, habitats, and ecosystems through research, conservation programmes, advocacy, and community engagement. They may work for government agencies, non-profit organisations, conservation groups, or research institutions.

Ethicist or Animal Rights Advocate:

Engages in philosophical, ethical, and legal considerations related to animal rights, ethical treatment, and moral responsibilities towards animals. They may work in academia, advocacy organisations, policy analysis, or consulting roles related to animal ethics and rights.

Animal Educator:

Develops and delivers educational programmes, workshops, and materials related to human-animal interactions, animal behaviour, welfare, and conservation. They may work in schools, zoos, museums, nature centres, or as independent educators.


Conducts scientific research on various aspects of human-animal interactions, including the human-animal bond, animal behaviour, cognition, welfare, conservation, and cross-cultural perspectives. They may work in universities, research institutions, government agencies, or private organisations.

Animal Industry Consultant:

Provides expertise and consulting services to industries such as agriculture, pet care, entertainment, and research facilities to improve animal management practices, welfare standards, and ethical considerations.

These are just a few examples of the diverse career paths and specialisations that anthrozoologists can pursue. Depending on their interests, skills, and training, they can explore interdisciplinary roles that integrate elements of psychology, biology, sociology, ethics, education, and conservation in their work with animals and humans.

What are the daily tasks of an Anthrozoologist?

The daily tasks of an anthrozoologist can vary widely depending on their specific role, area of specialisation, and the context of their work. However, here are some common tasks that an anthrozoologist may engage in on a day-to-day basis:


Conducting research projects related to human-animal interactions, animal behaviour, cognition, welfare, or conservation. This may involve designing studies, collecting data through observations or experiments, analysing the data, and writing research reports or articles for publication.

Client or Patient Interaction:

If working in animal-assisted therapy or counselling, an anthrozoologist may interact with clients or patients and their companion animals. They may facilitate therapeutic sessions, assess progress, and adjust treatment plans based on individual needs.

Animal Care and Training:

Depending on their role, anthrozoologists may be involved in caring for and training animals, ensuring their health, well-being, and behavioural development. This can include feeding, grooming, exercising, and providing enrichment activities for animals in their care.

Educational Activities:

Developing and delivering educational programmes, workshops, or presentations on topics such as animal behaviour, welfare, conservation, and the human-animal bond. This may involve creating educational materials, giving lectures, or organising outreach events for schools, communities, or organisations.

Consultation and Advising:

Providing expertise and guidance to individuals, organisations, or businesses on matters related to animal behaviour, welfare, ethics, or policy. This may include consulting on animal training techniques, welfare standards, ethical considerations, or legal compliance.

Data Analysis and Reporting:

Analysing research data using statistical methods or qualitative analysis techniques to draw conclusions and insights. Anthrozoologists may prepare reports, presentations, or publications to communicate their findings to stakeholders, peers, or the public.

Policy Development and Advocacy:

Engaging in advocacy efforts, policy analysis, or public outreach campaigns related to animal welfare, conservation, or ethical treatment of animals. Anthrozoologists may work with policymakers, advocacy groups, or community organisations to promote positive changes in laws, regulations, or societal attitudes towards animals.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Staying updated with the latest research, trends, and developments in the field of anthrozoology by attending conferences, workshops, and training programmes. Anthrozoologists may also pursue certifications or advanced degrees to enhance their skills and knowledge.

These tasks provide a glimpse into the diverse and dynamic nature of work that anthrozoologists engage in on a daily basis, showcasing the interdisciplinary and impactful nature of their contributions to human-animal relationships and welfare.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does an Anthrozoologist work?

Anthrozoologists work with a variety of tools and technologies to conduct their research, interact with animals, analyse data, and communicate their findings. Here are some examples of tools and technologies commonly used by anthrozoologists:

Observation Tools:

Anthrozoologists often use tools such as cameras, video recorders, and audio recording devices to observe and document animal behaviour, interactions with humans, and environmental factors.

Data Collection Devices:

They may use specialised equipment for collecting physiological data from animals, such as heart rate monitors, activity trackers, and GPS devices for tracking animal movements in natural habitats.

Laboratory Equipment:

In research settings, anthrozoologists may utilise laboratory equipment for analysing biological samples, conducting experiments, and studying aspects of animal physiology, genetics, or cognition.

Statistical Software:

Anthrozoologists frequently use statistical software packages like SPSS, R, or SAS to analyse research data, perform statistical tests, and generate meaningful insights from quantitative data sets.

Ethogram Software:

Ethograms are tools used to record and categorise animal behaviour. Anthrozoologists may use specialised ethogram software or design their own behaviour coding systems to analyse and interpret animal behaviour patterns.

Animal Training Tools:

Those involved in animal training and behaviour modification may use tools such as clickers, target sticks, and training props to teach and reinforce desired behaviours in animals during training sessions.

Communication Tools:

Anthrozoologists use various communication tools, such as email, video conferencing platforms, and collaboration software, to communicate with colleagues, clients, research participants, and stakeholders.

Geospatial Technology:

For wildlife studies and conservation projects, anthrozoologists may use geospatial technologies like Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing tools to map habitats, track animal populations, and assess environmental changes.

Online Surveys and Questionnaires:

When conducting surveys or gathering data from human participants, anthrozoologists may use online survey platforms or questionnaire software to collect responses efficiently and analyse trends in human attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions related to animals.

Literature Databases and Libraries:

Anthrozoologists rely on academic journals, research databases, and online libraries to access relevant literature, stay updated with current research, and review previous studies in their field of study.

These tools and technologies enable anthrozoologists to conduct rigorous research, engage in evidence-based practices, and contribute valuable insights to the understanding of human-animal interactions, animal behaviour, welfare, and conservation.

Working conditions of an Anthrozoologist

Where does an Anthrozoologist work?

The working environments and places of employment for an anthrozoologist can vary depending on their specific role, area of expertise, and the nature of their work. Here’s a breakdown of the indoor and outdoor working environments an anthrozoologist might experience, as well as common places of employment:

Indoor Working Environments:


Anthrozoologists involved in research may work in laboratories where they conduct experiments, analyse data, and study aspects of animal behaviour, cognition, or physiology.

Office Settings:

Many anthrozoologists spend time in office environments where they engage in tasks such as data analysis, report writing, grant proposal development, communication with colleagues and stakeholders, and administrative duties related to their work.

Therapeutic Settings:

If specialising in animal-assisted therapy, anthrozoologists may work in clinical settings, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, schools, or counselling offices where they conduct therapy sessions, interact with clients, and collaborate with healthcare professionals.

Classrooms and Educational Institutions:

Anthrozoologists involved in teaching and education may work in classrooms, lecture halls, or research facilities within universities, colleges, or educational organisations.

Outdoor Working Environments:

Field Research:

Anthrozoologists conducting field studies, wildlife research, or conservation work may spend significant time in outdoor environments such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, or marine habitats, where they observe and study animals in their natural settings.

Animal Facilities:

Those working with animals may spend time outdoors in animal shelters, farms, zoos, sanctuaries, or training facilities where they care for animals, conduct behavioural observations, and implement enrichment programmes.

Community Outreach and Engagement:

Anthrozoologists engaged in community outreach, advocacy, or conservation projects may participate in outdoor events, workshops, educational programmes, and public awareness campaigns held in parks, nature reserves, schools, or community centres.

Places of Employment:

Universities and Research Institutions:

Many anthrozoologists work in academic settings as professors, researchers, or research assistants within departments of psychology, biology, anthropology, or veterinary science.

Non-Profit Organisations:

Anthrozoologists may work for non-profit organisations, animal welfare groups, conservation organisations, or advocacy groups focused on promoting animal welfare, conservation, and human-animal relationships.

Government Agencies:

Some anthrozoologists find employment in government agencies, such as wildlife departments, environmental agencies, or public health departments, where they contribute to policy development, research initiatives, or conservation programmes.

Private Sector:

Anthrozoologists may also work in the private sector, such as consulting firms, animal training companies, pet industry organisations, or businesses related to animal products and services.

Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities:

Those specialising in animal-assisted therapy may work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, or mental health facilities as part of interdisciplinary healthcare teams.

Anthrozoologists can have diverse working environments and employment opportunities, blending indoor and outdoor settings based on their specific roles, interests, and career paths within the field of human-animal interactions.

What is the average annual salary of an Anthrozoologist?

Here are the average yearly salaries or wages for an anthrozoologist based on specific countries and regions you’ve mentioned:


Average Salary: $50,000 to $80,000 USD per year


Average Salary: $50,000 to $70,000 CAD per year


Average Salary: £30,000 to £45,000 GBP per year


Average Salary: ₹3,00,000 to ₹6,00,000 INR per year


Average Salary: AU$60,000 to AU$90,000 per year

New Zealand:

Average Salary: NZ$50,000 to NZ$80,000 per year


Average Salary: ₦1,500,000 to ₦3,000,000 NGN per year


Average Salary: Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 1,000,000 KES per year

South Africa:

Average Salary: R200,000 to R400,000 ZAR per year

For the regions:

South America:

Average Salary: The salary can vary significantly across different countries in South America. In general, it may range from $20,000 to $60,000 USD per year depending on the country and specific job role.


Average Salary: The salary can vary widely across European countries due to differences in cost of living and economic factors. In Western European countries, the average salary may range from €35,000 to €60,000 EUR per year, while in Eastern European countries, it may be lower.

Southeast Asia:

Average Salary: The salary can vary based on the country within Southeast Asia. In general, it may range from $15,000 to $40,000 USD per year.

Can an Anthrozoologist be promoted?

Promotion levels for an anthrozoologist can vary based on the organisation, industry, and individual career path. However, here are three prominent promotion levels, along with associated headings under each level:

Entry-Level Anthrozoologist


Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as anthropology, biology, psychology, zoology, or a related discipline.


Assisting senior anthrozoologists in research projects, data collection, literature reviews, and basic analysis. Participating in outreach programmes, educational initiatives, or animal care tasks.


No specific certification is required at this level, but relevant training or coursework in animal behaviour, welfare, or human-animal interactions may be beneficial.

Mid-Level Anthrozoologist


Master’s degree or higher in anthrozoology, animal behaviour, conservation psychology, or a related field. Advanced coursework and research experience.


Leading research projects, designing studies, conducting in-depth data analysis, and writing research papers or articles for publication. Managing teams, overseeing fieldwork or laboratory operations, and developing educational programmes.


Optional certifications such as Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (CABC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), or Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB) may enhance credentials at this level.

Senior-Level Anthrozoologist or Director/Manager


PhD or terminal degree in anthrozoology, animal science, ecology, psychology, or a related field. Extensive research experience, publications, and contributions to the field.


Leading and managing research teams, securing funding for projects, presenting at conferences, and representing the organisation in professional forums. Developing policies, guidelines, and strategic plans related to human-animal interactions, animal welfare, or conservation.


Professional certifications related to leadership, project management, or specialised areas within anthrozoology may be valuable at this level.

Executive-Level or Senior Research Scientist/Professor (Optional)


Continued professional development, postdoctoral research, and leadership training. For academia, tenure and promotion to full professorship may apply.


Overseeing large-scale research programs, shaping industry standards and practices, collaborating with government agencies or international organisations on policy initiatives, and mentoring junior researchers or students.


Executive leadership programmes, teaching certifications, or specialized credentials in emerging areas of anthrozoology may be pursued at this level.

What kind of difficulties can an Anthrozoologist face?

Anthrozoologists can face various challenges in their profession due to the nature of their work and the diverse environments they operate in. Here are some challenges they may encounter:

Physical Demands and Safety Concerns:

  • Working with animals can involve physical tasks such as lifting, handling, and restraining animals, which can lead to strains or injuries if not done properly.
  • Safety concerns may arise from unpredictable animal behaviour, especially in situations involving aggressive or stressed animals. Anthrozoologists need to be trained in animal handling techniques and safety protocols.

Variability in Working Conditions:

  • Anthrozoologists may work in diverse settings, including laboratories, outdoor field sites, animal facilities, and therapeutic environments. Each environment has its own challenges and requirements, leading to variability in working conditions.
  • Weather conditions, seasonal changes, and environmental factors can also impact the work environment, especially for those conducting field research or outdoor activities.

Emotional Challenges:

  • Dealing with animal suffering, euthanasia decisions, or witnessing animal abuse/neglect can be emotionally taxing for anthrozoologists, especially those working in animal welfare or rescue organisations.
  • In animal-assisted therapy, anthrozoologists may also face emotional challenges related to working with clients dealing with trauma, grief, or mental health issues.

Business Management:

  • Anthrozoologists running their own consulting practices, training facilities, or therapy programmes may encounter challenges related to business management, including financial planning, marketing, client management, and regulatory compliance.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • Depending on the country or region, anthrozoologists may need to adhere to specific regulations and ethical guidelines related to animal research, welfare, therapy practices, and conservation efforts.
  • Obtaining permits, licences, and approvals for research projects, animal care facilities, or therapy animal certifications can be time-consuming and require thorough documentation and compliance with standards.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

  • Staying updated with advancements in anthrozoology, animal behaviour, welfare science, research methodologies, and ethical considerations requires ongoing learning and professional development.
  • Attending conferences, workshops, and training programmes, as well as pursuing certifications or advanced degrees, can be challenging while balancing work responsibilities.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

  • Depending on the role and specific projects, anthrozoologists may have irregular or unpredictable work hours, especially during fieldwork, emergencies, or events requiring extended efforts.
  • Balancing work-life commitments and managing stress from demanding schedules can be challenging in dynamic work environments.

These challenges highlight the multidimensional nature of the anthrozoology profession and the importance of having robust training, support systems, and strategies in place to address various professional hurdles effectively.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The job market for anthrozoologists and related professions such as animal behaviourists, conservationists, and animal-assisted therapists has shown steady growth in response to increasing public interest in human-animal interactions, animal welfare, and conservation. However, specific projections for the annual growth rate of the anthrozoology job market may vary depending on factors such as geographic location, economic conditions, and industry developments.

Here are some current trends and possibilities that may influence the future of the anthrozoology industry:

Growing Awareness and Demand:

There is a growing awareness of the benefits of human-animal interactions, leading to increased demand for services such as animal-assisted therapy, animal welfare programmes, and conservation initiatives. This trend is likely to continue as more research highlights the positive impacts of animals on human well-being.

Expansion of Animal-Assisted Interventions:

The field of animal-assisted therapy is expanding to include new applications in healthcare, education, and social services. This growth presents opportunities for anthrozoologists to work in diverse settings and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to improve human outcomes.

Advancements in Animal Welfare Science:

Ongoing advancements in animal welfare science, behaviour research, and veterinary medicine are influencing industry practices and standards. Anthrozoologists play a crucial role in advocating for ethical treatment, welfare enhancements, and evidence-based practices across various sectors.

Technological Innovations:

The integration of technology in animal behaviour research, data collection, tracking, and communication is opening up new avenues for studying human-animal interactions and conservation efforts. Anthrozoologists with skills in data analysis, GIS, remote sensing, and digital communication tools are well-positioned to leverage these innovations.

Global Conservation Efforts:

With increasing environmental challenges and biodiversity concerns, there is a growing focus on global conservation efforts. Anthrozoologists contribute to conservation initiatives by studying wildlife behaviour, human-wildlife interactions, habitat conservation, and community engagement in conservation projects.

Policy and Advocacy Impact:

Anthrozoologists involved in policy research, advocacy, and public education can influence regulatory frameworks, animal welfare laws, and ethical guidelines related to animal use, treatment, and conservation. Collaborative efforts with government agencies, NGOs, and advocacy groups are key in shaping the future of the industry.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations:

The interdisciplinary nature of anthrozoology encourages collaborations across fields such as psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology, environmental science, and public health. Such collaborations foster innovation, holistic approaches to problem-solving, and a deeper understanding of human-animal relationships.

While these trends indicate positive growth and opportunities in the anthrozoology industry, it’s important for professionals in this field to stay updated with industry developments, continue professional development, and adapt to emerging challenges and opportunities in the evolving job market. Local economic factors, policy changes, and societal attitudes towards animals also play a role in shaping the job market for anthrozoologists globally.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required by an Anthrozoologist?

The skills required for a career as an anthrozoologist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, 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 and Personality Traits

People employed as anthrozoologists often possess a unique combination of personality traits that align with the demands and characteristics of their profession. Here are some specific personality traits commonly found in anthrozoologists:


Anthrozoologists need to have a deep sense of empathy towards animals and humans alike. Understanding and connecting with the emotions, needs, and experiences of animals and people are essential for fostering positive human-animal relationships and promoting animal welfare.

Curiosity and Inquisitiveness:

An inherent curiosity about animal behaviour, cognition, communication, and the dynamics of human-animal interactions drives anthrozoologists to explore and understand complex phenomena. They are naturally inquisitive and seek to uncover new insights through observation, research, and experimentation.

Compassion and Sensitivity:

Anthrozoologists often work in contexts where they encounter vulnerable animals, individuals with special needs, or emotionally challenging situations. Compassion, sensitivity, and a non-judgmental approach are crucial in providing care, support, and therapy in animal-assisted interventions and welfare programmes.

Analytical Thinking:

Critical thinking skills and analytical abilities are important for anthrozoologists to interpret research data, evaluate behavioural patterns, assess welfare indicators, and make informed decisions regarding animal care, training, or conservation strategies.

Patience and Resilience:

Working with animals and conducting research projects can be time-consuming and require patience to observe behavioural changes, collect reliable data, and achieve desired outcomes. Anthrozoologists need to be resilient in overcoming challenges and setbacks in their work.

Communication and Collaboration:

Effective communication skills are essential for anthrozoologists to interact with clients, colleagues, stakeholders, and the public. They must convey complex scientific information in accessible ways, collaborate in multidisciplinary teams, and engage in outreach and education efforts.

Ethical Awareness:

Anthrozoologists operate within ethical frameworks that guide their decisions and practices concerning animal welfare, conservation ethics, research integrity, and professional conduct. They must demonstrate ethical awareness, integrity, and a commitment to ethical standards in their work.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

The field of anthrozoology encompasses diverse roles, settings, and challenges. Anthrozoologists need to be adaptable and flexible in adjusting to changing environments, emerging technologies, new research methodologies, and evolving industry trends.

Passion for Animals and Conservation:

A genuine passion for animals, wildlife, and conservation is a driving force for many anthrozoologists. Their love for animals motivates them to advocate for animal welfare, contribute to conservation efforts, and inspire positive changes in human attitudes and behaviours towards animals.

These personality traits, combined with education, experience, and specialised skills, contribute to the success and impact of anthrozoologists in their professional roles, whether in research, therapy, conservation, education, or advocacy.

Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Good business knowledge
  • Handling of animals
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Career Skills

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 an Anthrozoologist?

To become an anthrozoologist, you will typically need to pursue education and training in specific areas related to human-animal interactions, animal behaviour, welfare, and related disciplines. Here are the key components you may need to study:

Minimum educational requirements

A minimum requirement for entry into the field of anthrozoology is a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. Suitable majors include anthropology, biology, psychology, zoology, environmental science, animal science, or a related field. This provides a foundational understanding of key concepts related to human-animal interactions, biology, behavior, and ecology.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study (if required):

Animal Behaviour:

Courses in animal behavior, ethology, comparative psychology, or behavioural ecology provide insights into the behavior, cognition, communication, and social interactions of animals. This knowledge is essential for understanding human-animal relationships and conducting behavioral research.

Ethics and Philosophy:

Studying ethics, philosophy, bioethics, or animal ethics helps develop critical thinking skills and ethical reasoning related to animal welfare, rights, and ethical considerations in research and practice.

Research Methods and Statistics:

Courses in research methods, experimental design, data analysis, and statistical techniques are important for conducting scientific research, analyzing data, and drawing valid conclusions in anthrozoology studies.

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Master’s Degree:

Pursuing a master’s degree in anthrozoology, animal behavior, conservation psychology, wildlife biology, or a related field can provide advanced knowledge and research experience. It may also open up opportunities for specialized roles, research positions, or teaching opportunities.

Ph.D. or Doctoral Degree:

For those interested in advanced research, academia, leadership roles, or specialized areas within anthrozoology, a Ph.D. or doctoral degree is beneficial. This level of education allows for in-depth research, publication of original research findings, and contributions to the field’s theoretical and practical advancements.

Optional Short Courses:

Animal-Assisted Therapy Certification:

If interested in animal-assisted therapy, completing certification programs or workshops in animal-assisted interventions, therapy animal handling, and therapy techniques can enhance skills and credentials for working in therapeutic settings.

Conservation Courses:

Short courses or workshops focusing on wildlife conservation, habitat management, species conservation, and environmental sustainability provide additional knowledge for those interested in conservation-focused roles within anthrozoology.

Professional Development Workshops:

Participating in professional development workshops, seminars, or conferences related to animal welfare, behavior modification, research ethics, or interdisciplinary collaboration can broaden expertise and networking opportunities in the field.

Study Duration

The duration of University Degrees can range between 3 to 4 years, with an added year or two to specialize. 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 a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here is a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in pursuing an anthrozoology career, based on the provided points:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or through external organisations to learn about different career options in anthrozoology and related fields.

2. Research Possible Careers:

Conduct research to understand various careers within anthrozoology, such as animal behaviourist, wildlife biologist, animal-assisted therapist, conservation scientist, and more.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore different educational paths such as bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D. programmes related to anthrozoology, animal behaviour, biology, psychology, environmental science, or veterinary science.

4. Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the desired educational path, such as biology, chemistry, psychology, environmental science, and ethics.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic excellence and extracurricular activities to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6. Learn about Animals:

Learn about different species of animals, their behaviour, habitats, and interactions with humans through self-study, online resources, and visiting zoos or wildlife sanctuaries.

7. Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further studies at a college or university, or explore entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of anthrozoology.

8. Gain Experience:

Gain practical experience through volunteering at animal shelters, wildlife organisations, research labs, or therapy centres. Seek internships or mentorship opportunities to learn from professionals in the field.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities such as animal clubs, environmental clubs, science fairs, and community service projects related to animals and conservation.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join relevant professional associations or societies in anthrozoology or animal-related fields to access resources, networking opportunities, conferences, and career support.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Develop specialised skills such as animal handling, research methods, data analysis, communication, and empathy through coursework, workshops, and practical experiences.

12. Network with Professionals:

Network with professionals in the field by attending conferences, seminars, workshops, and industry events. Connect with mentors who can provide guidance and insights into career pathways.

13. Enter the Job Market or Continue Studies:

After completing education and gaining experience, enter the job market in roles such as animal behaviour technician, research assistant, conservation educator, or pursue higher studies for advanced career opportunities.

14. Stay Updated with Continuing Education:

Stay updated with the latest developments, research findings, and trends in anthrozoology by pursuing continuing education, attending professional development courses, and staying connected with industry updates.

This career preparation path provides a structured approach for high school students interested in building a successful career in anthrozoology or related fields focused on human-animal interactions, animal welfare, and conservation. Flexibility and adaptability in exploring various opportunities and gaining diverse experiences will further enhance their career prospects in this dynamic field.

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

On-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities can be valuable for individuals entering an anthrozoology career, especially for gaining practical experience, honing specific skills, and learning from experienced professionals in the field. Here are some aspects of on-the-job training and apprenticeship requirements for someone entering an anthrozoology career:

Internships and Field Experience:

  • Many universities and organisations offer internship programmes or field experience opportunities for students or entry-level professionals in anthrozoology-related fields.
  • Internships can involve hands-on experience in research projects, animal care facilities, conservation programmes, therapy settings, or educational outreach initiatives.
  • Apprenticeships or mentorship programmes may also be available, where individuals work closely with experienced anthrozoologists to learn practical skills, techniques, and best practices in the field.

Animal Handling and Care Training:

  • Depending on the specific role within anthrozoology, on-the-job training may include learning animal handling and care techniques for various species.
  • Training may cover topics such as safe handling practices, animal behaviour assessment, enrichment strategies, basic veterinary care principles, and emergency protocols.
  • Apprenticeships or training programs may be offered by animal care facilities, zoos, shelters, therapy centers, or research institutions.

Research Skills and Methodologies:

  • Entry-level anthrozoologists often receive training in research methods, data collection techniques, and data analysis under the guidance of senior researchers or mentors.
  • Training may involve learning how to design research studies, conduct literature reviews, collect observational data, use research tools and software, and interpret findings.
  • Apprenticeships in research-focused settings or collaborative research projects provide hands-on experience in conducting scientific inquiries and contributing to research outcomes.

Therapeutic Techniques and Practices:

  • For individuals pursuing careers in animal-assisted therapy or counselling, on-the-job training may include learning therapeutic techniques, client interaction skills, and therapy animal handling.
  • Training programmes or apprenticeships in therapy settings provide opportunities to observe therapy sessions, practice interventions, assess client progress, and develop rapport with therapy animals.

Professional Development and Networking:

  • On-the-job training often extends to professional development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, conferences, and continuing education courses relevant to anthrozoology.
  • Networking with industry professionals, attending lectures, and participating in community outreach events can enhance knowledge, skills, and career prospects in the field.
  • Some organisations may offer structured training programmes or mentorship pathways for career development and advancement within the anthrozoology profession.

It’s important for individuals entering an anthrozoology career to seek out opportunities for hands-on training, mentorship, and experiential learning to supplement academic knowledge and build a strong foundation for their professional journey in human-animal interactions, animal welfare, conservation, or related areas. Networking, gaining diverse experiences, and staying updated with industry trends and advancements are key strategies for success in this dynamic field.

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

The requirements for licences, certificates, and legal registration can vary based on the specific role, country or region, and industry sector within anthrozoology. Here are some common considerations and potential requirements that individuals may need to adhere to when pursuing a career as an anthrozoologist or related profession:

Animal Handling and Care:

Animal Welfare Regulations:

Depending on the country or jurisdiction, individuals working with animals may need to adhere to specific animal welfare regulations, standards, and licencing requirements.

Animal Care Training:

The completion of animal handling, care, and welfare training programmes may be necessary, especially for roles involving direct interaction with animals in research, therapy, conservation, or animal care facilities.

Therapeutic and Counselling Practices:

Therapy Animal Certification:

If working in animal-assisted therapy or counselling, individuals may need certification or registration for therapy animals through recognised organisations or agencies.

Counselling or Therapy Licences:

For professionals providing counselling or therapy services, adherence to licencing requirements, ethical guidelines, and professional standards set by regulatory bodies or professional associations is essential.

Research and Academic Credentials:

Ethics Approval:

Researchers conducting studies involving animals or human participants must obtain ethics approval from relevant institutional review boards (IRBs) or ethics committees.

Academic Qualifications:

Depending on the position, having a relevant academic degree such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in anthrozoology, animal behaviour, psychology, biology, or a related field may be required or preferred.

Professional Certifications:

Animal Behaviour Certification:

Professional certifications in animal behaviour consulting, training, or behaviour analysis may enhance credentials for roles involving animal behaviour assessment, modification, or training.

Therapy or Counselling Certifications:

Specific certifications or credentials in animal-assisted therapy, counselling techniques, or mental health interventions may be required for therapeutic roles.

Ethical and Regulatory Compliance:

Ethical Standards:

Adherence to ethical guidelines and principles related to animal welfare, research integrity, client confidentiality, and professional conduct is crucial.

Regulatory Compliance:

Compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies governing animal research, therapy practices, conservation efforts, and professional conduct is necessary.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

Some professions require individuals to earn a certain number of CEUs or participate in ongoing professional development activities to maintain licensure or certification.

Membership in Professional Associations:

Joining professional associations related to anthrozoology, animal behaviour, therapy, or conservation can provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and continuing education programmes.

Legal Registration and Permits:

Business Registration:

If operating as a consultant, therapist, or entrepreneur in anthrozoology-related services, individuals may need to register their business and comply with legal requirements for operating a business entity.

Permits and Licences:

Depending on the specific activities and services offered, individuals may require permits, licences, or approvals from relevant government agencies, health departments, animal control authorities, or conservation organisations.

It’s important for individuals aspiring to work as anthrozoologists or in related fields to research and understand the specific legal and regulatory requirements applicable to their desired roles and locations. Consulting with legal advisors, professional associations, and industry experts can provide guidance on meeting these requirements and ensuring compliance throughout their careers.

Professional Associations

International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO):

Website: IAHAIO

International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ):

Website: ISAZ

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) – Human-Animal Bond Division:

Website: AVMA – Human-Animal Bond Division

American Psychological Association (APA) – Division 17: Society of Counseling Psychology – Section on Human-Animal Interaction:

Website: APA Division 17 – Section on Human-Animal Interaction

Animal Behavior Society (ABS):

Website: ABS

International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE):

Website: ISAE

Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT):

Website: APDT

American Society of Animal Science (ASAS):

Website: ASAS

The Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM):

Website: SMM

European Society for the Study of Human-Animal Interactions (ESHAI):

Website: ESHAI

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 animal behaviour.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

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

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

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

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

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