Career as an Infectious Animal Disease Specialist

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Do you want to work as an infectious animal disease specialist?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential specialists and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 18 April 2021

1. What is an infectious animal disease specialist?

An infectious animal disease specialist is a veterinary doctor who is trained in internal medicine and specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing infectious diseases within animals.

A long video (34 minutes), but excellent to learn about zoonosis.

Known diseases?

Rabies is the most well know transmittable animal disease (zoonosis). Close to 59,000 people die of rabies each year.

Livestok losses?

Infectious diseases amongst animals can cause billions of livestock to die if not treated in time

2. What do they do?


Health / Specialist


The primary focus of an Infectious Animal Disease Specialist is to identify infectious or contagious diseases in specific domesticated animals or wildlife, and then working on stopping the spread to other animals.

Daily Tasks:

  • Discuss brief with clients
  • Diagnose the infected animal
  • Request laboratory analysis of blood samples
  • Research and identify specific diseases
  • Report to client and government on findings
  • Cooperate with other veterinary professionals in curbing the spread of a disease
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


Infectious animal disease specialists work mostly indoors, but may be called out to assist in diagnosing a sedated wild animal out in the field.

Places of Employment –

Most specialists may be employed by government veterinary agencies, animal hospitals, research companies, pharmaceutical corporations and large private game reserves. A smaller amount do go on to start their own private practice.

Average Salary:

On average the income per year is around $150,000. This will differ from country to country.


The most difficult part is working with sick animals that may bite, scratch or kick. Specialists may also be required to travel and work long hours.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The average growth for this career is average, around 5% per year. This is a niche market and requires many years of studies.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an animal cartoonist 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

Career Skills:

  • ​Good animal care and handling
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

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!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

The minimum requirement to enter this career will be a Doctoral Degree in veterinary medicine, together with a completed residency and fellowship requirements to become board certified in infectious diseases.


Major –

A major in subjects such as microbiology, virology and immunology.

Short Courses –

There will always be loads of short courses to augment the studies on infectious diseases. Courses will be presented by universities, laboratories medical institutions.


The duration of Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, plus another 3 years for residency. A further 2 to 3 years might be required to specialize in infectious diseases. 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):

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 an infectious disease 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 internal medicine students (interns or residents) require vigorous hands-on training sessions even before they are allowed to actually perform normal duties. These sessions are offered by animal hospitals and research facilities.

Join the Infectious Animal Disease Specialists Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

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%

6. 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.

Veterinary medicine practitioners will require certification through a board, and acceptance examinations. In some countries disease specialists also need to register before they may be able to practice.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:

7. 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 medicine.

Infectious Animal Disease Specialist Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an infectious animal disease 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 an Infectious Animal Disease 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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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


One Zoo Tree

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