Careers and Jobs Opportunities in Animal Science (Livestock)


Careers and Jobs Opportunities in Animal Science (Livestock)

Animal Science is concerned with the science and business of producing domestic livestock species, including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, poultry, sheep, and swine.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture reported in "Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment United States, 2015-2020" that the agricultural, food, environment and renewable natural resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 57,900 annual openings for individuals with baccalaureate or higher degrees in food, renewable energy, and environmental specialties between 2015 and 2020.

The livestock industry and related fields are a major component of the United States economy and career opportunities are excellent for both men and women trained in animal science.

Animal agriculture is a huge component in the American economy. It not only involves livestock production, but also encompasses marketing, public affairs, transportation, processing, research, companion animal management and a myriad of allied specialties. Animal science is a challenging field with many employment opportunities.


What is Animal Science?

Animal Science is concerned with the science and business of producing domestic livestock species, including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, poultry, sheep, and swine. 

An animal scientist applies principles of the biological, physical, and social sciences to the problems associated with livestock production and management.

Animal Science is also concerned with foods of animal origin: meat, dairy foods, and eggs. The food industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the United States.

In addition, animal science is concerned with aspects of companion animals, including their nutrition, care, and welfare.

If you are interested in efficient production of food animals, processing and consumption of high-quality meats and dairy products, use of companion animals for recreation or leisure purposes, or the maintenance of animal health and well-being, then a career in one of the many animal sciences fields may be your key to a rewarding future.

Professional education and training in the animal sciences can prepare you for challenging career opportunities in such areas as animal production, breeding, health maintenance and disease control, marketing, processing, distribution, and numerous allied service industries.

Additionally, it is a convenient major for biologists interested in animals and an eventual career after veterinary, medical, dental, or graduate school. Animal scientists must have formal training and appropriate experience to learn and apply the complex principles involved in animal production, care, and use.

Knowledge of such basic subjects as animal behavior and management, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, reproduction, and meat science is essential to persons entering most animal sciences professions. However, a farm or animal-related background is not required. Global forces are demanding more from the agriculture industry.

A growing world population with changing patterns of diet requires more food. This food production must take place on a finite amount of land during climatic change. It must be integrated with the needs of people and the environment.

The complex challenges of the next century demand agricultural professionals who can identify opportunities and devise innovative solutions. The broad knowledge base in animal science prepares students for rewarding careers.


Animal Science Careers

Students earning a B.S. degree with a major in animal science are qualified for a wide variety of challenging careers.

In fact, there are over 500 different job classifications for animal science graduates. Graduates find employment in academic teaching and research, industrial research in the food and feed industries, in laboratory research programs with governmental and international agencies, private corporations, and in industrial or institutional management positions requiring a high level of scientific training.

In government positions, graduates can help draft regulations governing the agriculture industry, or work directly in research.

Other traditional employment can be found with feed manufacturers, animal breeding companies, meat packers, pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms, universities, or in primary production.

An agricultural science degree is also the gateway to a multitude of possibilities in the growing agricultural biotechnology industry.

Animal Production & Management

Livestock producers are concerned with production of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, swine and poultry. These individuals and the people they employ are the cornerstone of the animal industry. 

They must be superb business people and be knowledgeable in meats, nutrition, genetics, behavior and physiology. 

In addition, they must know how to manage livestock and have marketing expertise.

Careers and Jobs in Animal Production Systems Management:

·  Animal Shelter Manager

·  Animal Waste Management

·  Breeding/Farrowing Manager

·  Broiler Manager

·  Broodmare Assistant Manager

·  Broodmare Manager

·  Cattle Feedlot Processor

·  Companion Animal Department Manager

·  Dairy Plant Manager

·  Dairy Young Stock Manager

·  Diagnostic Laboratory Manager

·  Dog Bakery Manager

·  Doggy Day Care Manager

·  Elephant Program Manager

·  Equine Boarding Stable Manager

·  Farm General Manager

·  Herdsperson/Artificial Insemination/Embryo Transfer

·  Individual Proprietor

·  Laboratory Animal Management

·  Livestock Ranch Manager

·  Mammal Conservation Manager

·  Manage Livestock Sales/Distribution/Marketing Systems

·  Manage Ranches/Farms/Feedlots

·  Manage Research Farms and Facilities

·  Manage Training/Boarding Facilities

·  Managers of Stud Farms/Livestock/Poultry Operations

·  Parlor Manager

·  Pet Store Assistant Manager

·  Poultry Hatchery Manager

·  Ranch Foreman

·  Ranch Manager

·  Safety Manager

·  Stallion Assistant Manager

·  Stallion Manager

·  Supply Chain Manager

·  Swine Section Manager

·  Thoroughbred Barn Foreman

·  Veterinary Practice Manager

·  Wean-Market Operations Director

·  Yearling Assistant Manager

·  Yearling Manager

·  Zoo Animal Care Manager

·  Zoo Assistant Manager


Food Processing

The food processing industry is a major employer of animal science graduates. This segment of the industry not only is concerned with marketing meat, milk and eggs in the usual sense. 

It is also involved in fabrication of new products, production of specialty food items and development of products that will appeal to a health-conscious public.

This progressive component of animal agriculture hires animal science graduates as livestock buyers, quality control specialists, plant managers and sales personnel.

Careers and Jobs in Food Processing:

·  Analytical Microbiology Testing

·  Consumer Safety Inspector

·  Corporate Chef

·  Culinary Support Specialist

·  Distribution/Warehouse Manager

·  Food Compliance Officer

·  Food Pathogen Detector

·  Instrumentation Specialist

·  Meat Process Operation Manager

·  Meats District Sales Manager

·  Meats Project Specialist

·  Meats Team Leader Operations Manager

·  Packaging Supervisor

·  Plant Maintenance Supervisor

·  Plant Quality Manager

·  Plant Safety Supervisor

·  Processing Plant Supervisor

·  Product Development Manager

·  Product Development Specialist

·  Product Terminal Manager

·  Production Supervisor

·  Quality Assurance Assistant Director

·  Quality Assurance Chemist

·  Quality Assurance Director

·  Quality Assurance Inspector

·  Quality Assurance Supervisor

·  Raw Material Coordinator

·  Research & Design Chemist

·  Safety/Processing Manager

·  Sensory Testing Specialist

·  Technical  Meat Application Specialist

·  Technical Service Manager

·  Value-Added Specialist


Animal Feed / Environmental / Health Industries

Pharmaceutical organizations, livestock product companies and feed companies are constantly seeking bright, energetic young people to enter sales/marketing forces and consulting/technical services dealing with both commercial livestock production and companion animals.

Animal science students may also go into animal or human medicine and be involved in health care.

Careers and Jobs in Animal Feed/Health/Environment Industries:

·  Consultants - Nutritionists, Geneticists, Biotechnologist, Housing, Environment, Management

·  Quality Control/Processing/Packing of Foods

·  Milk/Feed/Food Testing Services

·  Dairy, Meat and Seafood Technical Assistants

·  Livestock Equipment Representative

·  Assistant Product Marketing Manager

·  Beef Improvement Sales Representative

·  Beef Nutrition Sales Representative

·  Breed Association Marketing & Sales Representative

·  Cattle Buyer

·  Cattle Marketing Specialist

·  Commodity Merchant

·  Director of Marketing

·  Dairy Technical Sales Manager

·  Equine Feed Sales Representative

·  Equine Insurance Agent

·  Equine Products Sales Representative

·  Large Animal Pharm. Sales Representative

·  Meats Marketing Manager

·  Pet Care Brand Manager

·  Pet Insurance Agent

·  Poultry Equipment Sales Manager

·  Pharm. Regional Sales Representative

·  Sales Account Representative

·  Show Supply Sales Associate

·  Swine Equipment Sales Representative

·  Pet Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

·  Zoo Development Director

·  Veterinary Zoologist

·  Clinical Pharmacologist

·  Dental Hygiene

·  Dentist

·  Laboratory Animal Medicine

·  Medical Dietetics

·  Medical Doctor

·  Optometrist

·  Pharmacist

·  Physical Therapist

·  Physicians Associate

·  Respiratory Therapy

·  Veterinary Anesthesiologist

·  Veterinary Behaviorist

·  Veterinary Dermatologist

·  Veterinary Emergency Care

·  Veterinary Epidemiologist

·  Veterinary Geneticist

·  Veterinary Internal Medicine

·  Veterinary Medical Officer

·  Veterinary Microbiologist

·  Veterinary Nutritionist

·  Veterinary Ophthalmologist

·  Veterinary Pathologist

·  Veterinary Practitioner

·  Veterinary Public Health Inspector

·  Veterinary Radiologist

·  Veterinary Technologist

·  Veterinary Toxicologist


Communications and Service Organizations

Breed associations, livestock commodity groups, artificial insemination services and government agencies employ animal science students as representatives of their organizations.

Likewise, livestock publications, newspapers, television stations, advertising agencies and public relations firms need talented people who can communicated about agriculture.

Communication skills are a necessity in all fields, and animal science students can turn these skills into satisfying careers.

Other service organizations such as banks, insurance companies, real estate agencies and power companies employ agricultural representatives in positions that require a background in animal agriculture.

Careers and Jobs in communication and service organizations:

·  Association Public Relations Manager

·  Association Outreach Programs Director

·  Breed Association

·  Advertising Manager

·  Breed Association Advertising Sales

·  Breed Association Accounts Manager

·  Breed Association Events Director

·  Breed Association Executive Director

·  Breed Association Industry Relations

·  Breed Association Foundation Director

·  Breed Association Operations Director

·  Breed Association Web Editor

·  Breed Magazine Assistant Editor

·  Breed Magazine Consultant

·  Breed Magazine Designer

·  Breed Magazine Editor

·  Breed Magazine Production Manager

·  Breed Magazine Writer

·  Director, Membership Services

·  Equine Photographer

·  Livestock Auctioneer

·  Livestock Photographer

·  Livestock Web Designer

·  Pet Photographer

·  Poultry Association Media Manager

·  Zoo Public Relations Manager

·  Science Writer/Illustrator

·  Livestock Management Services

·  Humane Animal Care Services

·  Livestock Investment Firms

·  Product Application - Sales and Services

·  Government Regulatory Agencies

·  Agriculture Journalist



Research designed to improve efficiency and quality of domestic animals and to solve livestock-related problems is conducted by a number of agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), universities and private companies.

Therefore, individuals with bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in animal science have an opportunity for rewarding careers in research.

With recent advances in computer science and biotechnology, persons trained in these areas will become even more competitive.

Careers and Jobs in research:

·  Administrative/Industry/Leadership Positions

·  Animal Care Technician

·  Animal Modeling Lab Head

·  Animal Research Associate

·  Animal Research Attendant

·  Animal Research Operations Manager

·  Animal Research Technician

·  Animal Surgery Technician

·  Biotechnology or Pharmaceutical Industry

·  Cell Culture Specialist

·  College/University Teaching and Research

·  Commercial Research/Product Development

·  Embryologist or in vitro fertilization (IVF) specialist

·  Equine Orthopedic Researcher

·  Food Quality Control/Product Development Scientist

·  Genetic Manipulation Specialist

·  Governmental Research (USDA and NIH)

·  Lab Animal Technician

·  Microbiologist Molecular

·  Biotechnologist Nutritional R&D Associate

·  Poultry Center Research Assistance

·  Practicing Veterinarian/Research

·  Veterinarian Private Development of Animal Products/Services

·  Reproductive Biologist

·  Research Geneticist

·  Research Scientist, Research Associate, Senior Scientist

·  Risk Assessment Scientist

·  USDA Research Centers Faculty



Education and Public Service

A student majoring in animal science may qualify to teach vocational agriculture in high school under a program of study cooperatively developed by the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. Animal science majors may also find employment with Extension working as an educator or specialist. 

People with advanced degrees in animal science are needed to teach in colleges and universities.

All of these teaching fields will require animal science graduates to meet the needs of the future.  

Careers and Jobs in education and public service:

·  4-H Youth Development Educator or Specialist

·  Ag Lawyer

·  Animal Science Professor

·  Beef Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Breed Association Jr. Activities Coordinator

·  Breed Association Jr. Activities Director

·  Companion Animal Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Cow-Calf Extension Specialist

·  Dairy Cattle Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Equine Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Equine Youth Camp Instructor

·  Politician

·  Poultry Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Sheep Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Swine Extension Educator or Specialist

·  Vocational Agricultural/Post-Secondary Educators

·  Zoo Bilingual Education Director

·  Zoo Camp Programs Supervisor

·  Zoo Education Curator

·  Zoo Education Director

·  Zoo Education Specialist

·  Zoo Presenter-Performer

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