How to Start a Career in Animal Psychology

Have you ever looked at a dog and wondered what it was thinking? That’s what animal psychologists do for a living: analyze the behaviours of animals to get an idea of what might be going on inside their heads. Furthermore, animal psychologists use these insights to help animals with behavioural issues. And while this career isn’t for everybody, it can be pretty rewarding for curious animal lovers with a desire to help their furry friends.

How do you make the leap from a run-of-the-mill animal lover to a certified animal psychologist, though? Fortunately, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Read on to learn how you can jumpstart your career as an animal psychologist.

Education plan

Much like human psychologists, the path to becoming an animal psychologist is pretty straightforward. Generally, animal psychology courses start at the post-secondary level, but any interested high school students should lean towards sciences like biology and chemistry. Math and geology will also be necessary for pursuing any career related to environmental studies.

As for undergraduate courses, psychology is an excellent place to start. Make sure to fill up on science and animal-related electives like ecology and zoology, though. Some schools offer animal psychology courses at the undergraduate level, but these schools are generally few and far between. The good news is that you can study animal psychology courses online; these introductory courses will give you a general overview of what it takes to work in the field.

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What do animal psychologists do?

We briefly touched on some of the duties of animal psychologists, but in reality, they do a lot more than stare at animals and try to guess how they’re feeling. Often, an animal psychologist’s career is heavily research-based, meaning that animal psychologists spend much of their time analyzing animal behaviours, compiling data, and then presenting their findings in research papers. That’s why we would only recommend this career to an animal lover of the first degree who can’t get enough of those data numbers. If you find yourself more inclined to research, check out some of the best online animal psychology courses available right now. Anyone serious about pursuing a career in animal psychology will take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can about the field.

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Where do animal psychologists work?

Most animal psychologists starting out will work in zoos and animal rescue centres, to name a few. Animal psychologists working in these areas will mostly be helping animals who have behavioural issues. This part of the practice may also work with private animal owners. The other field of animal psychology, which we discussed earlier, concerns academic research and the presentation of these research findings. Most of this research involves the analysis and improvement of current animal psychology practices, as well as understanding animal behaviour in a way to promote best environmental practices.

The life of an animal psychologist can be pretty intriguing, so what are you waiting for? Check out the list of animal psychology courses available on GetCourse and learn about the potential ways you can get your future in motion.