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Animal Scientists
SOC Code: 19-1011.00

Conduct research in the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.

Sample of reported job titles: Animal Nutrition Consultant, Animal Nutritionist, Animal Scientist, Beef Cattle Specialist, Dairy Nutrition Consultant, Nutritionist, Research and Development Director (R&D Director), Research Center Partner, Research Nutritionist, Research Scientist


  • Study nutritional requirements of animals and nutritive values of animal feed materials.
  • Advise producers about improved products and techniques that could enhance their animal production efforts.
  • Develop improved practices in feeding, housing, sanitation, or parasite and disease control of animals.
  • Write up or orally communicate research findings to the scientific community, producers, and the public.
  • Study effects of management practices, processing methods, feed, or environmental conditions on quality and quantity of animal products, such as eggs and milk.
  • Conduct research concerning animal nutrition, breeding, or management to improve products or processes.
  • Research and control animal selection and breeding practices to increase production efficiency and improve animal quality.
  • Determine genetic composition of animal populations and heritability of traits, using principles of genetics.
  • Crossbreed animals with existing strains or cross strains to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequence analysis software; Nutrition Balance Analyzer NUTBAL; SAS ; VSNi GenStat (see all 10 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Data base user interface and query software - DAGRIS; Domestic Animal Diversity Information Service DAD-IS; Microsoft Access ; Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals OMIA
  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Palm OS
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Analytical balances - Analytic balances
  • Animal husbandry equipment - Animal feeders; Artificial insemination kits; Dehorners; Ear punches (see all 9 examples)
  • Animal weighing scales - Cattle scales; Livestock scales
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
  • Benchtop centrifuges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Optical compound microscopes
  • Blood collection syringes
  • Calorimeters - Bomb calorimeters
  • Chopping machinery - Meat choppers
  • Circulating baths - Circulating water baths
  • Commercial use food grinders - Meat grinders
  • Conductivity meters - Conductance meters
  • Densitometers - Laser densitometers; Scanning densitometers
  • Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers - Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
  • Desktop computers
  • Dropping pipettes - Glass pipettes
  • Dry wall single chamber carbon dioxide incubators - Automatic carbon dioxide CO2 incubators
  • Drying cabinets or ovens - Laboratory drying ovens
  • Electrophoresis system accessories - Fraction collectors
  • Feed mixers - Animal feed mixers
  • Freeze dryers or lyopholizers - Freeze dryers
  • Fume hoods or cupboards - Laboratory fume hoods
  • Gas burners - Bunsen burners
  • Gas chromatographs - Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gel documentation systems - Gel electrophoresis equipment
  • Gel dryers - Slab dryers
  • Handheld thermometer - Handheld digital thermometers
  • Hematology analyzers - Animal blood analyzers
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography - High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • Histology sampling and dissecting stations - Dissecting kits
  • Homogenizers
  • Hybridization ovens or incubators - Hybridization chambers
  • Hydrometers
  • Immersion circulators - Ultrasonic water baths
  • Incubators or brooders for poultry - Brooders; Poultry incubators
  • Infrared spectrometers - Infrared IR spectrometers
  • Laboratory balances - Electronic laboratory balances
  • Laboratory beakers - Graduated beakers
  • Laboratory flasks - Erlenmeyer flasks; Volumetric flasks
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders - Graduated cylinders
  • Laboratory vacuum pumps
  • Laminar flow cabinets or stations - Laminar flow cabinets
  • Liquid scintillation counters
  • Medical ultrasound or doppler or echo probes - Ultrasound probes
  • Microcentrifuges - Microultracentrifuges
  • Microscope slides
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Orbital shaking water baths
  • Oxygen sensors - Oxygen meters
  • Personal computers
  • Petri plates or dishes - Petri dishes
  • Photo attachments for microscopes - Imaging microscopes
  • Rapid amplification or complementary deoxyribonucleic acid ends RACE technology products - Polymerase chain reaction PCR equipment
  • Reactors or fermenters or digesters - Fiber digesters
  • Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges
  • Restraints - Calf restraints
  • Scientific calculator - Scientific calculators
  • Specimen collection container - Specimen collection containers
  • Spectrophotometers - Fluorescence spectrophotometers; Ultraviolet UV visible spectrophotometers
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Steam autoclaves
  • Stirring hotplates - Hot plate stirrers
  • Stunner - Captive bolt stunners; Electric stunners
  • Tissue culture incubators
  • Triple beam balances
  • Ultracentrifuges
  • Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers - Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Vacuum ovens - Laboratory vacuum ovens
  • Veterinary castration instruments - Veterinary emasculators
  • Veterinary injection or suction units or accessories - Balling guns
  • Water baths - Laboratory water baths


  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.


  • Interest code: IR
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 89% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 63% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 67% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others - 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 44% responded “Very important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 41% responded “Important results.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 70% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 63% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 33% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 48% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 56% responded “About half the time.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 44% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Public Speaking - 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
52%Doctoral degree
26%Master's degree
11%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $29.21 hourly, $60,760 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 6,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 700

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