Animal Behavior Researcher Job Description [Updated for 2024]

animal behavior researcher job description

In this era of scientific exploration, the emphasis on Animal Behavior Researchers has never been stronger.

As our understanding of the animal kingdom expands, so does the demand for skilled individuals who can investigate, understand, and interpret animal behavior.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an Animal Behavior Researcher?

Whether you are:

  • An aspiring professional seeking to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager looking to define the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the study of animal behavior,

You’ve found the right resource.

Today, we present a customizable Animal Behavior Researcher job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Animal Behavior Researcher Duties and Responsibilities

Animal Behavior Researchers study and interpret the behaviors, interactions, and social hierarchies of animals.

They often work in conjunction with universities, research institutions, and zoological parks.

Their work can provide valuable insights into animal behavior, which can be used to improve animal care, conservation efforts, and understanding of animal and human psychology.

They have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Design and conduct research studies on animal behavior, ecology, and conservation
  • Collect and analyze data from observations, experiments, and remote sensing equipment
  • Record, analyze and interpret the data to understand the causes and consequences of animal behavior
  • Use statistical software to analyze and interpret research data
  • Prepare reports and scientific papers or articles for publication
  • Present research findings to the scientific community, policy makers, or the public
  • Teach animal behavior and biology courses at universities
  • Supervise the work of technicians, research assistants, or students
  • Apply for and manage grants to fund research
  • Work collaboratively with other scientists such as wildlife biologists, ecologists, and conservationists
  • Ensure the ethical treatment of animals during research studies


Animal Behavior Researcher Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated Animal Behavior Researcher to join our team.

Your responsibilities will include studying animal behaviors, designing and conducting experiments, and analyzing data to draw conclusions.

A strong understanding of animal behavior, biology, and ecology is required, along with a knowledge of research methodologies and data analysis techniques.

Our ideal candidate is passionate about animals and their behaviors, has excellent observational skills, and is meticulous in data collection and analysis.



  • Design and conduct experiments to study animal behaviors.
  • Collect and analyze data meticulously.
  • Present research findings in clear, concise reports.
  • Maintain accurate records of animal behavior and changes over time.
  • Collaborate with other researchers and scientists to further knowledge in the field.
  • Use ethical methods in treating and studying animals.
  • Publish research findings in respected scientific journals.
  • Apply for research grants and manage budget for research projects.



  • Advanced degree in Animal Behavior, Biology, Zoology, or related field.
  • Proven experience in animal behavior research.
  • Familiarity with observational and experimental research methods.
  • Strong analytical and statistical skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience in securing research funding and managing research budgets.
  • Proficiency in using software for data analysis and presentation.
  • Strong ethical stance on animal welfare.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Opportunities for continuing education and research


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Animal Behavior Researcher
  • Work Environment: Laboratory and field setting. Travel may be required for field studies and conferences.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Head of Research or Senior Research Scientist.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $55,000 minimum to $95,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Animal Behavior Researcher Do?

Animal Behavior Researchers generally work for universities, research institutions, government agencies, or zoos.

They may also work as consultants for organizations that deal with animals, like animal welfare agencies, pet industry companies, or wildlife conservation groups.

Their work revolves around studying the actions, habits, and behaviors of animals, ranging from domestic pets to wildlife.

This includes observing animal interactions, analyzing their behaviors in different environments, and determining the causes and effects of their behavior.

Animal Behavior Researchers often conduct experiments and collect data to understand the impact of various factors on animal behavior, such as their genetic makeup, diet, environment, and human interference.

They may also study animal communication, learning processes, mating practices, parenting styles, and social structures.

Their research often contributes to our understanding of animal biology, psychology, and ecology.

Additionally, they are responsible for compiling and analyzing their findings, writing reports, and publishing research papers.

They may present their findings at conferences and may be called upon to provide expert insight on animal behavior.

Animal Behavior Researchers may also collaborate with other professionals, like veterinarians or wildlife biologists, to understand certain behavioral patterns and address specific animal-related issues.


Animal Behavior Researcher Qualifications and Skills

Animal Behavior Researchers require a diverse set of skills and qualifications to perform their work effectively, such as:

  • Having in-depth knowledge about a wide range of animal species, their behaviors, and environmental factors that can influence their behavior.
  • Ability to work in the field and handle the physical demands that come with observing and studying animals in their natural habitats.
  • Strong research skills to conduct detailed studies and experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw accurate conclusions.
  • Excellent observational skills to notice subtle changes in animal behavior and identify patterns.
  • Good communication skills to effectively present research findings to peers, write scholarly articles, and collaborate with other researchers or professionals.
  • Patience and persistence as animal behavior research often involves long hours of observation and data collection, and results may not be immediately apparent.
  • Problem-solving skills to adapt research methods when faced with obstacles, and to find innovative ways to study and understand complex animal behaviors.
  • Knowledge in using various tools and technology, such as computer software for data analysis, GPS trackers, and camera traps to aid in research.


Animal Behavior Researcher Experience Requirements

Entry-level Animal Behavior Researchers typically have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as animal science, zoology, biology, or psychology.

Some hands-on experience is often gained through internships, volunteer work, or research assistant roles during undergraduate studies.

Candidates with 2-4 years of experience usually have a Master’s degree in a related field.

They might have worked in animal behavior research labs or zoological parks, and have gathered substantial experience with data collection and analysis, experimental design, and animal handling.

Those with 5 or more years of experience in the field often have a Ph.D., with a specialization in animal behavior.

They usually have a strong publication record demonstrating their ability to conduct independent research.

Their experience may also involve teaching or supervising graduate students.

Those aspiring to more senior roles, such as lead researcher or faculty member, are typically required to have significant experience in grant writing, running their own lab, or directing their own research projects.

They may also have experience in outreach activities such as speaking at conferences or other public events, contributing to the broader communication of animal behavior research.


Animal Behavior Researcher Education and Training Requirements

Animal Behavior Researchers typically require a Bachelor’s degree in animal behavior, biology, zoology, psychology, or a related field.

They gain fundamental knowledge about various animal species, their behavior patterns, ecology, and biological structures through theoretical studies and lab work during their undergraduate education.

Many Animal Behavior Researchers also pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree in animal behavior or a related field.

Specializing further allows researchers to focus on specific areas of interest, such as mammalian behavior, avian behavior, marine life behavior, or the behavioral impacts of climate change on wildlife.

Practical experience is crucial in this field.

Most Animal Behavior Researchers gain experience through internships, field studies, or volunteering at zoos, wildlife reserves, or rehabilitation centers.

A solid understanding of statistics and data analysis is also important as Animal Behavior Researchers often work with large datasets to analyze and predict animal behavior.

Certifications from professional organizations, such as the Animal Behavior Society (ABS), can also be beneficial and might be required for certain roles.

These certifications demonstrate a commitment to the profession and adherence to high standards of practice.

Continuing education and staying updated with the latest research and findings in the field of animal behavior is crucial for a successful career in this field.


Animal Behavior Researcher Salary Expectations

An Animal Behavior Researcher can expect to earn an average salary of $69,180 (USD) per year.

This may vary based on factors such as experience, education level, location, and the type of research or organization they are employed by.


Animal Behavior Researcher Job Description FAQs

What are the qualifications needed to be an Animal Behavior Researcher?

The minimum qualification for an Animal Behavior Researcher is a bachelor’s degree in biology, psychology, zoology, or animal science.

However, most employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or PhD.

Relevant fieldwork and research experience are also highly beneficial.


What skills does an Animal Behavior Researcher need?

An Animal Behavior Researcher should have exceptional observational and analytical skills to study and understand animal behavior.

They should also possess strong research skills, including the ability to design experiments, collect data, and interpret results.

Good written and verbal communication skills are essential to report findings and collaborate with other scientists.


What are the typical duties of an Animal Behavior Researcher?

Typically, an Animal Behavior Researcher conducts field or laboratory experiments to understand animal behavior.

They observe and record animal interactions, train animals for specific behavioral responses, and analyze data to draw conclusions.

They may also write research papers, give presentations, or teach.


What qualities make a good Animal Behavior Researcher?

A good Animal Behavior Researcher should have a strong passion for animals and a keen interest in understanding their behavior.

They should be patient, as observing animal behavior can take a significant amount of time.

They should also possess critical thinking skills to draw meaningful conclusions from their research.


Do Animal Behavior Researchers work alone or as a part of a team?

While Animal Behavior Researchers often spend time alone during fieldwork or data analysis, they also frequently work as part of research teams.

Collaboration is important in this role, especially when conducting large-scale studies or when input from various scientific perspectives is required.



So there you have it.

Today, we’ve delved into the fascinating world of an Animal Behavior Researcher.

And guess what?

It’s not just about observing animals.

It’s about unveiling the secrets of animal behavior, one study at a time.

With our comprehensive Animal Behavior Researcher job description template and real-world examples, you’re fully equipped to make a move.

But why not go further?

Explore more with our job description generator. It’s your next step to creating precise job listings or refining your resume to an impeccable standard.


Every behavioral study is a piece of the vast puzzle of animal life.

Let’s unravel these mysteries. Together.

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