Animal Breeder: Information About Starting a Career As an Animal Breeder
Animal Breeder is a broad term that may refer to someone, such as a dog breeder, who is breeding small animals for sale as pets, or to an animal scientist who works to discover more efficient ways to produce the livestock and animal-based products we consume. For breeders of small or domesticated animals, no specific education is required; however, those breeding large animals may need a 4- or 6-year degree in agricultural science or a related field.
Career Definition: Animal Breeder
An Animal Breeder may breed purebred cats or dogs for sale as pets or to show professionally. When this is the case, the Animal Breeder strives to meet specific standards in their animals as set by organizations such as the American Kennel Club. An Animal Breeder may assist with the breeding of large animals, such as prize-winning racehorses or animals in a zoo. Often, the job title of Animal Breeder refers to an animal scientist who develops more efficient ways to produce the meat and other animal products we eat.
How to Become an Animal Breeder
Required Education for a Career in Animal Breeding
Small and domestic Animal Breeders do not require any formal training, but they should familiarize themselves with the desired and standard characteristics of the breed they work with. Those wishing to breed animals in a more exotic environment such as a zoo will need to first earn a bachelor's degree in veterinary science and perhaps specialize with graduate and/or post-graduate studies in zoology. To breed agricultural animals, a 4-year degree in agricultural science will be adequate for most entry-level positions.
Required Skills for a Career in Animal Breeding
No matter which size or type of animal they are working with, Animal Breeders should have compassion for and a genuine interest in improving the lives of those animals, even if they are being bred for the marketplace. Animal Breeders often depend on the information gathered by others who are in the same pursuit, so a willingness to share research and work as a team member for the betterment of a species is vital.
Career and Economic Outlook for Animal Breeding
Earnings vary widely due to the spectrum of activities represented by the job title. Even within the small and domestic Animal Breeding category the earning potential depends on the type of animal bred and whether or not that breeder has produced any verifiable champions. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's reports that Animal Breeders working as large animal veterinarians earned a median annual income of $61,029 in 2006, and those employed in the field of animal science earned $47,800 (www.bls.gov),
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