Equine Scientist: Job Description & Career Info
Equine Science is a specialization within animal science, which includes the study of the reproduction, physiology, behavior and nutrition of horses. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to work as an Equine Scientist; job opportunities in this field include professional riding instruction, horse training and stable management.
Career Definition: Equine Scientist
Equine Scientists apply their knowledge of Equine Science to improve the welfare of both equine athletes and leisure horses. Equine Scientists may also apply their expertise to enhance the relationship between a horse and rider. One of the most common occupations for an Equine Scientist is horse trainer. The responsibilities of this job go beyond simply teaching a horse to respond to specific commands. A skilled Equine Scientist might also oversee the diet, breeding, and rehabilitation of one or more horses.
How to Become an Equine Scientist
Required Education for an Equine Science Career
Aspiring Equine Scientists must earn at least a bachelor's degree to convert their love of horses into a livelihood. Programs are available online, through vocational schools and colleges that emphasize agricultural studies. Coursework includes such topics as anatomy, reproduction and breeding, equine disease and equine rehabilitation. Some Equine Scientists consider their education to be the first step in achieving a veterinary degree, which requires an additional four years.
Required Skills for an Equine Science Career
A passion for horses and the horse industry are necessary for a successful career in Equine Science. Previous hands-on experience with horses is also helpful. A comfort with scientific methods and equipment will be advantageous for an Equine Scientist.
Career and Economic Outlook for Equine Science
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), animal trainers who performed tasks like training horses or providing riding lessons earned a mean annual income of $30,340 in 2012. Jobs for animal trainers were expected to grow 3% from 2010-2020. Those who continued their education and became veterinarians made an average salary of $93,250 in 2012. Veterinarians jobs in general were expected to increase 36% between 2010 and 2020, but job prospects should be even better for veterinarians who work with large animals like horses.
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