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Animal Scientists - Occupation Overview

Main description/2nd description
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This is a Demand OccupationA Demand Occupation is defined as follows.

The hierarchy for qualification is the Regional Demand
(the occupation had a entry wage equal to or greater
than 90% of the Economic Development Region (EDR) negotiated
wage as an average of all LWIA’s in the EDR AND at
least 25 annual average job openings in the EDR);
State Wide (the occupation qualified for at least
5 of the Regional Demands and thus was added to all
ten EDR lists); Career Cluster (the occupation is
listed on at least one of the six career clusters
Illinois has identified as priority [data is available
under the career clusters on the The National
Association of State Directors of Career Technical
Education Consortium website at ]), and Regional
Request (an LWIA received approval of a request to
add an occupation code to its EDR list based on substantiative
data and information supporting a need in the region).
NOTE: Only those occupations with a Source of Regional
Demand or State Wide will be eligible for incentive
bonus award under the Minimum Training Expenditure
policy requirements.

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Animal Scientists - Occupation Overview

  • Most study pigs, cows, and chickens
  • Use computer software
  • Work in labs or offices
  • Have at least a bachelor's degree
  • About 10 percent are self-employed
  • Earn $50,768 per year (Illinois median)
  • Earn $61,680 per year (national median)

Animal scientists conduct research. They try to develop better animal products and healthier animals.

Animal scientists study animals. Most of their work concerns livestock, such as pigs, cows, and chickens. Some study domestic animals, such as cats and dogs.

Animal scientists may study:

  • Animal diets
  • Animal production
  • Animal management practices

Regardless of the topic they study, animal scientists have many tasks in common. They read articles and attend conferences to learn more about their research area. They determine research questions and design experiments to study those questions. Depending on the type of animal they study, scientists conduct experiments in a lab or at a farm. They may work with the animals themselves, or have research assistants do much of the work for them. If they have assistants, scientists train them to conduct the research and keep records.

Animal diets
Some animal scientists study animals' diets. They try to find the best mix of foods to raise healthy animals. They also try to determine the nutritional needs of animals. Some animals need more vitamins, minerals, or protein than others. This affects the type of food they need. Animal scientists may develop special foods for animals, or just suggest what animals should be fed.

Animal production
Animal scientists also study topics such as breeding, genetics, production and management, and environmental conditions. They may also try to introduce new characteristics into animals. For example, they may breed chickens that lay more eggs. Animal scientists also try to reduce the cost of raising animals and processing animal products.

Animal management practices
Animal scientists often advise animal producers. They study management decisions, including how animals are fed, housed, and processed, to see how these practices affect production levels. They recommend ways to improve disease control in animals and the quality of animal products.



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