If you are an animal lover and interested in exploring new opportunities in different environments, you might consider a zoology jobs abroad. Since zoologists traditionally study animal characteristics, behaviors, and the impact that humans have on the natural habitats and lives of animals, working abroad in wildlife science will provide opportunities to not only study animals, but also the different ways in which humans affect the lives of animals cross-culturally. Choosing to expand work abroad in zoology and wildlife science will give you an undoubtedly more well-rounded perspective of the field, and a range of new skills and experiences to build your career from.
Working abroad is a win-win situation for zoology and wildlife science professionals! Working abroad in zoology will not only expand the qualifications and skills on your resume, it will also allow you to develop a cultural competency for working with people from around the world, which will be important if you are ever assigned to conduct fieldwork or research abroad in the future. Zoology and the wildlife sciences are fields of study that can take you anywhere in the world, since researching and caring for exotic animals only present in specific ecosystems will require you to travel.
Experiencing the field abroad will expand your understanding of the field, by allowing you to spend time learning and studying new approaches to the study of wildlife firsthand. The skills and experience you can gain by working abroad in zoology go far beyond the field, as you will develop secondary skills that are extremely important in the global job market of today, such as communication skills and adaptability.
Animal treatment and environmental standards are different in every country, so it is best to do your research on cultural differences before applying for a wildlife job abroad. Some countries stand out as being unique when it comes to wildlife science and zoology more than others; here are a just a few to get you started on your search for a zoology job abroad:
Australia. Known for its impressive array of wildlife, many species are only found in Australia, which makes it a desirable destination for zoologists and wildlife scientists alike. The Australia Zoo is a 100 acre zoo located in Queensland, Australia, well-known internationally as the home of the late Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter and owner of the zoo). With exhibits that include The Crocoseum, Africa, Tiger Temple, Elephantasia, South-East Asian Precinct, and the Rainforest Aviary, it’s clear there is a great degree of wildlife diversity housed in Australia.
New Zealand. If wildlife conservation is more your thing, then look no further; New Zealand’s Department of Conservation holds 30 percent of the land and one percent of the marine environment solely for conservation and recreational purposes. New Zealand prioritizes conservation immensely due to a fairly large native population of unique animal species. Zoology jobs in New Zealand are perfect for those interested in outdoor activities, fieldwork, and working one on one with some of nature’s finest creatures.
South Africa. SANParks manages all of South African National Parks, which consists of a total of 22 parks; this is roughly four percent of the total land area of South Africa! South Africa does have game reserves, which lately have been in the news and under major scrutiny. These game reserves are areas where wild animals roam free safely or are hunted in a controlled way for sport. However, in general, most game reserves in South Africa have anti-poaching laws. Kruger National Park is one of the largest parks in South Africa covering about 7,500 square miles. Wildlife jobs abroad in South Africa might even give you the chance to work with the big five animals.
When looking for zoology jobs abroad, be sure to decide beforehand what kind of responsibilities and environment you desire to work in, as positions vary from conservation work to technical laboratory positions. Overall, wildlife jobs abroad are most often available in zoos, national parks, and conservation centers.
Research. Zoologists and wildlife scientists tend to work in teams in order to conduct research on both the environment and various wildlife species. This means you may be cooped up in a laboratory if you are assigned tasks related to conducting tests and experiments, so be sure you are okay with this type of work prior to pursuing a wildlife job abroad. On the other hand, you could be tasked with collecting samples, which would likely take you away from the lab some of the time.
Fieldwork. The environment you will be working in will differ depending on the responsibilities of your job and your preferred interests within the field of wildlife science. You may be outside in the field gathering information and studying particular wildlife for long hours every day. This may mean you will be directly exposed to different types of animal behaviors, and even smells, that may or may not be pleasant all the time. Be sure to keep in mind both the positives and negatives of each zoology job abroad before accepting a position.
Requirements. Although knowing the local language is not mandatory to work abroad in zoology typically, it will still be ideal for international workers to understand the native language in order to better communicate with coworkers during their time abroad, if nothing else. Most zoology jobs abroad will require applicants to have a bachelor's degree to be hired. Some wildlife jobs abroad will require employees to work the average 40 hour work week, however, due to the timing of research and fieldwork, hours of work can become irregular at times. It is also important to remember that your work schedule will likely depend on the waking or sleeping hours of the species you are working with, so if you want to work with a nocturnal species be prepared.
Salary. Zoologists and wildlife researchers can expect to earn an average of $60,000 annually, depending on the role, location, and responsibilities of each position.
If you are passionate about wildlife and zoology and you want to see animals up close and personal in their natural habitats, then wildlife jobs abroad will be enjoyable, and beneficial, for you!
By expanding your cultural horizons and learning about different environments, you’ll widen your professional portfolio, but you’ll also be making yourself a more attractive future employee. Employers will be able to see the diversity of your work experience immediately when they look at your resume, and you will have plenty of stories to share to illustrate your professional skills too!