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Career and Education Opportunities for Zoologists in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Zoologist career and educational opportunities abound in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The national trend for zoologists sees this job pool growing by about 12.8% over the next eight years. In general, zoologists study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife.

Zoologists earn about $29 per hour or $61,520 yearly on average in Michigan and about $26 per hour or $55,290 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as zoologists in Michigan earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: wildlife technician, ecologist, and fisheries biologist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a zoologist, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. Zoologists usually hold a Master's degree, so it will take about six years to learn to be a zoologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.


Zoologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, zoologists study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. They also may specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

Zoologists disseminate data by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs. They also inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations. Finally, zoologists make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.

Every day, zoologists are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for zoologists to study characteristics of animals such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases and distribution. They are often called upon to analyze characteristics of animals to pinpoint and classify them. They also study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry. They are sometimes expected to collect and dissect animal specimens and examine specimens under microscope. Somewhat less frequently, zoologists are also expected to oversee the care and distribution of zoo animals, working with curators and zoo directors to establish the best way to contain animals, maintain their habitats and oversee facilities.

Zoologists sometimes are asked to ready collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease. And finally, they sometimes have to direct preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases.

Like many other jobs, zoologists must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Rapids include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.


Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has a master's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.


Associate Certified Entomologist: The Entomological Society of America, long the industry leader in certification through its Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) program, is pleased to announce a new certification option geared specifically toward the pest management industry.

For more information, see the Entomological Society of America website.

Certified Manager of Animal Resources: The Certified Manager Animal Resources (CMAR) certification program is designed to raise competency and professionalism in the field of Animal Resources Management.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.