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What are the Different Types of Behaviorist Jobs?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated: Jan 21, 2024

Behaviorist jobs range from those who work with wild or domesticated animals to psychologists who study how human beings react to their environment and experiences. Jobs exist in teaching, research, at conservation organizations, and in the field. Some behaviorist jobs are available at zoos, aquariums, and museums. Dog trainers and horse trainers represent behaviorist jobs that help animals develop positive traits to meet their owners' desires.

Horse trainers might be employed to prepare equines for competition or show. Horse racing operations also use animal behaviorists who understand how horses might benefit from specific training. To obtain a job in equine behavior, a person may need to pass exams to become certified, depending on the region he or she plans to work in. Horse behaviorists should be experienced in grooming, handling, and nutrition needs of these animals.

Animal behaviorists study how a species acts and how its environment affects its ability to survive and reproduce. Studies include how an animal obtains food and avoids predators in the wild. Mating habits and methods of caring for offspring represent other areas commonly examined. Animal behaviorists try to determine how the species changes over a lifetime and whether changes are attributed to experience or genetic factors.

Some behaviorist jobs aim to improve breeding techniques by work in the field or in laboratories. These people enjoy working with animals and should have good communication skills with the owners. Learning to read animal body language is a plus in this profession, especially when dealing with large species. People in this profession might get positions as researchers or teachers.

Other jobs may exist at wildlife sanctuaries that attempt to manage resources for survival of a certain species. Conservation organizations typically rely on animal behaviorists when attempting to re-introduce captive animals into their natural habitats. These groups may also seek advice on the best design for nature preserves to reduce stress on wild creatures during rehabilitation.

Behaviorist jobs in psychology commonly help people understand their interactions with other people. Some behaviorists believe external and internal factors alter how people act, based on what they have learned. Child behaviorists are skilled in identifying what motivates youngsters to change negative behavior.

Students aiming for behaviorist jobs commonly study a wide range of courses. These might include animal science, zoology, psychology, and biology. Some also take classes in anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary sciences.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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