CAREERS FOR ANIMAL and
DAIRY SCIENCE GRADUATES


The following is an except from materials covered in Animal Science 311, a career development and resume preparation course. The information should be used as a guide to describe some of the most common entry positions for graduates in 2002. Average starting salaries for this year are predicted to be above $32,000.



The Department of Animal Sciences offers two major programs - Animal Science and Dairy Science - and formal pre-veterinary programs associated with each. Please browse the following link for a description of each.

Animal and Dairy Science study plans

The majors are further subdivided into career market areas called "Directional Studies" programs, found at the link provided above. The following section describes the career areas covered by each directional study. Further information on elective courses to select for each area is discussed in individual advisor/advisee sessions and is contained on the individual directional study sheets available in 119 or 123 Kildee Hall.

Animal production and general agribusiness
Careers include: livestock herdsperson, horse unit manager, kennel manager - all areas of direct work with animals. Starting salaries currently range from $25,000 - 37,000, but additional benefits often include housing, utilities, vehicle, and meat or milk allowance.

Agricultural sales and marketing
Careers include: animal health salesperson, nutrition consultant, livestock product specialist, urban pet food distributor, animal/livestock marketer, feed/equipment/semen salesperson. Starting salaries range from $26,000 to 45,000 and a car , cell phone and expense account are commonly added.

Agricultural business and finance
Careers include: agricultural loan officer, production credit (Federal Government) officer, small business management trainee, purchasing or merchandising agent for commodities. Starting salaries range from $26,000 - 35,000.

Animal promotion and information
Careers include: feature article writer, advertising development specialist, or marketer for major agricultural journals; animal breed association representative for sales development, export, and member services; USDA livestock reporting services; DHIA (dairy herd improvement association) supervisor. Starting salaries range from $25,000 to 32,000 with expense account and car/car expense often added.

Dairy food and meat science
Careers include: APHIS (animal-plant health inspection service) inspector; pet food research or manufacturing quality control officer; livestock buyer for meat processor; meat and dairy processing quality control supervisor; new foods development technician; and foods processing facility management trainee. Starting salaries range from a low of about $24,000 (government) to $45,000. Government positions usually include up to 18 month training period followed by significant salary increase and generally have the best benefits and vacation (4 weeks) package immediately upon startup.

Pre-veterinary medicine
Career requires 4 years additional professional education; entrance into Veterinary Medicine professional program is competitive. Careers include: private practice in small, large, or combined animal practices; state and federal government inspection services, military, industry research and technical services. Starting salaries after the completion of the DVM average about $48,000 for large animal practitioners and about $40,000 for companion animal practitioners.

Advanced degree and biotechnology
Career market is determined by degree. Bachelor's degree may lead to work in research laboratories at university, industry of government locations. Starting salaries generally range from $24,000 to 30,000. Advanced degrees: Entrance is competitive. Master's (M.S.) degrees are generally 3 year programs of coursework and research. Many variations of these programs exist. Careers include: research associate in industry, university or government laboratory, nutrition or breeding consultants, and community college instructors. Starting salaries range from $34,000 to 45,000. Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree usually follows successful completion of M.S. degree, but is still on competitive enrollment basis. Period of study ranges from 2 to 4 years after M.S. completion. Program is coursework and research based, with heavy emphasis on research. Careers include: University professor for research, extension, and/or teaching; industry researcher/project leader, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researcher. Starting salaries range from $45,000 to 65,000+.

International agriculture
International agriculture is generally combined with one of the previously described 7 areas. Careers include: government representative on international projects, international market development and sales, and Peace Corps. Salaries are very dependent upon degree attained and expertise. A major bonus is tax-free salary if you work outside the U.S. for over 18 months.




HIGH DEMAND FOR AG GRADUATES PREDICTED THROUGH 2005
During the next five years, agriculture students with science and marketing skills will be in high demand by employers, according to a new USDA-Purdue University report that forecasts employment opportunities in agriculture. Mike Gaul, director of agriculture career services at Iowa State, said the hottest employment opportunities will occur in the areas of food safety, food quality assurance, food production, horticulture and biotechnology. Gaul said jobs in these areas are popular because of the good economy and because Americans are very health conscious. According to the USDA-Purdue report, careers expected to be in greatest demand are food scientists and engineers, landscape horticulturists, plant geneticists and outdoor recreation specialists. Annual job openings in food and agricultural sciences are projected to be about 58,000 while the number of graduates qualified for those jobs will be approximately 57,000, according to the report. Contact Gaul, (515) 294-4725, or Barb McManus, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0707.

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