Careers for Animal Science and Dairy Science Graduates

The Department of Animal Sciences offers two major programs - Animal Science and Dairy Science

Both of these majors also have the option to specialize in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The information on this page describes some of the most common entry positions for graduates. The average starting salary for 2021-2022 graduates was $45,584 for students graduating with a B.S. in animal science and $48,500 for dairy science. The 2021-2022 placement rate was 99.5% for animal science majors and 100% for dairy science majors. 

Common Career Areas

Animal science can be applied to a wide variety of careers and industries. Find some of the many options listed below:

1. Animal production and general agribusiness: livestock herdsperson, horse unit manager, kennel manager, and more. 

2. Agricultural sales and marketing: animal health salesperson, nutrition consultant, livestock product specialist, urban pet food distributor, animal/livestock marketer, feed/equipment/semen salesperson. 

3. Agricultural business and finance: agricultural loan officer, small business management trainee, purchasing or merchandising agent for commodities (including international). 

4. Animal promotion and information: commodity checkoff organizations, feature article writer, advertising and marketing, animal breed associations, export, and member services; USDA livestock reporting services; DHIA (dairy herd improvement association) supervisor. 

5. Dairy food and meat science: APHIS (animal-plant health inspection service) quality insurance; 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. 

6. Veterinary medicine careers require 4 years additional professional education. Careers include: private practice in small, large, or mixed animal practices; state and federal government inspection services, military, industry research and technical services. 

7. Advanced degree and biotechnology: career market is determined by degree. Bachelor  degree focused on biotechnology may lead to work in research laboratories at university, industry or government locations. 

To view a record of starting salaries for graduates, click here.

A wide variety of companies employ graduates with degrees in animal science. Below, we’ve listed some of the companies that have hired Iowa State animal science and/or dairy science graduates post-graduation.

  • ABS
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • Elanco Animal Health
  • USDA
  • Walt Disney Company
  • Purina Animal Nutrition
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
  • Cactus Family Farms
  • Merck
  • Corteva
  • Petco
  • Cargill
  • Westwood Embryo Services
  • Hy-line North America
  • Sea World

To see more companies, view the Detailed Departmental First Destination Placement Information on the CALS Career Services website.

Click here to visit CALS Career Services Offices