Animal Scientists: Salary Overview
Animal scientists specialize in researching the genetics of farm animals and aspects related to domestic farm animal nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development.
Most of the time animal scientists conduct research in order to find optimal ways to ensure animal productivity and food production.
They also play an important role in ensuring that the food we eat is healthy and safe.
In other words, animal scientists try to find the most efficient way to produce healthy meat, eggs, poultry, and milk.
They spend many hours in the laboratory where they test samples but may also be responsible for collecting those samples.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for animal scientists was $60,300 per year as of May 2019.
Salaries in this profession vary based on a wide range of factors, including the animal scientist’s level of experience and skills but also based on the industry and the region of employment.
The top 10 percent earned more than $111,740 while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,260 per year.
Animal Scientist Salary by Industry
According to BLS, the biggest employers for animal scientists in the United States are colleges, universities, and professional schools, companies that provide support activities for animal production, and companies that work in scientific research and development services.
The average annual salary reported by animal scientists who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools was $54,460 per year as of May 2019.
Higher salaries were reported by animal scientists who worked for businesses that provide support activities for animal production.
These companies provide services such as artificial insemination and mating of breeding animals, herd testing services, livestock care, droving services, or rental of pastures.
Animal scientists who worked in this field earned, on average, $67,130 per year.
The mean annual salary was $74,420 for animal scientists who worked in the field of scientific research and development services and $80,210 for animal scientists who worked for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers.
Animal scientists who work for pharmaceutical companies try to develop new drugs and medical products.
Merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods offered a mean annual wage of $87,000 to animal scientists.
According to the report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest mean salary was reported by animal scientists who worked for the federal executive branch, a field that hired only a few animal scientists in 2019.
The average annual salary for animal scientists who worked in this field was $115,810.
The second-highest paying fields for animal scientists were companies that provide services in the management of companies and enterprises field.
This sector hired only several animal scientists who were paid, on average with $98,270 per year.
Animal Scientist Salary by Level of Experience
Salaries for animal scientists vary not only depending on the industry of employment but also based on their education and experience.
As a newly graduate, you will most likely earn a salary that is closer to the minimum for this profession, which means that will earn a salary in the $35,000-$40,000 range per year.
After earning about 5 years of experience, your salary may move closer to the 25th percentile in the animal scientist salary distribution, which is $47,300 per year.
Animal scientists who have more than 15 years of experience may earn a salary that is closer to the 75th percentile, or $80,830.
Most experienced scientists who work for higher-paying industries may earn more than $110,000-$120,000 a year.
However, you should also take into account the fact that salaries for animal scientists vary widely depending on the industry of employment and a scientist with 2-3 years of experience working for a medicine manufacturer may earn more than an experienced animal scientist who worked for a college or university.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Animal Scientists. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.