If you've been considering a career in zoology, you may have wondered, how much does a zoologist earn? Your zoology salary varies by state and region, and is also dependent on the level of education you have completed, where your employer is located, and the industry average in your area. If you have extensive work experience or have chosen to specialize in a certain field, you will likely earn more than the average zoology salary in your area. You will be able to discuss wage and salary information during or after your interview with a potential employer, but it's usually a good idea to review salary ranges in your area before you interview for a position.

Average Zoologist Salaries

Average zoologist salaries and wages for wildlife biologist jobs range from $28,000 to $74,000 in 2011. This includes bonuses and profit sharing.

Industries and organizations that typically hire qualified zoologists and wildlife biologists include: environmental research firms; environmental consulting agencies; government organizations; zoos; and colleges and university research centers. Salary ranges for these industries typically range from $35,000 to $65,000.

Most jobs require candidates to have between one to four years of experience, but many candidates have between 5 and 19 years of experience in the field. Zoologist salaries are typically higher than the average when the candidate has several years of experience.

How Much Does a Zoologist Earn?

Most entry-level positions in the field will command salaries below $35,000. If you are wondering how much does a zoologist earn, you may be able to find more accurate data by talking with your college advisor or career counselor about salary ranges in your state and region. Government organizations and established environmental research firms typically offer a higher pay scale than some zoos, research centers and private consulting firms.

The median annual wages of zoologists and wildlife biologists were $55,000 in May 2008. The lowest percentile earned less than $33,000 while the highest 10 percent earned more than $90,000.

Negotiating a Zoology Salary

Many aspiring zoologists and individuals interested in working in the field of zoology are surprised to learn that many positions command such a low zoology salary. Unlike other research scientist and biologist positions, a career in zoology does not pay in the six-figure range unless you have worked for an organization for several years and have an extensive educational background. Averages starting zoology salaries for those who hold only a bachelor's degree in zoology are typically in the mid-$20,000 to lower $30,000 range. While you may be able to negotiate a zoology salary and increase your salary with the help of bonuses, profit sharing programs and attractive benefits packages, you may not be eligible to command a very high salary when first starting out, or even at the mid-career level.

Most people who are successful in this career path are truly passionate about what they do and are not working in this industry for the money. If you are interested in advancing in your career and earning a higher salary, you may need to wait several years as you gain work experience and work for organizations that already offer a higher-than-average pay scale.