What is an Educator?
Animal science education occurs at many high schools and universities around the country. High School animal science education programs are found at those schools that offer an Agricultural Education option for their students. At the university level animal science educators typically teach undergraduate and graduate students and can also provide outreach education to the general public. As an educator in animal science, you will take what you learned from your education and practical experiences and help the next generation of students discover, explore, and appreciate the world of animals.
An educator transfers knowledge to students in an effective manner using a variety of different teaching techniques. The level at which you are teaching – high school or university – will dictate the type of learning and teaching you will use to introduce students to the scientific and practical aspects of animal science. As an educator you will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of animals in the particular area of expertise that you are teaching.
In the animal science field, educators find themselves both in classrooms and in the field, so teaching requires both textbook study and hands-on experience with live animals. As an educator, it is important that you remain knowledgeable about current topics in animal science since advances in technology are being introduced into the field constantly.
How do I become an Educator?
Animal science educators can be found in elementary, middle and high schools. Requirements for teaching licensure and certification will vary depending on the type of school you want to work in and the state you live in. The majority of animal science educators have a bachelor’s degree in animal science or a related field. Many prospective educators obtain a master’s degree in education prior to beginning their teaching careers. In addition, educators must have excellent communication skills and the ability to work with a variety of people.
Public school teachers are required to demonstrate proficiency in the core teaching areas dictated by their undergraduate majors and may be required to complete a post-baccalaureate teaching certification programs. (offered by many universities and colleges). Often, private and parochial schools do not require education beyond the bachelor’s degree but it is advised that you consider obtaining teaching certification in order to increase the number of jobs available to you.
With a master’s in education and an undergraduate degree in a specialized area, animal scientists can teach the next generation of animal lovers at high schools that offer agricultural education, community colleges, and in some instances, universities.
Although it is possible to be a temporary lecturer at a university with a master’s degree, to become a tenure-track professor you will need a doctoral degree. When teaching at the university level you will not only teach future animal scientists but could also conduct research or provide outreach in specialized areas.
Often, graduates with an undergraduate degree can teach seminars, work at camps or locations where there are abundant wildlife species, and share their knowledge in a non-academic setting.
Non-traditional educator positions also exist. For example, an educator could be the resident expert for:
- a whale watching boat,
- a zoo, or
- an aquarium.
Often times graduates from undergraduate institutions can teach seminars, work at camps or in locations where there are abundant wildlife species and share their knowledge in a non-academic setting.
Where can I find information about Educators?
If you are interested in teaching in your state’s public school system, contact the local department of education to find out about potential openings. Also, local newspapers often advertise for teaching positions so be sure to look at the classified section.
If you are looking for a more specialized teaching position, check the Animal Science department or the Cooperative Extension Service at your university – often jobs for professors, lecturers and adult educators at other universities are posted there.
Also visit the Website for the American Society of Animal Science.It has a section for job openings that may be helpful in your job search.
Will I enjoy being an Educator?