Can You Become an Animal Behaviorist With a Psychology Degree?


Diego Sanchez

If you have a degree in psychology and a love for animals, becoming an animal behaviorist might seem like the perfect career path. But can you really become an animal behaviorist with just a psychology degree? Let’s explore this question further.

What is Animal Behavior?

Before we dive into the requirements for becoming an animal behaviorist, it’s important to understand what animal behavior is. Animal behavior is the study of how animals interact with their environment, other animals, and humans.

What is an Animal Behaviorist?

An animal behaviorist is a professional who studies the behavior of animals and works to modify or change that behavior. They may work with pets, zoo animals, or even wild animals in their natural habitats. An animal behaviorist can help pet owners address issues like aggression, anxiety, or phobias in their pets.

Requirements for Becoming an Animal Behaviorist

While there are no formal requirements for becoming an animal behaviorist, having a degree in psychology or a related field can be beneficial. This is because psychology provides a strong foundation in understanding human and animal behavior.

However, to become a certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB), you must have at least a master’s degree in biology, psychology or another relevant field. In addition to this education requirement, you will need at least two years of supervised hands-on experience working with animals.

Additional Skills Required

In addition to education and experience requirements, certain skills are necessary for success as an animal behaviorist:

1. Patience: Working with animals requires patience as it takes time to see results from behavioral modifications.

2. Communication Skills: Being able to communicate effectively with pet owners is crucial for success as an animal behaviorist.

3. Observation Skills: Observing and analyzing an animal’s behavior is a critical part of the job.

4. Problem-Solving Skills: Developing effective treatment plans for animals requires problem-solving skills.


While having a degree in psychology can be beneficial, becoming an animal behaviorist requires more than just a degree. You need to have hands-on experience working with animals, as well as possess certain skills like patience, communication, observation, and problem-solving. With the right education and experience, however, becoming an animal behaviorist can be a rewarding career for those who love animals.