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Animal Science Associate Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Danel Redelinghuys - March 21, 2022


Animal science is an excellent major if you love animals and want to pursue a career that involves caring for and studying them. You will learn about subjects such as animal husbandry and the care of companion animals. An animal science associate degree provides you with hands-on experience and can open many career paths.

If you are interested in an animal science degree, read this article to learn about the various animal science degree requirements. Below we will discuss the best colleges for animal science, in addition to the top animal scientist jobs and salaries.

What Is Animal Science?

Animal science is the study of domestic livestock and companion animals like dogs and birds. Understanding these animals is essential because they provide fiber, food products, labor, and fellowship. Animal scientists study these animals to help us understand them and their needs. Animal science is a broad field with many subfields and applications.

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What Is an Animal Science Associate Degree?

An animal science associate degree is a two-year program that teaches students about animal behavior, nutrition, reproduction processes, and animal management. Students will learn about companion animals, including cats and dogs, as well as domestic livestock animals, such as cattle.

When completing an Associate Degree in Animal Science, you’ll need to tackle many courses, including animal nutrition and anatomy, methods of animal training, veterinary economics, and animal reproductive management. If you are interested in science and are an animal lover, this is the perfect degree for you.

Animal Science Associate Degree Requirements

You need a high school diploma to qualify for an animal science associate degree. Some schools will ask for your high school transcripts and may require a certain GPA. Other program requirements will differ depending on the educational institute you decide to attend. Students must complete 60 to 70 credit hours throughout their two-year degree program to be eligible for graduation.

How Much Does an Animal Science Associate Degree Cost?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) mentioned that the average cost of an associate degree ranges between $16,445 and $19,304. However, tuition fees vary greatly depending on whether you study on campus or online.

Animal Science Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Animal Science Degree

Students can pay for their associate degree using cash or by obtaining a private or government loan. Some colleges and universities also offer financial aid such as student employment, scholarships, and grants to assist with tuition costs.

Best Animal Science Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Aims Community College Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science The Higher Learning Commission
Casper College Associate of Science in Animal Science The Higher Learning Commission
Central Wyoming College Associate of Science in Equine Science The Higher Learning Commission
College of Southern Idaho Associate of Science in Animal Science The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Ellsworth Community College Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science The Higher Learning Commission
Northeast Community College Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science The Higher Learning Commission
Suny Cobleskill Associate of Applied Science in Dairy Production and Management Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Suny Morrisville Associate of Applied Science in Dairy Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Tillamook Bay Community College Associate of Science in Animal Science The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
University of Connecticut Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science The Council for Higher Education

Best Colleges for Animal Science: Top Animal Science Associate Degree Programs

Many outstanding educational institutions offer associate degrees in the field of animal science. The section below will discuss the top ten programs and institutions for students interested in this major.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Animal Science | Aims Community College

Aims community college is in Colorado, which is known for its leading agriculture and ranching industries. Their AAS in Animal Science offers hands-on experience while learning valuable career skills like the care of livestock, agricultural economics, and the physiology of farm animals.

Associate of Science (AS) in Animal Science | Casper College

Casper College started in 1945 and is an accredited college in Casper, Wyoming. Its AS in Animal Science teaches students academic and practical skills needed for the animal agriculture industry, such as reproduction, animal feeding, health management of breeding, and animal handling basics.

Associate of Science in Equine Science | Central Wyoming College

Niche rated Central Wyoming College (CWC) as one of the best colleges of 2021. CWC offers many degree programs and lifelong learning opportunities. Its AS in Equine Science teaches students about equine nutrition, horse training, horsemanship, and horse production.

Associate of Science in Animal Science | College of Southern Idaho (CSI)

CSI conducted its first classes in 1965 and grew from there. CSI awarded 1,119 degrees during the 2018 to 2019 academic year. Its animal science program teaches students valuable information, including how to maintain healthy animals, what affects agricultural markets, and how to select the best animals for production.

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Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science | Ellsworth Community College (ECC)

ECC forms part of the Iowa Valley College District and has around 1,000 students. The college also has a favorable ratio of students to faculty. Students completing an AAS in Animal Science gain animal care, production, management, and animal health skills. This program focuses on domestic animals such as dogs, dairy cattle, and sheep.

Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science | Northeast Community College

Northeast Community College offers more than 130 programs and concentrations with a faculty to student ratio of 17 to one. Their AAS in Animal Science concentrates on marketing, breeding, feeding, and the selection of livestock. Students will learn about production technologies and animal management.

Associate of Applied Science in Dairy Production and Management | Suny Cobleskill

At Suny Cobleskill, students obtain real-world knowledge because this institute focuses on hands-on learning. The AAS in Dairy Production and Management ensures animal science students gain herd management, production, animal nutrition, dairy industry analysis, and herd reproduction skills.

Associate of Applied Science in Dairy Science | Suny Morrisville

Suny Morrisville is an excellent school with around 3,000 students. It has over 50 agriculture-focused degree programs available. The AAS in Dairy Science emphasizes practical experience. The college has 150 dairy cows on campus so students can develop hands-on skills. The program is focused on the management of dairy cattle.

Associate of Science in Animal Science | Tillamook Bay Community College

Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) has class sizes of 10 to 12 students, allowing each animal science instructor to spend time with each student. Students who enroll in this program will learn about the reproduction process of animals, as well as their diets and behavior.

Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science | University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut was founded in 1941 and offers an animal science associate degree through the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. Its animal science program focuses on equine studies or production agriculture to prepare students to work in the animal agriculture industry.

Best Online Animal Science Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Ashworth College Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Casper College Associate of Science in General Agriculture The Higher Learning Commission
Colby Community College Associate of Science in Equine Science The Higher Learning Commission
Dickinson State University Associate of Science in Agricultural Sales and Service The Higher Learning Commission
Medaille College Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Penn Foster University Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities
Purdue University Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Nursing The Higher Learning Commission
Stautzenberger College Associate in Applied Science in Animal Welfare Business Administration Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
St. Petersburg College Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Wayne Community College Associate in Applied Science in Animal Science Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Colleges for Animal Science: Top Online Animal Science Associate Degree Programs

As there are many colleges that offer fantastic programs in animal science, it can be very daunting to find the best ones. Below we will look at the top 10 online associate of science degree programs in animal science.

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology | Ashworth College

Ashworth College opened in 1987 and has been offering online programs ever since. The AS in Veterinary Technology ensures that students learn about animal biology, basic veterinary procedures, laboratory procedures, and more. The curriculum will prepare students for a variety of animal health careers.

Associate of Science in General Agriculture | Casper College

If you study in Casper College’s online programs, you will work with and learn from award-winning professors. They offer an AS in General Agriculture that you can tailor to animal science.

Associate of Science in Equine Science | Colby Community College

Colby Community college started in 1964 and has grown into an institute offering more than 50 programs to 1,900 students. Its AS in Equine Science focuses on management, breeding, nutrition, and training in the equine industry.

Associate of Science in Agricultural Sales and Service | Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University was established in 1918 and keeps class sizes small, ensuring a low student-to-faculty ratio for an optimal class experience. Students studying an AS in Agricultural Sales and Service can focus on equine training or equine management.

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology | Medaille College

Medaille College started offering online programs in 2010. In 2020 it had a 95 percent faculty and student interaction rating. The online AS in Veterinary Technology involves participating in laboratory exercises and diagnostics.

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology | Penn Foster University

Pen Forster University has assisted people with learning for 125 years and has over 40,000 students enrolled at the institution. An AS in Veterinary Technology helps students gain knowledge, including animal anatomy, healthcare, nutrition, and animal medicine.

Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Nursing | Purdue University

Purdue University started providing classes in 1874 and now offers off-campus learning and over 175 online programs. The AS in Veterinary Nursing teaches students an assortment of skills necessary to become veterinary nurses.

Associate in Applied Science in Animal Welfare Business Administration | Stautzenberger College

Stautzenberger traces its career-training roots back to 1926. It has flexible classes and offers career services to help students get exciting opportunities. Their AAS in Animal Welfare Business Administration assists students with gaining knowledge about animal welfare, administration, health, and nutrition.

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology | St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg University started offering degree programs in 1927 and ranks first in Florida for its alumni earning the highest salaries after graduation. Its AS degree in Veterinary Technology includes animal nursing and anatomy subjects.

Associate in Applied Science in Animal Science Technology | Wayne Community College

Wayne Community College started offering educational programs in 1958 and provides an online AAS in Animal Science Technology. This program focuses on livestock, swine, and poultry, while covering animal reproduction, health, and many other subjects.

What’s the Average Animal Science Associate Degree Salary?

A woman with a blue denim shirt on leading a dark brown horse in a corral Associate Degrees in Animal Science
Studying animal science prepares you to work in various animal industries.

According to ZipRecruiter, animal scientists earn an average annual salary of $53,613 . However, animal scientists who go into ranch management earn a high wage of $68,090.  Overall, this field has a favorable salary, making studying animal science a good idea.

Top Animal Science Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Animal Science Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Ranch Manager $68,090
Animal Breeder $43,930
Veterinary Technician $36,260
Veterinary Assistant $29,930
Animal Care Specialist $26,370

Best Animal Science Associate Degree Jobs Explained

Ranch Manager

  • Average Salary: $68,090
  • Job Outlook: -1%
  • Number of Jobs: 5,670
  • Highest-Paying States: Hawaii and Minnesota

Ranch managers run establishments involved in producing livestock, crops, and dairy products. If the farm is large, the ranch manager will hire and manage people working on the ranch to ensure the completion of all necessary tasks related to animal production.

Animal Breeder

  • Average Salary: $43,930
  • Job Outlook: N/A
  • Number of Jobs: 920
  • Highest-Paying States: Pennsylvania and Idaho

Animal breeders observe animals and keep records to choose the strongest and best animals to breed. They breed animals with favorable genetics and characteristics to optimize domestic livestock production.

Veterinary Technician

  • Average Salary: $36,260
  • Job Outlook: 15%
  • Number of Jobs: 114,400
  • Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia and Connecticut

Veterinary technicians work closely with veterinarians in laboratories. They test specific animal samples to diagnose illnesses and injuries. They need good communication skills because they must explain medical procedures to animal owners.

Veterinary Assistant

  • Average Salary: $29,930
  • Job Outlook: 14%
  • Number of Jobs: 107,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Maine and Massachusetts

Veterinary assistants help veterinary technicians and veterinarians treat animal diseases and injuries. They also take care of animal hygiene, prescriptions, and well-being. They may also take necessary test samples. Critical thinking skills are important in this role.

Animal Care Specialist

  • Average Salary: $26,370
  • Job Outlook: 33%
  • Number of Jobs: 332,700
  • Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia and Hawaii

Animal care specialists manage many aspects of animal care. They take care of animal nutrition, hygiene, training, and grooming, and ensure animals have clean living spaces. Animal care specialists can work with domestic or companion animals.

Benefits of an Animal Science Associate Degree

  • You will be validated in the animal science field. With an animal science associate degree, you will be an accredited animal scientist and will have the skills to work with domestic livestock and companion animals.
  • You will learn about animal management. During your program, you will learn valuable skills for managing livestock, such as swine and sheep, to ensure profitable production in an agriculture career.
  • You will learn about animal health and nutrition. An animal science associate degree will teach you the knowledge necessary to keep animals healthy and maximize nutrition through healthy diets. You will also learn about animal feeds and animal health products.
  • You will learn about livestock production. As an animal science student, you will learn how to analyze the livestock production industry in order to make crucial decisions to improve production.
  • You will have many career opportunities. If you have an animal science associate degree, you can pursue careers including ranch manager, animal breeder, and more.

Should You Get an Associate Degree in Animal Science?

Yes, you should obtain an associate degree in animal science if you enjoy science, love animals, and want a career that combines both worlds. Complete an animal science associate degree so that you have the academic knowledge to pursue a job with animals .

Animal science majors should be interested in nutrition, management, and breeding livestock such as cattle and companion animals. Upon successful completion of your degree, you can become a veterinary technician , animal care specialist, or breeder.

Animal Science Associate Degree FAQ

What is the average salary of an animal scientist per month?

The average monthly salary of an animal scientist is $4,467. This amount is derived from the average annual wage mentioned on ZipRecruiter, which is $53,613.

What is the highest salary an animal scientist can earn?

According to ZipRecruiter, top animal scientists in the 90th percentile earn as much as $102,000 per year. In fact, there are many high-paying jobs for animal lovers .

Are there any animal science internships?

Yes, there are many internships available in the field of animal science. A quick search online will show you a variety of internship options.

Can I get a job in animal science without a degree?

Yes, you can get a job in animal science without a degree. If you don’t want to pursue a degree but are interested in working with animals, you can become a dog trainer or a veterinary support assistant. However, some jobs may require you to attend a one-year certificate program.

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Danel Redelinghuys

About the author: Danel is a content writer and English teacher. She has completed education about teaching English as a second language and individualized learning methods. She is eager to share her love for teaching and learning by helping others find their passions and access the tech industry.

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