Love Animals? Learn About Careers That Involve Helping Animals
Who doesn’t find it pleasurable to cuddle up with a kitty or to throw ol’ Fido a Frisbee to fetch?
And birds are both beautiful and entertaining to watch as they perch on your birdfeeder out back, aren’t they?
Don’t forget the squirrels: they’re quite adorable as they race around and around a tree trunk, chasing each other and making excited little chirping noises.
(Almost) everyone loves animals…but there are some folks…you perhaps…who find it especially fulfilling to be around animals, maybe to protect them; and certainly to participate in their well –being.
You might have grown up around animals, and this fact imprinted your personality, so that you came to be quite fond of the care, breeding and raising (animal husbandry, in professional terms) of your feathery and furry friends.
As it’s now time for you to earn an income, you might be wondering if you can somehow continue to work with your beloved animals!
It’s possible that you just don’t know how to market your skill with animals.
Here’s an idea: why not skim through the jobs we list, below? It’s just a beginning, but will help you realize that you’ve got plenty of options.
If any of the positions resonate with you, look into further information at your local library. Or, Google for some more details. Too, you might simply contact one of the establishments we mention.
The goal is to combine your passionate avocation with an income-producing job in the field. What could be better than that?
Incidentally, the Department of Labor has indicated that some job openings having to do with animals will actually INCREASE in the coming years.
In a few cases, you’ll find that a spot in the list takes some educational preparation –well worth it—but there are tons of jobs, overall, in the field.
Remember: Whether prior training is mandatory or whether an on-the-job learning will be the only educational requirement you encounter while job searching, if you truly love animals, why not spend your days surrounded by your beasty buddies?
As you know, animals can sense affection; your job will be all that much more rewarding when Pandora purrs contentedly as you groom her, or when Samson greets you at the door, tail a waggin’, every time you respond to a call to sit him.
Super! OK, let’s examine a few top choices for those who love working with animals.
- Animal Trainer – if you’ve got what it takes to mix no-nonsense discipline with your affection, animals thrive on a dose of both. (They also need plenty of exercise, which you, as an animal trainer, will participate in.) Animal trainers require mega-patience and they must be aware of how animals “work”, as opposed to how humans do. For instance, much more repetition is usually needed when dealing with animals. Yes, humans require repetition, too, but not quite as much.
If you make your career the training of race horses, or of show horses, you will find that you can pull in clients who have more than one horse they wish trained. The going rate for such training sessions is around $500 to $1,000 per month. Keep in mind that an apprenticeship is required; you’ll spend some time with a gal or a fellow who is doing what you will soon be doing.
Horses are not the only animals which are trained. Performing dogs, seals, etc., and service animals – usually seeing-eye dogs—need trainers who have apprenticed, and, perhaps taken a course or two in animal physiology. There are also plenty of animal training institutions available, and these can be searched for online.
- Pet Groomers and Pet Sitters – this position requires less in the way of formal education than hands-on experience, although, with grooming, there are courses available (information can be had online) to teach how each animal can best be groomed. You can either work for an existing animal boutique, animal veterinarian, or for yourself.
These “beauticians” groom domestic pets, as well as show animals. Pet groomers are usually in high demand, as pet owners, as well as the owners of expensive show and race breeds, understandably all want their animals to look and feel their best.
A typical fee for dog grooming seems to average just under $25.00, per dog. Animal trainers make just under $31,000 per year, on average. Those who work with animals that appear in the motion picture industry have been known to make much more, but these jobs are few and far in between. Note: Animal groomers are sometimes advertised for under the title: Animal Care Technicians.
- Pet Walker or Pet Sitter – This is a field that is always busy; you will never lack for clients. Many walkers and sitters literally work back-to-back, going from one on-site spot to another in a nearby town. Once a client base has been established, and your reputation as a person who is good with animals; responsible, trustworthy and who evinces obvious care for both the animals and his or her clients is well known , the calls or texts for business will start coming in.
Most successful walkers and sitters make it a point to never let a client down. Once word gets around that you are dependable and caring, you will be called every time the client has to leave town… and often during the holidays.
You will be asked to play with, feed and water the animals, as well as to exercise them. On occasion, you will most likely be asked to stop by pet supply stores to pick up items for the animals. There are some clients who also need you to drive their pets to special exercise parks, or to the vet’s.
Pet walkers and pet sitters make in the ballpark of $19 per “sit”, and have roughly 100 clients per year. (Some of these are repeat clients.)
This can work out to just under $50,000 per annum, to help care for these much loved “family members”.
A few other options for you to look into are: Pet acupuncturist and pet nutritionist; zookeeper and zookeeper’s assistant; horse jockey; exotic bird breeder; pet store owner; fisherman and fisherwoman; shelter worker; marine biologist; wildlife rehabilitator, and animal rights activist or advocate.
So there you have it. You are in good company, by the way. Many, many children who have grown up surrounded by animals—perhaps on a farm or when their family kept horses—decided early on that they’d become a vet, a horse groomer, a rodeo rider, etc. It can be safely said that the animals “grew on them”.
And just as these ambitious kids eventually did pursue their dreams to be of service to animals, we have no doubt that you, as someone who dotes on animals just as much… and who receives great satisfaction from ensuring that furry, feathered and even finned creatures are well cared for…will find a job working with animals.