Does your dream job involve working with animals all day? There are many jobs that involve working with animals, but some offer better opportunities for employment and a greater likelihood of spending time with animals. Working with animals can be messy and hectic, but for a true animal lover it’s worth all the trouble. A few job options to consider if you love animals:
Animal caretakers are responsible for the feeding, cleaning, and exercising of animals. They may work in zoos, animal shelters, pet clinics or laboratories. A high school diploma is required for most jobs. Animal caretakers earned a median annual wage of $21,260 per year in 2015. Projected growth for the field is 11% through 2024.*
Many pet owners don’t have time to walk their dogs as needed, so they hire dog walkers to do the job for them. Dog walkers can earn good money if they live in an area with a high population of busy professionals. If you want to start your own business as a dog walker, be sure to advertise at places where dog owners will be – vet offices, pet stores, groomers, dog parks.
As with dog walking, pet grooming can be a good business if you live in an area with a lot of potential clients. Pet groomers usually start out working for others before starting their own businesses. It’s important to know how to handle pets to minimize injuries to yourself and the animal. Pay will vary greatly depending on where you work, your employer, and services provided.
Veterinary technologists and technicians provide care and first aid to injured animals, run diagnostic tests, administer medications or vaccines, groom animals, and help restrain animals during exams. An associate’s degree in veterinary technology is required for most jobs. Veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual wage of $31,800 in 2015. Projected growth through 2024 is 19%.
Veterinarians diagnose and treat medical conditions in animals. Most work at veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. Veterinarians in rural areas may travel to farms in order to treat livestock. A doctorate degree is required in order to practice as a veterinarian. Veterinarians earned a median annual wage of $88,490 in 2015.
Before you decide to get a job working with animals, try volunteering at a local animal shelter so that you can get a feel for what working with animals is really like. Animals are cute but working with them may not be exactly what you envisioned.
*Growth and salary data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook