Around 70% of American households own a pet, which shows how much we love animals.
Pursuing an animal-based career is a great way to capitalize on your passion and enjoy a fulfilling work life. But, with so many options out there, it’s difficult knowing which route to take. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you’re on the hunt for a career that includes animals and needs a nudge in the right direction.
Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 jobs where you can work with animals.
Whether you become an online veterinarian or work in a practice, becoming a vet is the go-to option. Not only is it well-paid, but you dedicate your days to healing injured domestic animals. The beauty is that you needn’t study for years to pursue a role in the practice as you could become a veterinary technician or assistant.
2. Dog Trainer
When searching for careers with animals, it can feel overwhelming if you haven’t gone to college. Luckily, there are many options where you simply need experience handling critters, such as becoming a dog trainer. These professionals will conduct basic obedience training like teaching pooches to sit or heel.
If you’re interested, go the extra mile and become a police dog handler. Many forces across the U.S have a K9 unit where trainers teach dogs how to sniff out drugs, track suspects, and even identify explosives. The best way to pursue this role is by becoming a police officer and going through a rigorous selection process to start your training.
Or, become a seeing-eye dog trainer where you enroll in guide dog school. You’ll spend a huge amount of one-to-one time with pups to ensure they can properly help the visually impaired.
Further, equestrian therapy is huge because it helps patients develop mobility, improve their balance, and strengthen their muscles. Because of this, there’s a massive demand for therapeutic riding instructors who can care for horses and people at the same time. Note, you’ll need an instructor certification before teaching a lesson.
3. Marine Biologist
Anyone set on animal-based job opportunities should try becoming a marine biologist.
Although you won’t be cuddling animals, you can help them from afar by studying migratory patterns and the different behavior of marine species. Because of this, expect to spend large chunks of time at sea where you’ll compile data and write reports. Or, if you want to stay closer to home, consider becoming a professor or teacher where you can still capitalize on your passion.
Another great option is becoming a zoologist where you specialize in a variety of species. You could study how the climate is impacting wildlife or focus on an animal’s diet, depending on your interests. Note, most entry-level roles require a college degree, whether you focus solely on biology or specialize in zoology.
It also means that you can work at your local zoo or visit far-flung countries to study these creatures in their natural environments. Or, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, enjoy a role in a museum or educational facility where you can educate the public on your favorite animals.
4. Wildlife Conservationist
One of the top jobs with animals is becoming a wildlife conservationist.
This is the best role for anyone who loves endangered species and wants to reduce our impact on the wild. Most positions require you to go out into the field to take soil or water samples for contamination and educate the public on conservation. Generally, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in zoology or wildlife biology and apart from visiting new places, you can work in nature reserves or a zoo.
If you’re passionate about these types of animals, why not become a wildlife rehabilitator? As the name suggests, this is where you help creatures in the wild when they’re hurt because you have the expertise. For instance, you may care for wounds or even respond to emergencies like oil spills or hurricanes.
5. Pet Groomer
Another fantastic career opportunity is becoming a pet groomer.
It’s your goal to help pets look their best, thanks to a quick clean and trim. The great thing about this route is you can either work for an establishment or, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, rake in big bucks by opening your own place. Luckily, you needn’t enroll in college because training takes place on the job, so it’s wise to become an apprentice to develop the necessary skills.
Another interesting niche is becoming a pet bakery owner. Thanks to the rise of treats like doggy ice cream, animal lovers have opened establishments to sell premium-quality cakes, cookies, or snacks for our furry friends.
If you want to spend more time with animals, consider becoming a pet sitter.
You can either care for these critters in their own homes while their owners are away or travel. In this role, you must change water bowls, put out feet, and regularly clean out litter trays. And don’t forget, plenty of cuddles with the animal!
Too much of a commitment? Then, advertise yourself as a professional dog walker, so pups in your neighborhood get their daily exercise. Make sure you’re prepared with plenty of poop bags and treats to ensure that these pooches behave properly in public areas.
But check your local state’s laws as you may need a permit when handling over three dogs at one time.
6. Dog or Cat Breeder
Aside from being lucrative, becoming a dog or cat breeder is a fantastic way to keep your home filled with animals. You can decide which breed to focus on, according to characteristics and genealogy, and ensure that each litter is healthy. Plus, you’ll need to be a whiz at business and market your service, so that you have a steady stream of customers.
But if you want to breed zoo animals, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science.
7. Working for an Animal Charity
Anyone set on working with animals should collaborate with a charity like the ASPCA. You can either spend time caring for the residents or help keep it running in other ways. For instance, you could fundraise on behalf of the charity or contribute your marketing skills to grow the donor base.
You could also apply to manage your local animal shelter manager. This is where you cultivate a safe environment for abandoned critters to stay before finding them a forever home. Your goal is to maintain the facilities, supervise staff, and make sure that all animals are cared for.
8. Animal Cruelty Investigator
It’s no surprise that animal lovers want to stop any form of cruelty pronto.
This explains why you can become an animal cruelty investigator where you advocate for the welfare and look into reports about critters being neglected or abused. You’ll be a law enforcement officer who can bring charges and take animals out of unsafe environments in the worst-case scenarios.
9. Pet Adoption Counselor
Spend time with animals and give back to your community by becoming a pet adoption counselor.
Your job is to help shelters match pets with potential owners and check that each applicant is trustworthy enough to provide adequate care. Pet adoption counselors do this by conducting interviews and scheduling follow-up appointments so that the animal is in the best place. It also means that these professionals train volunteers, process adoption fees, and regularly file paperwork.
10. Animal Nutritionist
Aside from being a vet, you can protect animals’ well-being and train to become an animal nutritionist. Your main duty is to curate a balanced diet and lifestyle plan for furry friends to keep them healthy. Because you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach, these professionals must be creative and passionate to deliver the best results.
It’s important to note that you’ll need a bachelor’s degree that mainly focuses on animal science. If you’re still studying, volunteer at your local animal shelter or apply for a part-time job at a vet’s office as it’s great preparation. And although it’s a long journey, animal nutritionists can earn a whopping $80,000 a year, making it a win-win.
Find a Job and Work With Animals Today
Hopefully, you’ll now find a job where you can work with animals.
There are many fantastic career paths to consider, such as training to become a vet or a dog trainer, whether it’s for clients or the K9 unit. Animal enthusiasts should also check out roles advertised at an animal charity or even become a groomer to keep pets looking their best. Good luck!
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