Runaway Growth in the Pet Industry
2021 is a great year to find jobs working with animals that pay well! Why? The number of people who own pets experienced enormous growth during the pandemic, eclipsing all predictions for an already healthy industry. Though not as fast as 2020, the pet industry is expected to continue growing. The figures include cats and dogs, but the number of aquariums also grew, from modest goldfish bowls to lavish private aquariums.
Skyrocketing pet ownership translates into a steady demand for pet-related goods and services. For example, pets require the services of a veterinarian. Dogs need obedience training. Increasingly, cat owners seek help for curbing unwanted behaviors with training. Both cats and dogs need pet groomers. Those with aquariums frequently hire professional aquarists to set up and maintain tanks. All of these careers allow you to work closely with animals while earning a comfortable salary.
Animal Careers with Wild Animals
Maybe you love animals and want a career working with them but pets are not your “thing.” If you have a passion for wild, exotic animals or are more interested in species conservation or research, there are plenty of different jobs available.
Zookeeper Assistants, for instance, can find work in zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers and perform a wide variety of duties for the animals in their care. Generally, they work under the supervision of a senior zookeeper but do much of the same work. They feed and water animals, clean and maintain habitats and enclosures, observe behavior, plan enrichment activities, and monitor and educate visitors to their facilities.
Veterinary Assistants also find work in multiple settings, not just veterinary clinics and hospitals. Their services are needed in university research laboratories, rehabilitation centers, kennels, and zoos. Duties vary widely, from clerical work to animal care.
What Do Animal Jobs Pay?
The following are national averages for the preceding animal careers. As with any job, what you earn depends on where you live. This is particularly relevant with dog trainers. In areas like Southern and Northern California, Manhattan, Chicago, Dallas and Houston professional dog trainers can routinely bill at $35-$65 per hour. This means dog trainers in these areas who are working full time or close to full time can earn significantly more than the median average.
- Veterinary Assistant $31,545
- Dog Obedience Trainer $34,246
- Aquarium Maintenance Professional $32,534
- Zookeeper Assistant $38,500
- Pet Groomer $35,059
How Do I Prepare for a Career with Animals?
You can expect to spend years in college earning a Bachelors, Masters, or Doctoral degree to work in the highest paying animal careers, such as becoming a veterinarian, marine biologist, or wildlife biologist. True, those working with advanced degrees can expect to earn a whole lot of money, but getting that degree is expensive, often incurs major debt, and takes years to begin working in the field.
In contrast, becoming certified to work in an animal career through an online program, can provide you the knowledge necessary to land a job, and being certified can give you a leg up when competing for jobs.
Online courses boast many advantages:
- They are far more affordable than a Bachelors degree.
- Online classes offer the flexibility to work around a current job or other responsibilities.
- Certain certification programs include an externship program which provides invaluable hands–on experience with a local professional.
- Instead of taking four years (or more) to graduate from college and begin your career, you could be working in your chosen profession within a year.
- With online programs, there is no waiting for a new semester to begin–you can enroll anytime.
Take the First Step Towards an Animal Career
Following your passion can help you find the most rewarding and fulfilling career. If you want to work closely with animals and help them lead their best lives, call Animal Behavior College at 800-795-3294 and speak with an admissions counselor. You could be enrolled and on your way to a dream career today!