Jobs with Animals
People who love animals often wonder what jobs would allow them to indulge their passion. In fact, there are several careers in which people work closely with animals.
Veterinary Assistant or Veterinary Technician
Veterinary assistants and technicians work in vet clinics, animal hospitals, research labs, wildlife refuges, or shelters. Veterinary technicians must have at least a two-year associate’s degree and perform much the same function as human nurses. Veterinary assistants do not have to have a college degree, but job prospects improve with certification. Assistants fill a variety of roles caring for animals and performing front office work.
Dog training is often a job into which people transition from other careers related to caring for animals. Individuals who work as dog trainers, pet groomers or caretakers hold a variety of responsibilities depending on their precise line of work and place of employment.
There are a number of educational institutions, like Animal Behavior College, that specialize in training students for a career working with animals. Four of the most common and popular animal careers include dog groomer, keeper, trainer and kennel attendant.
Dog groomers specialize in maintaining a pet’s appearance. Groomers work in kennels, veterinary offices, clinics, animal shelters and pet supply stores, or operate their own businesses. These workers not only groom pets, but they also sanitize equipment, schedule appointments and discuss pet grooming needs with clients.
Animal keepers have a rewarding animal career that involves taking care of animals in zoos and aquariums. They prepare the diets, clean animal enclosures and often assist in raising very young animals. They watch for signs of illness or injury and keep records of their observations. Keepers may work with a class of animals, such as mammals or reptiles, or they may work with a specific order, such as primates.
Animal trainers train animals for various purposes, such as riding, obedience, tasks related to law enforcement, show performances and assisting people with disabilities. Most often, these people train dogs, horses and dolphins. Trainers use techniques, such as positive reinforcement, combined with mental stimulation, exercise and care.
Kennel attendants care for pets while the owners are out of town. Entry-level workers usually clean cages, fill food and water dishes, and exercise animals. Experienced attendants often also assist the dog trainer or take on the role themselves if they are certified.
Individuals who work in these fields may choose to branch into owning a business, focusing more heavily on aesthetics and grooming, or getting additional training and taking on a role that provides for animals’ medical needs. For the individual who loves animals, there are many career choices to explore! The best way to get your paws wet is to research animal career schools to learn more about the exciting career opportunities available in the animal industry.