Animal Careers Expand Along with Pet Population
Interested in becoming a dog trainer or finding types of employment that allows you to work with canines and other animals? Now is the perfect time to find an animal job in your state. The number of pet owners has exploded and with it, so has spending on services like training, grooming, or other pet care. Overall spending on pets exceeds $100 billion annually. Employers and pet owners are howling for help. (See what I did there?)
There are lots of job opportunities in your state for animal lovers. Here are five animal careers to explore:
- Dog Trainers Wanted!
All those happy go lucky, unruly doggos need to learn some manners! Dog trainers can follow a variety of career paths. Some people like the idea of dog obedience training as a fun side gig. The hours can be flexible, making it easy to fit into your schedule. Other people pursue dog training as a fulltime career since there are lots of established companies currently hiring dog trainers., This is also an ideal career if you want to own your own business.
Salaries for dog trainers vary, depending on your location, your level of training certification, your experience, any specialization (training service dogs or scent work dogs or working with behavior issues, for instance), and where you choose to work. A dog obedience trainer that teaches classes at a big box store, specializing in pet supplies and services might make around $15 per hour, on average, depending on your state. Trainers who own their own business or work for a company that offers private training can expect to make much more. In fact, private training sessions can start at around $45 to $120 dollars. “Top dogs” in the field can command $150.
- Is There a Dog Under All That Hair?
Dog groomers are enjoying the boom in the pet population, too, as more and more owners realize that regular grooming contributes to good health. Dog grooming involves much more than a nice haircut. Groomers also tend to skin, ears, nails, and teeth. A clean, well-groomed animal is a happier, healthier animal. Don’t you feel better after a hot shower or a blissful day at the spa?
It doesn’t matter your state or locality; dog groomers are always needed. Nationally, the average annual salary for a pet groomer is over $34,000. Like dog training, grooming offers a variety of opportunities. It can be a great part time gig, or you can work for an established business. Better yet—open your own shop or turn the old family minivan into a mobile grooming unit!
- Can a Dog Say “Ahhh”?
Ummm…maybe this isn’t the best place to answer that question, but it does lead to another great dog career: veterinary assisting. Whether you live in a rural area or a large city, you can probably list lots of veterinary clinics, pet hospitals, or emergency vets near you. All these places hire vet assistants to help care for dogs, cats, and any other animals that come through their doors. If you have compassion for animals and want to care for them, think about becoming a certified veterinary assistant.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet assistants can expect to earn about $30,000 per year.
- Who Wants to Go for Walkies?
Dog walkers enjoy a lot of perks: they get to work outside, they get to be with dogs all the time and make them happy, and they get paid while getting exercise! #winning. It’s not a job most people immediately think of when they list animal careers, but it’s legit. Dog owners who don’t have the time or the inclination to take their dogs for daily walks often shell out big bucks for someone else to do it.
Dog walkers can hire on with established companies or advertise their own services locally. It can be an enjoyable way to earn a good salary and enjoy the company of lots of dogs.
- Where Do You Keep the Dog Treats?
People everywhere rely on pet-sitters when they prefer not to board their dogs. They like the idea of their pets being able to stay in their own home, avoiding stress and possible injury or illness. It might not sound like a “real” job, but pet-sitting is serious business with its own professional associations and organizations. Rule #1: never let your charges watch Old Yeller.
Salaries for pet-sitters can be hard to pinpoint. There are really too many factors in play, but if you are interested in pet-sitting there’s a lot of information out there!
No More Excuses
No matter where you live, if you want an occupation that lets you work with dogs, there’s something out there for you. Stop looking for excuses and start on a path toward a career full of wagging tails and slobbery kisses!