Good career choices for animal lovers

AbbyMac By AbbyMac, 19th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Careers

There are a wide variety of careers available for those who want to dedicate their lives to working with animals.

Career Choices

People who love to work with animals have a wide variety of career choices before them. Some choices require no formal education and some require many years of college and possibly post-graduate education. There is an appropriate job for all levels.

Veterinarian and support staff

The career requiring the highest education is a veterinarian. There are large animal vets for horses and farm animals, small animal vets for household pets and even exotic vets that may cover birds, reptiles and other less common pets. Some vets work exclusively for zoos, animal shelters or wildlife rehab centers.

Like human doctors, there are many specialist vets that focus on one particular aspect of treating pets. This could be anything from emergency room work to fertility specialist, endocrinologists and even psychologists.

All of these veterinary practices require tremendous support staff: more great career choices with less education required. All practices need certified technicians to work directly with assisting the vet, kennel staff to care for the animals and keep them clean and fed, and an office staff to run the front desk, maintain files and billing.


Another type of animal work that is ideal for the pet lover is a groomer. This is a hands-on type of job dealing mostly with dogs but could also include cats. Groomers can become trained and certified from a one year course. This is an excellent business to run out of the home or even as a mobile business.

Animal Shelter Staff

A very worthy place to work is the animal shelter (also called a humane society, SPCA or rescue). These tend to be non-profit groups. They require positions in management, cruelty agents, kennel workers and office staff. Sometimes there is also an educator that works in educating the public. Large organizations may also have positions for fund-raisers, inventory clerks and behaviorists. All of these positions exist to help homeless animals. In smaller shelters some of these positions may have to be volunteer, but others have all paid staff.

Pet Sitter

Pet sitting or walking is a business that requires no special education and can be done by any responsible person who loves animals. This is another career that can be done out of the home with flexible hours. Some people run pet taxis that transport pets back and forth to the vet's office or groomer. Alternatively, operating a kennel (pet hotel) is another possible consideration.

Animal Trainer

Trainers are needed for horses and dog obedience classes. There are also more glamorous looking jobs like training the whales and dolphins at places like Seaworld. Some people work with animals to use in ministries and service projects. This could include taking a dog to a nursing home, rigorous training for service animals like seeing-eye dogs, or bringing a tame alpaca to visit school children.

Petting Zoo Operator

A petting zoo for young children is always a hit. These can be set up with a variety of well-socialized farm animals right on a person's farm. Also, demonstration cow or goat milking, observation of chicks hatching, sheep shearing and many other similar educational activities are popular for field trips and a great way to educate kids on how to respect and properly handle animals.

Working with animals as a career is a fantastic option for a pet lover. Many opportunities are available suited to a variety of talents and education levels. There is literally something for everybody!


Animal, Career, Job, Pet, Veterinarian

Meet the author

author avatar AbbyMac
I am a mother of two teenage girls, living on a farm where we raise award-winning Corriedale Sheep. I have homeschooled for 11 years and currently own a homeschool curriculum store. I enjoy writing about homeschooling, animals and mysteries of the ...(more)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
19th Jul 2010 (#)

My wife has worked with animals all her life.. people who love animals should work at shelters NOT pet stores, glad you listed shelters in your article.
her and I both have a hobby farm with lots of fun critters.

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author avatar Starr
5th Jun 2013 (#)

wow really is animal shelters beta sounds good i mite give it a try but waht qualifications are needed

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author avatar ValerieAnne
19th Jul 2010 (#)

Thank you for this!! I have a degree in Animal Care, and am finding it hard to get a job at Vet offices. That's for the other options out there.

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author avatar AbbyMac
19th Jul 2010 (#)

Mark, funny but pet stores never crossed my mind--I'm on the same page as you!

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author avatar AbbyMac
19th Jul 2010 (#)

Valerie, don't give up- it is such valuable work. I worked at both vet offices and animal shelters. The shelters take a heavier toll emotionally, but also are more rewarding too!

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author avatar drelayaraja
19th Jul 2010 (#)

Great share :)

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author avatar Denise O
5th Dec 2010 (#)

What a great article.
I am so glad I came across your name and your quality articles.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Starr
5th Jun 2013 (#)

This gives some good imfo on a career with animals I am such a pet lover and struggling to find a career with pets but i dont liking nursing on them only caring for them :)

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