In the world today, there are a lot of people who might tell you that it’s smarter to go after the career with the biggest paycheck or the biggest chance of earning you fast-tracked professional success. They might tell you that it’s safer to go the route of guaranteed security. But here at TradeSchoolCareers, we believe that there are more benefits to pursuing a career you’ll love in a field that you’re passionate about.
If you’re someone who adores animals and is looking for a way to pursue animal care professionally, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of each and every possible career path in an animal-related field. Despite what the world might say, you can have a stable career working with animals that will help you get to where you want to be career-wise while also doing something that you love.
Average Yearly Salary: $95,460
As a veterinarian, your primary responsibility will be to provide health care for animals and to protect the public health. Using a variety of medical equipment, including surgical tools and x-ray and ultrasound machines, veterinarians diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals, providing services similar to those provided to humans by physicians.
Here are some different types of veterinarians:
Companion animal veterinarians treat pets and normally work in private clinics or hospitals. They care for cats, dogs, and a variety of other pets including birds, ferrets, and rabbits. These veterinarians diagnose and provide treatment, consult with animal owners about preventive healthcare, and carry out any required medical or surgical procedures (i.e. vaccinations, dental work, setting fractures).
Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as cattle, pigs, and sheep. Their time is spent visiting farms and ranches to treat animals and to test for/vaccinate against diseases. They may advise farmers about animal feeding, housing, and general health practices.
Food safety and inspection veterinarians test animal and livestock products for major animal diseases. They also conduct research to improve animal health, provide vaccines to animals, enhance animal welfare, and enforce government safety regulations. Safety and inspection veterinarians also design and administer public health programs to prevent transmissible diseases.
Zoo veterinarians provide treatment to the exotic species of animals kept at zoos. They’re able to observe the animals’ everyday behaviors and give physical examinations, as well as provide treatments necessary to maintain the health and well being of the zoo animals.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinarians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm
Average Yearly Salary: $67,690
Animal scientists generally conduct research on domestic farm animals. They investigate and inspect animal genetics, nutrition, reproduction, diseases, growth, and development with a focus on food production, developing efficient ways to produce meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. To make them more productive, animal scientists may crossbreed animals. They also make recommendations to farmers on animal housing upgrades, lowering animal death rates, increasing growth rates, and improving the quality and efficiency of livestock.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Agricultural and Food Scientists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/agricultural-and-food-scientists.htm
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Average Yearly Salary: $63,270
Zoologists and wildlife biologists are responsible for tagging animals to track them, checking for disease and parasites, assessing animals’ nutrition levels, along with various other health tests. Zoologists typically conduct scientific investigations and basic research on particular types of animals, such as birds or amphibians, whereas wildlife biologists are more likely to study specific ecosystems and animal populations. Wildlife biologists also do conservation work.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists use geographic information systems (GIS), modeling software, and other computer programs to estimate wildlife populations and track the movements of animals. They also forecast the spread of invasive species or diseases, project changes in habitats, and assess other potential threats to wildlife. In other words, if you’re considering a career in zoology, computer software might be a good field to study.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists conduct research to increase understanding of wildlife species. For example, some research ways to promote abundant game animal populations to better support recreational hunting and tourism. Others work with public officials in conservation efforts to protect species and help maintain sustainable animal populations.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/zoologists-and-wildlife-biologists.htm
Average Yearly Salary: $43,450
There are certain characteristics that are more desirable in animals. Animal breeders select and breed animals that have these desirable characteristics, such as sheep with better quality wool or chickens that lay more eggs. If you pursue a career in animal breeding, you’ll have to make pairing decisions based on animals’ genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. You may be required to know of artificial insemination techniques and be familiar with specific equipment. The job also involves record-keeping of things like animals’ heat cycles, birth intervals, and pedigrees.
Information provided by https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes452021.htm
Animal Control Workers
Average Yearly Salary: $39,710
If you are a brave and compassionate individual, this is the job for you. Animal control workers investigate reports of animal mistreatment, which often involves stepping into uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations. They rescue animals that have been abused, abandoned, or lost, and often supervise mistreatment investigations involving abandoned and sometimes dangerous animals. Animal control workers also monitor crime scenes where an animal has been involved in some way.
Information provided by https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339011.htm
Average Yearly Salary: $36,240
If you’re interested in training animals for riding, performance, and obedience, or in assisting disabled persons with horse-riding, a career in animal training might be right for you. You’ll be responsible for accustoming animals to human voice and contact, and conditioning them to respond to commands. Animal trainers create individualized plans for their animals based on prescribed competition standards and if you choose to pursue this career, you’ll likely work preparing animals to operate in pack teams.
Information provided by https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes392011.htm
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Average Yearly Salary: $35,320
Supervised by licensed veterinarians, veterinary technologists and technicians carry out medical tests that help diagnose animal injuries and illnesses. In addition to aiding veterinarians during animal exams, veterinary technologists and technicians do a variety of clinical tasks, care procedures, and laboratory assignments. As a technologist, you’ll be responsible for may helping veterinarians with biomedical research, disaster preparedness, and food safety.
Technicians work with small-animal practitioners who care for cats and dogs, as well as mice, cattle, and other animals. You’ll be able to specialize in a particular discipline, such as animal dentistry, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, or zoological medicine.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
Average Yearly Salary: $28,590
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers handle routine animal care and help scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians with daily tasks. As a veterinary assistant, you’ll provide pre-surgery care, prepare equipment, and aid veterinarians during surgery. You’ll also move animals for testing or procedures. As an assistant, you’ll help to treat animals, and as a caretaker, your daily tasks will include cleaning kennels and feeding and monitoring the animals.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm
Animal Care and Service Workers
Average Yearly Salary: $24,990
If you become an animal care and service worker, you’ll likely be responsible for feeding, grooming, bathing, and exercising residential pets or other domesticated animals.
Types of animal care and service workers include:
Animal trainers teach animals a variety of skills, such as obedience, performance, riding, security, and assisting people with disabilities. They familiarize animals with human contact and teach them to respond to commands. Most animal trainers work with dogs and horses. Some work with marine mammals, such as dolphins. Trainers teach a variety of skills. For example, some train show animals for competition, others may train dogs to guide people with disabilities.
Groomers specialize in maintaining a pet’s appearance. They typically groom dogs and cats, which may involve cutting, trimming, shampooing, and styling fur, clipping nails, and cleaning ears. Groomers schedule appointments, sell products to pet owners and identify problems that may necessitate veterinary attention.
As a groomer, you may work in a grooming salon, kennel, veterinary clinic, pet supply store, or mobile grooming service, or even operate a private business that travels to clients’ homes.
Grooms primarily work at stables, caring for horses and managing riding equipment. Responsibilities include feeding, grooming, and exercising horses, cleaning stalls, polishing saddles, and organizing tack rooms. As a groom, you’ll have to keep track of harnesses, saddles, and bridles, and may get to help train horses.
Kennel attendants care for pets in place of owners, managing the operations of ‘pet hostels’. They clean cages and dog runs, feed, exercise, and play with animals. Some attendants may also provide basic healthcare, bathe animals, and attend to additional grooming needs.
Nonfarm animal caretakers mostly work with cats and dogs in shelters and rescue leagues. These caretakers attend to the basic needs of animals. They may have administrative duties, such as keeping records, answering questions from the public, educating visitors about pet health, and screening people interested in adoption. If you work as a caretaker and you do your job well, you may have additional responsibilities, such as helping vaccinate or euthanize animals alongside a veterinarian.
Pet sitters look after animals while their pet owner is away. Most pet sitters play with, walk, and feed pets daily. Pet sitters go to the pet owner’s residence, allowing the pet to stay in its familiar environment and follow its routine. Experienced pet sitters also may bathe, groom, or even train pets.
Zookeepers care for animals in zoos. They plan diets, feed animals, and monitor eating and behavior patterns. As a zookeeper, you’ll be responsible for cleaning enclosures and, depending on the size of the zoo, you may have to work with multiple species of animals. Zookeepers help in raising young animals and often spend time answering questions from the public.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Animal Care and Service Workers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/animal-care-and-service-workers.htm