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MAIN Arrow to BusinessBusiness Arrow to Job HuntingCareers & Job Hunting Arrow to Turning Hobbies into CareersHobbies into Careers

How to Pursue a Career in Animal Care

Horse and sheepdog
Animal careers may range from
veterinary care, breeding, and
animal training ... to pet shop
owner, grooming & boarding.


Passionate about pets and animals? Caring for them can be a fun and rewarding career choice, with avenues of opportunity ranging from dog walker to groomer, pet store owner to professional veterinarian.

For those interested in turning their pet care hobby in to a grooming job, for instance, there aren't a great many skill requirements beyond a love for animals and a willingness to do a little hard work. The average salary for a pet groomer is also fairly good, averaging about $30,000 a year in the United States, and the outlook for this career is substantial growth.

As the US population becomes more mobile, demand has also increased in recent years for pet sitting, pet boarding kennels and pet day care centers to give dogs, cats, gerbils and even aquarium fish the special care they need while owners are out of town or on vacation. Even dog walking jobs can be quite lucrative in metro areas with a large pet population.

But for those looking to turn their animal care hobby into something more substantial, there are other options available - including veterinary assistant or technician, pet training and behavior specialists (including training in animal psychology) with opportunities in research labs, city zoos and aquariums, medical laboratories and veterinary schools.

As the US population becomes more mobile, demand has also increased in recent years for pet sitting, pet boarding kennels, and pet day care centers...

For a career as a veterinarian's assistant, there is typically two years of post secondary schooling required, and the average starting salary for a veterinary assistant in the United States is more than $20,000 a year. Growth within this industry is good, but there aren't a great deal of opportunities for advancement without even more specialized education.

Professional veterinarians earn an average $70,000 a year in the United States, but this substantial salary is reflective of all the training that veterinarians go through. Veterinarians typically have either a four year bachelors degree or else a significant amount of post secondary credits before they even enter veterinary school, which is another four year program. There are also a limited number of veterinary schools in the country. That being said, the career outlook for veterinarians is quite good, and the field is expected to grow in the coming years.

More about animal careers around the Web:

For anyone looking to turn their hobby of animal care in to a career, these are just a few examples of the many options available. Around the Web, find out more about making a a love of animals your life's work with more information on opportunities in animal care and training.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Animal Care and Service Workers - US Department of Labor guide with extensive information on required schooling and training, typical work environment, average salaries, prospects for advancement, and more on related occupations.

Animal Science Career Guide - Comprehensive directory to information covering a gamut of work opportunities including veterinary and biomedical jobs, pet shop owners, dog groomer, horse care, naturalist, park ranger, wildlife jobs and related careers.

Careers in Animal Behavior - Indiana University guide to animal psychology careers with tips and advice on necessary training, career opportunities, suggested reading and related resources.

also see in Pets -> Cat Care | Dog Care | Horse Care


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