Perhaps you don't want a whole new career working with animals. Maybe you just want a part-time job that allows you to be around dogs and cats, or horses, and keep the career you already have.
Animal jobs are among the most flexible and open to newcomers of any major industry in the country. For example, you might be interested in learning some new animal-related skills by working as a dog trainer for a summer, or as an assistant to a groomer or dog show handler or judge. No problem.
Or maybe volunteering is your thing, and you’re looking to help out at a shelter or animal welfare organization in your area. With thousands of stray, abused, or unwanted pets showing up at shelters every month, there is always a need for people to help out in any way they can.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of animal jobs that don't require a full-time commitment, or a college degree, or years of prior experience. The animal care industry is full of people who learned “on the job” and who are either working seasonally or part-time, or have gone on to start their own business, or have advanced into full-time positions at established businesses or government agencies.
If you’re seriously considering employment in this industry, it goes without saying that you should really like being around pets and other animals (and not be allergic to them). If you're not comfortable around animals, or if you can't handle the challeges that can arise when handling pets, domestic livestock or zoo animals, then you might want to find another way of making a living.
The majority of jobs in this career field involve dogs, cats, or horses. With over 170 million dogs and cats kept as pets in the U.S., and the numbers growing every year, a huge industry exists to support this animal population, from health care to pet shops to doggie day care and grooming.
Another important consideration is whether you can take the heartbreak that comes with many jobs in this industry. It’s an unfortunate fact that many thousands of animals are euthanized in this country every year, and this can take a toll on the people who exposed to this procedures on a daily basis.
So you might want to steer clear of animal shelter and veterinarian jobs if this would be a problem for you. Fortunately there are many other options such as animal training, pet sitting, dog walking, grooming, pet therapy, pet photography, pet show handlers and judges, breeding, zookeeping and more. There are even animal jobs that don’t require direct contact with animals at all - the employee works on behalf of the animals, or in an administrative position, with little to no direct animal contact.
In short, if you really like being around animals (and aren’t allergic to them), and you have a desire to help them live healthier (and happier) lives, then there could be an animal job in your future.
If you're interested in finding a job or career in the rewarding and exciting pet industry, you might want to visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website to learn more about vets, animal care clinics, and how you can get started on your new career journey.
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