Working With Animals

Working with animals can be a great career choice. If you love animals, and you're passionate about the idea of working with them on a full time basis, then you need to sit down and consider which animal-related job or career is right for you.

Some people think that the only full-time job you can get working with animals is to become a veterinarian. But there are many other animals jobs and careers that are available in today's employment market. Working in the wildlife conservation field is another good option, or becoming a zoo worker, or animal training. And with the explosion of the pet population in the US, there are many pet-related careers and business you could go into as well.

While becoming a veterinarian might be you first choice when thinking about working with animals, be aware that it's almost as long and expensive as becoming a human doctor.

It takes years of schooling to get a degree in veterinary medicine, and most vets have to take out large student loans in order to pay for their education. Even research and alternative medicine veterinarians require a postgraduate degree and many years of schooling and training before they can open their own practice and start making good money.  

But there are a number of other jobs available in veterinary clinics that don't require a degree in veterinary medicine. You could become a veterinary technican, for example, or work in the administrative side of the business. You'll still need some education and training, and the pay will be less than that of a vet, but you may find these other jobs working with animals just as rewarding.

If academics is your calling, you can still work with animals in careers such biology or ecology. These are also career fields that require a considerable amount of education, from a bachelor's degree all the way up to a PhD in some cases. Becoming a zookeeper or animal behaviorist also falls into this broad animal sciences category, and again you're looking at four to six years of college in order to secure an entry-level position in those fields as well.

Becoming an animal trainer is another rewarding way of working with animals. Just be aware that most successful dog trainers have an intimate knowledge of the specific animal or animals that they specialize in, and this is a career area where there's no substitute for experience. Most trainers work for several years as assistants or apprentices before they're ready to strike out on their own.

There are also a number of pet-related jobs and careers available today, including pet sitters, dog walkers and doggie day care operators. Pet sitters often come to the clients home to take care of the animals in their charge, while the client brings the animal to doggie day care facility. Either way the dogs and other animals get plenty of attention, play time, individual walks, and even grooming in some instances.

Other pet-related jobs include working at an animal shelter, helping with the adoption of animals, becoming a pet photographer, working in a kennel or pet boarding facility, pet grooming, and even pet therapists. Some people prefer working with animals as part of having their own business, and they open pet supply stores or dog grooming businesses.


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