Whether you keep a farm full of critters or one or two beloved pets, if you enjoy the company of animals more than people, you may be wondering what type of job may be right for you. Fortunately, there are hundreds of career paths beyond veterinarian and zookeeper. No matter what your educational goals or personal interests, there is probably and animal career that you’ll enjoy!
Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses animals in physical, mental, emotional, occupational, and other types of therapy. For example, you might give children with autism or learning disabilities horseback riding lessons or let senior citizens and hospital patients interact with your dog. For information about getting certified, contact the non-profit group Pet Partners.
Animal Rights Organizations
Animal rights, animal welfare, and humane organizations address a variety of needs, from pet shelters and wildlife rescue to lobbying and law enforcement. As such, you can find a great selection of jobs, typically in the non-profit or government sectors. These groups need educators, lawyers, researchers, animal control officers, administrative staff, veterinarians, animal behavior experts, and other roles in order to study, protect, and care for animals. Your education and experience will affect what kind of career you pursue, but people in this field often have a background in law, non-profit management, the sciences, or social science.
Marine biologists conduct research on aquatic life, educate businesses and the public about marine animals, and rescue or care for creatures. You can find jobs in the government, private, or non-profit sector. Oil and fishing companies often hire marine biologists to research and create policies that protect marine wildlife. You could also work at an aquarium or museum. The market is highly competitive, and most jobs require a graduate or doctorate degree, so consider marine biology colleges if you’re interested in this vocation.
Trainers specialize in animal behavior and learning. In this field, you might lead a dog obedience class, work with animals on movie sets, or train exotic animals for performances or educational purposes. Typically, working with domestic pets requires little more than a certificate or on-the-job training while interacting with non-domestic animals requires at least a bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology, or a related field.
Wildlife rehabilitation groups rescue, care for, feed, house, and release wild animals that have been injured by natural disasters, man-made disasters, and poaching. If you have a veterinary, animal science, or environmental background, you can help assess injuries, provide medical care, and make sure that animals are physically and psychologically healed before they’re returned to nature. You must hold a federal or state license to land this kind of job.
Not all jobs working around animals require advanced education. If you love animals, but don’t have a college degree, don’t fret. If you love feeding, walking and taking care of dogs and cats, working at a local animal rescue or shelter is a great option. At this job you will take care of cats and dogs while they are waiting to be adopted. You can also do volunteer work at the shelter if a full time animal career isn’t what you are looking for.
Animals play a huge role in human society. They can’t take care of themselves, so they rely on humans to help feed them, rehabilitate them and give them medical care. If you are passionate about animals, finding a career working with wildlife or any kind of critters is a great option.