Which Careers Allow You to Work with Animals?

I’ve always loved working with animals. When I was a child, I helped out with the horses and livestock on my uncle’s farm. I haven’t chosen a major yet, but I’m thinking that I want to do something with animals.

What kinds of careers will allow me to work with animals every day?

Working with animals can be a rewarding career, and it helps that you already have some hands-on experience. There are so many animal-related careers, and many of them offer great salaries.

If you’re more interested in helping animals stay healthy and recover from illnesses and injuries, a career as a veterinarian is a great choice. This career path is probably the first one that comes to mind when you think about working with animals.

Just like human doctors, veterinarians require an extensive education. You’ll need to decide whether you want to work at a clinic, emergency hospital or zoo. Zoo veterinarians treat and tend to animals at zoos, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be working with exotic animals.

If a career as a veterinarian isn’t appealing but you still want to help injured or sick animals, you may consider a job as a veterinary assistant or technologist/technician. Animal nutritionists assist with the dietary needs of the animals they work with, but with this type of career, you’ll probably spend more time in the lab than working with animals.

If you want to help wild animals, a career as a wildlife rehabilitator may be a good option for you. When wild animals are injured, they’re usually brought to wildlife rehabilitators for assessment. You may be a part of the emergency response team to oil spills, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

What if you don’t want a medical-related career? A zoologist may be a good option. Zoologists work with animals in both controlled and wild environments. Their job is to collect data that helps shape wildlife conservation programs. They work with animals extensively, but they also spend a lot of time crunching numbers.

If you want to work more closely and directly with animals, you may consider a career as a trainer. Maybe you’d like to train service dogs for those in need, or maybe you’d like to train horses. Trainers are needed for a variety of different animals, and this type of career will probably get you the most hands-on work with animals.

There are also jobs that you can start right now – without training – such as dog walking or pet sitting. These careers can be a bit more complicated, as walkers and sitters usually run their own businesses. But you can make $24,000 or more per year just walking other people’s dogs or taking care of pets when their parents are out of town.

What if you want to help animals that are being abused or neglected? A career as an animal cruelty investigator may be a good fit for you. These highly-trained experts investigate cases of alleged animal cruelty, and their job is to protect and save these creatures.

Whatever career path you choose, you know that you’ll be making a difference in animals’ lives.

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