If you’re naturally drawn to animals, maybe it’s your calling to make a career out of your affinity. Luckily, there are a lot of great jobs for folks who love animals.
These jobs, of course, vary quite a bit when it comes to the skills involved, required education, and potential earnings. For some, you may only need a bit of training. For others, such as becoming a veterinarian, you’ll need a PhD.
Of course, we’re just going to cover those that don’t require you to have already finished veterinary school.
Here are just a few options for people who adore working with animals, and that don’t (yet) have a doctorate.
1. Veterinary Assistant or Tech
If you want to work in a veterinarian’s office but aren’t sure where to start, this is where. Veterinary assistants often handle tasks like exercising and feeding animals in a clinic’s care. Sometimes they may also have jobs like cleaning exam rooms.
The job doesn’t typically require any formal training – most of the time, you’ll learn on the job.
A step up from this position is to obtain an associate’s degree from an accredited veterinary technology program. With this two-year degree, you can become a veterinary technician/technologist. As a vet tech, you may have more responsibilities, like preparing animals for surgery, administering vaccinations, or taking x-rays.
2. Pet Groomer
The job of a groomer is one of the easier jobs to land when it comes to working with animals. Since it’s an entry level job, however, the salary is typically nothing spectacular.
As a groomer, however, you’ll get to make countless dogs and cats look and smell fantastic.
The job usually doesn’t require advance training, though you may need to start out as an apprentice. Alternatively, you can also obtain certification through a state-licensed grooming school. However, certification is often not a requirement.
You may be asking, “can you actually make a living as a petsitter?” The answer depends on how many clients you can find and take on. Typically, this is something people do as a side hustle though. Most of the time, the amount of available work can be difficult to predict.
A petsitter’s job may vary from one client to the next. In many cases, they provide in-home care for pets whenever the owners are out of town. Usually, this involves feeding, walking or exercising, and cleaning up after the animals.
With a few solid references, it’s possible to build a strong client base and start advertising petsitting services. Alternatively, there are also websites that match sitters to potential clients.
4. Animal Trainer
Are you a dog or horse whisperer? If you’ve got a knack for working with animals – especially those with behavioral issues, perhaps you could become a trainer.
While there are some exceptions, most animal trainers tend to work with either dogs or horses.
With dogs, the job often entails obedience training, targeting behavioral issues, teaching classes, or training them to perform certain functions. For example, service dogs may need to be trained to provide specialized support.
Trainers working with horses commonly prepare the animals for riding and/or performing.
Though you don’t need any certifications, they can help when looking for work.