Best Careers for Working With Animals

Careers With Animals | Best Jobs & Salaries |

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By researching the diverse job opportunities that are available, you can find a career that inspires you and fosters your love for animals. Several career options allow individuals with various levels of experience to work with animals. This article covers the different types of animal-related specialties, employers, responsibilities, salary expectations, and recommended skills so you can find the best career working with animals.

What are the top career fields for working with animals?

These are a few of the fields where you can find a career opportunity that fulfills your animal-related career goals:

  • Medicinal and veterinary
  • Rescue and rehabilitation
  • Research and conservation
  • Care and maintenance

Animal-related careers are designed to help protect and care for animals such as house pets, livestock, and aquatic or wild species.

What kinds of employers offer careers with animals?

Here is a list of possible employers for careers with animals:

  • Pet stores
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Veterinary hospitals
  • Pet grooming facilities
  • Pet daycare centers
  • Animal sanctuaries
  • Animal kennels
  • Science laboratories
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Criminal justice organizations
  • National parks
  • Conservation groups
  • Aquariums
  • Zoos

A number of different employers offer job positions for people who want to work with animals.

Best jobs that involve working with animals

Here are the best job options for people who want to work with animals.

Animal Adoption Specialist

National Average Salary: $23,421 per year

Role and Responsibilities: An Animal Adoption Specialist is responsible for helping animals in shelters to find new homes. They schedule veterinary check-ups for animals, update adoption records, take phone calls from prospective customers and organize fundraising events or other community initiatives to encourage people to adopt pets. Those considering this career option need at least a high school diploma and experience working in an animal shelter, pet grooming facility, or veterinary office.

Kennel Manager

National Average Salary: $26,520 per hour

Role and Responsibilities: A Kennel Manager is responsible for overseeing the care of dogs and sometimes other pets such as cats for daily or weekly time periods. They manage kennel staff and order food, pet toys, cages, and other important materials to accommodate different dog sizes and breeds. Those considering this career should pursue a diploma in animal care or a related area.


National Average Salary: $28,642 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Zookeepers are responsible for taking care of a diverse number of species at a zoo or rehab facility. This includes feeding animals, monitoring their health, and making adjustments to animal exhibits. Those looking to become Zookeepers should consider an associate degree in zoology or a bachelor’s degree in biology or zoology.

Fish Hatchery Technician

National Average Salary: $31,179 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Fish Hatchery Technician is responsible for monitoring water systems, transporting fish species, and releasing them into those areas once the water quality is better. To become a Fish Hatchery Technician, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in aquaculture or a related area.

Veterinary Nurse

National Average Salary: $32,344 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Veterinary Nurse is responsible for assisting a Veterinarian in a veterinary office by greeting and assessing animal patients as well as making detailed patient reports. To become a Veterinary Nurse, you should receive a diploma from a veterinary training program.

Animal Control Officer

National Average Salary: $33,238 per year

Role and Responsibilities: An Animal Control Officer is responsible for enforcing animal rights and maintaining public safety by removing potentially dangerous animals from populated areas for release in safe locations. Education requirements vary, but the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Pet Groomer

National Average Salary: $34,681 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Pet Groomer works in a number of settings such as pet grooming facilities, veterinary offices, pet stores, or self-employed services. They are responsible for bathing and grooming pets while keeping the owners’ visions in mind. Prospective Pet Groomers should have a high school diploma and should consider a certification or training program to enhance their qualifications.

Marine Biologist

National Average Salary: $45,799 per year   

Role and Responsibilities: A Marine Biologist works as part of a state or federal agency researching marine life or aquatic ecosystems and monitoring water pollution. Their job allows them to travel, and they can potentially interact with a variety of aquatic species and plants. Education requirements for Marine Biologists consist of a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in biology, aquaculture, or a related area.

Wildlife Biologist

National Average Salary: $66,967 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Wildlife Biologist is similar to a Zoologist in that they study animals. In addition, they study how human life affects the ecosystems and livelihood of animal species in a given area. A Wildlife Biologist needs to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, or zoology.


National Average Salary: $67,624 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Breeder is responsible for adhering to animal breeding laws. They maintain healthy living conditions for their animals and provide them with the correct veterinary care throughout the breeding process. They might maintain business relationships with pet stores, wildlife agencies, or refuge centers, depending on the species they breed.

Zoo Veterinarian

National Average Salary: $77,882 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Zoo Veterinarian is responsible for providing veterinary care to exotic animal species in zoos. They might be expected to work in close proximity to potentially dangerous animals to diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses that the animals endure. A Zoo Veterinarian has the same educational requirements as a general Veterinarian. They need a doctorate of medicine from a veterinary school in order to practice.


National Average Salary: $97,425 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Veterinarian works as part of a veterinary office. They use their knowledge of animal biology to diagnose and treat pet illnesses or injuries. They are responsible for administering vaccinations, performing surgery, and performing general check-ups. Veterinarians need to have a doctorate of medicine from an accredited veterinary school.

Popular skills to list on a resume for careers with animals

Here is a list of skills that could be beneficial to include on your resume for an animal-related job.

Animal anatomy

Those in animal-related careers, especially those employed in veterinary or caretaker roles, should understand the anatomy and physiology of the animals they are caring for. This can be helpful in diagnosing injuries or illnesses.

Attention to detail

Being attentive to detail is another important skill for those working with animals, as animals can’t speak to communicate clearly. Instead, they communicate their desires, concerns, or needs through a variety of movements, noises, and expressions.


Those who work with animals should have a passion for their work and a love for the animals they care for or interact with.

Physical fitness

Regardless of which animal-related field you work in, you should be physically fit as you might have to walk long distances, stand for extended periods of time, handle dangerous or unruly species, pick up and carry animals or move heavy materials.

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