There are many people who love animals but who are not sure how to implement that passion into choosing a career path. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of job options for dog lovers, from defending them in court to directing a dog on a film set.
Here are the 10 of the best jobs for people who love dogs.
Veterinarians take care of animals’ health.
Veterinarians make a career out of caring for animals and remedying all kinds of ailments and injuries. In the United States, prospective veterinarians must attend a four-year degree program at veterinary school after achieving their Bachelor’s degree at an undergraduate college. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for a veterinarian is $US108,218 a year.
Movie animal trainers handle animal actors on film sets.
Behind every Lassie, Winn Dixie, or Cujo there is a patient animal coordinator on set giving cues and taking care of the animal star. In the world of animal jobs, animal movie trainers have a rather niche job. College experience is not required but very much encouraged, with many animal trainers equipped with degrees in animal behaviour, zoology, and biology. According to a 2017 study by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average annual salary for an animal trainer is $US34,760 a year.
Service dog handlers provide canines with the training they need to help others.
There are only a few dozen colleges in the country that train service dog handlers. Though there is no federally recognised certification for a dog trainer, most trainers gain their experience through apprenticeships and the American Kennel Club recommends obtaining the AKC Advanced Canine Good Citizen certification for the dogs you are training.
Handlers train service dogs to work with individuals with disabilities and can also prepare certain dogs to work in the military and police force.ZipRecruiter lists the annual pay for service dog trainers at $US35,644 a year.
Kennel attendants give dogs a safe environment to eat, exercise, and play in.
Kennel attendants, or doggie daycare workers, take care of dogs in boarding kennels and provide food and exercise for them while their owners are away at work or on vacation. There is a lot of cleaning and scooping involved, and animal wrangling may be necessary if group play gets out of hand, but kennel workers are always guaranteed plenty of face-to-face time with the dogs. Glassdoor reports the average base pay of a Kennel Attendant to be $US25,260 a year.
Professional groomers help dogs look their best.
Many dogs require regular grooming that can be hard for their owners to keep up with at home, and professional groomers bathe, snip, and groom dogs to look their absolute best. Payscale estimates that groomers typically receive a hourly pay of $US11.44 in the United States with an average salary of $US30,074. Additionally, groomers receive an annual average of $US9,826 in commission.
Dog walkers provide dog clients with much needed exercise.
With many pet owners away at work for the majority of the day, dog walkers provide exercise for their pets. Dog walking is particularly in-demand in big cities, where dogs are cooped up in smaller homes and need long walks multiple times a day. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for a dog walker is $US27,295 a year.
Pet photographers take high-end photos of dogs for their owners.
Pet photographers have a self-explanatory job description: they take pictures of pets for commission. An extension of wildlife photography, pet photographers often work freelance or own their own business. On ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a pet photographer is $US36,037, with the pay ranging from a low of $US13,500 to a high of $US74,000.
Animal behaviorists use psychology and science to work with animals in a variety of fields.
Animal behaviorists, or ethologists, study the behaviour of animals work in a variety of fields like animal training and academic research. Aspiring animal behaviorists typically study animal behaviour in college or related fields like biology, zoology, or psychology. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for an animal behaviorist’s salary is $US40,646 a year.
Animal rights lawyers defend animals.
Animal rights attorneys specialize in the defence of animals in lawsuits and animal abuse cases. They typically work alongside animal rights nonprofits like the Animal Legal Defence Fund, the Humane Society, and PETA. According to the Animal Legal Defence Fund, the average starting salary for an animal rights lawyer is $US50,000, but lawyers typically supplement animal rights defence with private sector work.
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