Are you someone who loves animals and wishes it were possible to have a career where you can put that love of animals to good use? The good news is that there are many such careers.
Pets, especially dogs, are playing a much more significant role in the family unit today. Many dog owners treat their dogs as part of their family and even take them on family vacations. A great many of these pet owners choose careers where they can care for their and other animals. With the wide variety of animal-related jobs, the possibilities are almost unbelievable.
Types of Careers for Animal Lovers
To say there are many careers for people who love animals would be an understatement. From walking dogs to earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, the possibilities seem to go on and on. The type of career you choose depends on your desired salary, the amount of hands-on care you want to provide, and the level of education you are prepared to complete.
Surprisingly enough, many careers that appear to be simple actually pay a reasonably good wage. Here are a few careers possible for individuals who love animals.
- Pet Sitter
- Dog Walker
- Kennel Attendant
- Animal Groomer
- Laboratory Animal Caretaker
- Veterinary Assistant
- Animal Trainer
- Veterinary Technician
- Conservation and Forest Technician or Technologist
- Animal Control Worker
- Animal Breeder
- Service Dog Trainer
- Becoming a Veterinarian
Of the many careers for animal lovers, veterinary medicine is, without a doubt, the career that requires the most education and training. But it’s also the career that offers the highest wage potential. It provides animal lovers with an extensive amount of contact with animals, especially dogs.
To become a veterinarian, a candidate must complete a degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. This degree program, which includes coursework, laboratory studies, and clinical education, takes about four years. This is in addition to the four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, which is typically a prerequisite for veterinary college. Many vet colleges also prefer that students have prior experience working with animals.
The final year of the veterinary degree program is generally spent completing an internship. To work as a veterinarian, the individual must obtain licensure; these requirements vary from state to state and country to country. The graduate typically takes the licensure in the state or area in which he or she plans to reside and work as a veterinarian.
Licensed veterinarians can expect job growth of 18 percent during the 2018-2028 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average annual wage for licensed veterinarians was $104,820 as of May 2019, with salaries ranging from $58,080 to $160,780.
Training Available Almost Anywhere
One factor that makes becoming a veterinarian or even a veterinary technologist exciting is that training programs are available not just in the United States but also across the globe. Becoming a veterinarian is not all that much different from becoming a medical doctor. The major difference is that one treats humans, and the other treats animals.
There are veterinary schools located all over the world. In the same way that an aspiring doctor can attend medical school in the Caribbean, a veterinary student can find training in exotic or at least exciting locations. Veterinary training programs can be found across the globe. Here are a few of the many veterinary training schools located in other countries, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Great Britain
There are more than veterinary medicine colleges throughout the world. In many of these vet training schools, students can complete the coursework in one school and complete the internship in a different college or even a different country. Just as there are different colleges in different countries, there are also different degrees that can be earned because each country may have its own specific requirements for being a veterinarian or a veterinary technologist.
For the right individual, caring for animals is more than just a responsibility but rather a source of excitement and fulfillment. Choosing a career where an individual can put their love of animals to work can be challenging yet very rewarding. It can also result in excellent career opportunities and very lucrative jobs.