Careers Working with Animals
VETERINARIAN, REGISTERED VETERINARY TECHNICIAN (RVT)
Veterinary medicine is one of the careers most commonly associated with animals and offers a wide variety of opportunities. In addition to general practice, veterinarians specialize in ophthalmology, dentistry, dermatology, cardiology, cancer treatment, etc. A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is to a veterinarian what a nurse is to a doctor. They are licensed to administer animal care, but do not perform surgery, make diagnoses, or prescribe treatments.
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR CONSULTANT, PROFESSIONAL TRAINER
The behavior consultant or trainer works most often with dogs; however, there are also opportunities to specialize in horse, bird, cat, and other animal training.
HUMANE OFFICER, ANIMAL CONTROL & WELFARE OFFICER
Humane Officers and Animal Control Officers are concerned with the welfare of all animals, both domestic and wild. Humane Officers enforce laws relating to animal welfare. Animal Control Officers respond to reports and bring stray animals to shelters. Officers may also respond to emergencies where animals are injured, trapped, or in danger.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, CONSERVATION, WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
Environmentalists protect ecological communities through environmental protection and species preservation programs. Conservationists help to prevent the destruction of natural habitat, flora, and fauna essential to the survival of many species. Wildlife management program employees provide law enforcement, game management, habitat protection, and field research.
PET SITTER, GROOMER, PET SUPPLY STORE
Pet sitters provide pet care and other in-home services while owners are away from home. Grooming is an important part of maintaining the health of companion animals. Most groomers handle dogs and cats; however, some specialize in grooming other types of animals. Various opportunities exist in pet supply retail including sales, marketing, public relations, etc.
ZOOS, AQUARIUMS, & NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS
Zoos, aquariums, and museums exhibit collections of living animals and artifacts. Many opportunities exist at zoos and aquariums such as director, veterinarian, registered veterinary technician, zoologist, horticulturist, aquarist, curator, researcher, educator, and animal trainer.
CREATIVE ANIMAL CAREERS
Animal career possibilities range from pet and wildlife artist to designer, illustrator, photographer, or painter. Writers may be employed by magazines and book publishers to write about animal issues. Other creative people may build cat condos, doghouses, pet furniture, and specialized enclosures or carriers.
EDUCATION & TRAINING LEVELS
Dependent on your chosen field, you may need to go through an apprenticeship, a two-year degree/certificate program, obtain a 4-year baccalaureate degree or complete a 2-4 year post-baccalaureate program (Veterinarian, Zoologist, Researcher, etc), in addition to completing on-the-job training and continuing education.
Please note, articles in the Animal Resource Library are for reference only, and are not meant to diagnose or treat any medical or behavioral issues your pet may be experiencing.