The 5 Best Majors If You Want to Work With Animals

What careers or degrees will let you work with animals.

Hello! 👋 Welcome to this guide on the best majors to pursue in college if you want to work with animals 🐶 in the future. This is a great career field for animal lovers, and there are dozens of different career paths available depending on your interests. Let’s jump right into it! 🐰

As a student studying zoology 🦓, you will be delving into the relationships 🤝 between animals and their environment. You will be studying the animal kingdom and how it is impacted by its natural surroundings 🌳, aided by strong foundations in biology and physical science.

(Image courtesy of Unsplash )

If you want to work in an animal-related industry in the future and have an interest in biology 🔬 and scientific processes🧬, this may be the major for you! Within zoology, you will be able to conduct research 🔎 in the real world 🌎 and work with zoos or conservation groups.

You will learn the important principles of biology, chemistry, and math. 💯 These courses will train you to view organisms from different levels, from the microscopic molecules they’re made out of to the function of their bodily systems. 🙉 These classes will also help you transition to more challenging science courses like anatomy and genetics 🧬, where you will study animal structures and their functions, as well as evolution and its impact on the animal kingdom.

Outside of the classroom, you will be encouraged to participate in research opportunities to gain hands-on experience. 📊 Working alongside faculty, you will be able to develop crucial scientific reasoning skills 📝 while working with animals!

2. Veterinary Science

Veterinarians have an important role in maintaining the health and happiness 😊 of pets, livestock, and zoo animals. Some veterinary scientists also research 📈 animal diseases and study how they may affect humans, like yellow fever 💉, a viral disease that is spread by one particular type of mosquito.

If you consider yourself compassionate and patient, and are interested in studying animal behaviors and the function of their physical systems 🦠, consider pursuing a major in veterinary science! Not only will you be focusing on taking care of sick animals 🩺, but you will also be providing comfort ❤️ to animals feeling anxious, distressed, or angry.

While in college, you will be taking courses that cover the foundations of basic sciences. According to World Wide Learn , the majority of your time in this major will be focused on gaining hands-on experience 🤲, like diagnosing health issues and performing actual surgery! 🦴 In addition, you will have the opportunity to perform lab work in the fields of biochemistry, medicine, and anatomy. 🧬

If you are interested in specializing in one particular field, such as radiology or surgery 🩹, you should consider gaining an internship. This opportunity will allow you to continue practicing your craft in a hands-on environment and prepare you for the workforce ahead! 🔭

3. Marine Biology

Marine biologists look closely at how organisms, including fish 🐟 and aquatic plants, survive in the ocean. As a marine biology major, you will study ocean geology, animals’ habitats and their ecological environments 🐚, and the chemical makeup of water. 💦

Is this the right major for you? Well, if you’re interested in studying marine organisms 🐡 and participating in aquatic activities like diving, the answer might be yes! Marine biologists frequently go on dives to observe ocean life 🌊 and apply the knowledge they have learned about aquatic animals.

Some of the classes you will take include marine ecology 🦀 (the study of living things and their interactions with the environment), marine botany 🌿 (the study of plant species and marine algae), fisheries biology 🐠 (the study of fish and their natural habitats), and marine policy ✒️ (the study of how social sciences are applied to craft policies relating to the ocean).

Outside of the classroom, there tons of ways to continue to stay involved! For example, you could do research at a marine science research institute 🐳, complete an internship at an aquarium, or even go on a dive to see marine organisms in their natural habitats. 🐬

(Image courtesy of Pexels )

4. Animal Science

Students studying animal science look at topics like behavior 🐕‍🦺, breeding, and physiology. Later, you may pick a specialization to pursue a career in, such as animal management or animal medicine. 🧩

Pursue a major in animal science if you are passionate about animals 🐘 and plan to work in an animal-related industry in the future! There are lots of specializations to choose from, so you should be able to browse through and find one that fits you and your interests perfectly. For example, if you consider yourself a strong problem solver and have a deep interest in science ⚗️, you may be interested in entering the field of animal health and medicine. 💊

In college, you will take a wide breadth of foundational classes, like animal nutrition 🍎 and animal reproduction. Then, depending on your chosen specialization, you will have the opportunity to take a more narrow focus of classes. For instance, students interested in animal management may take classes in agricultural business management 🌾, while others interested in animal medicine might take higher levels of chemistry and physiology.

(GIF courtesy of GIPHY )

5. Equine Studies

Students with equine studies majors learn how to properly take care of horses 🐴, including training and grooming. 🧹 You will also learn how breeding works, as well as how to take care of horses with health issues.

If you love horses and can envision yourself working with them as a career, this might be the best major for you! As an equine studies major, it is important to be responsible 🧠 and hard-working. Being prepared for physical activity 🤾 is also a plus!

One of the most important classes you will take is equine nutrition 🍖, which involves learning how to feed horses correctly to ensure that they maintain a healthy body. According to the College Board’s Big Future program , some topics that you will learn about include “ingredients in feed 🍽, the digestive anatomy of the horse, and what a horse needs to eat as it gets older.” 💪

This major will provide a lot of opportunities for hands-on experience, as you will be working alongside horses for the majority of your time! 🐴 Possible internship positions include horse breeding technician and assistant barn manager. 🌾

Give yourself a pat on the back: You’ve successfully made it to the end of this article! 🙌 You should now have a better understanding of the five majors we’ve looked at, including how to determine if each major is right for you 🤔, what kind of classes you will be taking, and how you can gain experience outside the classroom. 📚

If you are still unsure, don’t stress! 😫 Continue doing research about each major to really hone in on the right fit for you. 😋 If you’d like more college resources, check out Fiveable !

Good luck on your college journey! You’ve got this. 👏

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Animal Care Schools, Colleges and Universities

Last Updated July 26, 2023

Are you someone who feels joy when caring for an animal? School might just offer a path to a career that lets you experience that every day.

Animal care can be both rewarding and challenging. With the right training and dedication, you could have a future in a profession that you can really put your heart into. For example, are you interested in animal health care? Programs are available in veterinary technology, veterinary office management, and veterinary assisting. And many animal colleges provide training that's useful if you want to become a pet groomer, dog trainer, or other type of care worker.

Plus, colleges that offer animal science and animal care programs frequently have good track records of helping people prepare for work in all kinds of settings ranging from animal kennels, shelters, and sanctuaries to animal hospitals and clinics. As a result, this path is often a great choice for those who don't want to spend their days at a desk, but rather outdoors or interacting with a variety of people and animals.

So check out the following animal care schools. Or perform a quick search for nearby programs by entering your zip code into the tool below!

7 Fun Careers That an Animal College Can Help Train You For

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Salary information and job growth is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) unless otherwise indicated.*

Animal College

Plus, the need for animal care professionals continues to remain strong. Not only is pet ownership growing in popularity, but also wildlife is increasingly threatened by the results of human actions. And the management of both domestic and wild animals continues to pose distinctive challenges and opportunities. Just consider the following facts:

  • According to the American Pet Products Association , about two-thirds of households across the country include at least one pet.
  • Each year, American animal shelters receive about 6.3 million companion animals.
  • In the U.S., more than 700 animal species are listed as either endangered or threatened.

So as you think about your own future in an animal-related vocation, remember that a large variety of meaningful career paths may be open to you. And you'll likely improve your odds of success by getting training from an animal career college or from one of the many colleges with animal science majors.

For starters, take a look at these seven inspiring vocational options:

1. Veterinary Technologist or Technician

No animal-related occupation is growing as quickly as this one. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of veterinary techs in America is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2021 to 2031. That means an average of 15,500 jobs should become available each year over that period.

What does this vocation involve? Essentially, being a veterinary tech means getting to help licensed veterinarians with some of the complex work of diagnosing and treating animals that are sick or injured. That means you could be a nurse for animals and get to do things like:

  • Take x-rays
  • Carry out diagnostic laboratory tests
  • Provide first aid
  • Give vaccines, medications, and prescribed treatments
  • Prepare operating rooms and animals for surgeries
  • Provide dental care and post-surgical care

With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you can qualify to become a veterinary technician. (What is an associate degree? It's a credential that typically takes about two years to earn.) Or if you want the chance to work in a more advanced role, then a four-year bachelor's degree in this field will help you qualify to become a veterinary technologist. Either way, you'll likely need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) in order to earn the proper license to practice in your state.

According to data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook program, the median annual salary for American veterinary techs was $36,850 in 2021. But it's possible to earn more than $48,100 per year with enough experience. And you may be able to improve your income potential by specializing in a particular area of care such as anesthesia, animal dentistry, or emergency aid.

2. Veterinary Assistant or Office Manager

In this role, your work might involve being the first person that companion animals and their owners see upon arriving at an animal hospital or veterinary clinic. During any given day, you may get to perform relatively routine tasks such as:

  • Greeting clients and scheduling appointments
  • Feeding, exercising, and bathing animals
  • Cleaning kennels, clinical areas, and equipment
  • Counting and ordering various supplies
  • Holding pets still during procedures or exams
  • Monitoring the conditions of animals
  • Assisting with other basic veterinary procedures

Many animal colleges offer short certificate programs in veterinary assisting or veterinary office management that are helpful to people who want to enter this field quickly. And you don't have to earn any further licenses or certifications before you can start working.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, an estimated 23,900 job openings are expected annually in this field from 2021 to 2031. The median salary for veterinary assistants was $29,780 in 2021, although many earned more than $38,860.

3. Veterinarian

As an animal doctor, you could make a truly meaningful difference in all kinds of lives. Veterinarians get to be the professionals in charge when it comes to diagnosing and treating pets and other animals. And in today's veterinary field, they are increasingly getting to perform the kinds of medical procedures that were once only reserved for humans.

That's why most veterinarians typically earn high salaries, with the Occupational Outlook Handbook reporting a median salary of $100,370 in 2021. The top earners in the field made more than $165,600. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an average of 4,800 new veterinarian job openings each year from 2021 to 2031.

In order to become a veterinarian, you'll likely need to earn a couple of degrees. Working with animals at this level requires that you have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, which usually takes a total of at least eight years of college education. That's because most applicants to four-year veterinary medicine programs have already earned four-year bachelor's degrees.

Once you have the necessary degree, you can then pursue your state license to practice, which usually requires passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

4. Dog Trainer, Groomer, or Other Animal Care Worker

Animal College

After all, a huge percentage of Americans love owning pets. But we all know that life gets complicated. And we don't always have the time or ability to look after our pets full-time or to train or care for them at the level we would like. That's why so many pet owners turn to caring and knowledgeable workers in this category. Professional dog training, pet grooming, and pet sitting, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular.

And it's possible to make more than just a few bucks in these occupations, even if you work part-time. For example, some of the highest-earning animal trainers made $58,790 in 2021, according to the OOH.

5. Wildlife Biologist

Have you ever imagined studying wild animals in their natural environments? That's what a lot of wildlife biologists get to do on a regular basis. This is one of the most rewarding wildlife careers because biologists' work often plays a big role in discovering ways to protect animals and their habitats from the harmful impacts of human activities. It's all about using science on behalf of animal species that reside on land or in water. The more we understand them, the better we can protect both them and ourselves.

A lot of colleges with animal science programs offer the coursework needed to get started along this path. But the more education you get, the better your opportunities are likely to be. In general, working in the field of wildlife biology requires at least a bachelor's degree. And for positions involving high-level research or investigative work, you generally need at least a master's degree or Ph.D.

The OOH figures indicate that the median salary of wildlife biologists in the U.S. was $64,650 in 2021. But some of them earned more than $103,900.

6. Wildlife Rehabilitator

Every year, thousands upon thousands of wild animals in America are injured, become sick, or are orphaned. And in many cases, those problems are directly or indirectly caused by human activity. That's why many animal lovers have chosen to dedicate their lives to treating needy wildlife until it can be safely and effectively released back into the wild.

In the U.S., a significant percentage of the animals that are treated by wildlife rehabilitators have been impacted by car collisions, attacks from dogs and cats, and other human-related events or activities.

Wildlife rehabilitators come from a variety of backgrounds such as biology, ecology, education, and veterinary technology and medicine. However, in order to treat and release wild birds, mammals, reptiles, or amphibians, you almost always need the proper permits from your state and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Most often, that requires getting some structured training. But you can also get an idea of what this line of work is like by volunteering for a wildlife rehabilitation center in your region.

7. Animal-Assisted Therapist

Think about how you feel in the presence of a lovable animal. Now imagine using that kind of positive energy to help other people overcome their mental, emotional, social, or physical challenges. By letting patients or clients interact with small creatures, animal-assisted therapists often open new pathways to well-being.

This field is still relatively new, but most practitioners come from backgrounds in psychology, counseling, or physical or occupational therapy. With training in animal welfare, they are then able to provide even greater value and service to the people they are trying to help.

Move Toward an Uplifting Future

Take advantage of your strong interest in animal care. Explore your options for attending an animal college right now by putting your zip code into the convenient school finder at the top of the page!

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook . Some careers listed may be part of a combined occupation profile (visited July 11, 2023).

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Home  /  News  /  20+ Cool Careers With Animals (That Pay Well)

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20+ Cool Careers With Animals (That Pay Well)

Are you interested in working with animals? Ready to get out from behind a typical desk job and head outdoors to study wildlife, take samples, or rescue injured animals? Jobs involving animals aren’t limited to veterinary clinics or zoos. You may find yourself diving into the depths of the ocean or traversing forests to enforce regulations.

a veterinarian checking on a cat with a stethoscope

Jobs that help animals are in no short supply. Due to global changes, land development, and natural disasters animals are often displaced from their owners or habitats. There is much work to do when it comes to conservation, relocation, and animal care.

We’ve put together a list of animal-related jobs, including high-paying jobs working with animals, and the education requirements needed to kickstart each career. Learn about these impactful professions and how they can make a difference.

  • Animal Rescue Careers

Veterinary Careers

  • Jobs with Wild Animals
  • Jobs with Aquatic Animals
  • Jobs with Dogs

Unusual Animal Jobs

High paying animal jobs, careers working with animals.

There are many careers involving animals for pets and wildlife lovers. When deciding how to work with animals, many often look to veterinary careers . While there are many veterinary specializations and career options, there are also several other types of animal-related jobs to consider – like marine careers .

Perhaps you’re passionate about wildlife rehabilitation or instead, you may be looking for one of the numerous unusual animal jobs such as a snake venom milker. We’ve compiled an animal careers list describing the many types of animal jobs out there to inspire you.

an infographic showing the different salaries for careers that work with animals

Careers in Animal Rescue

Those with a passion for wildlife conservation may find their calling in animal rescue . Animal rescue jobs are so much more than caring for injured and orphaned animals. While ensuring these animals are rehabilitated, planning is also necessary for their eventual release back into the wild. Other animal rescue career opportunities are available for overseeing education and volunteer programs.

While a college degree isn’t required to work in animal rescue, it is encouraged. Not only can a degree open many doors career-wise, but it may also be necessary for some higher-level roles in medicine and research. Animal rescue workers must be willing to work in a variety of environments. Time will be spent outdoors when on a rescue and when it comes time for release in the wild. Therapy, surgeries, and other procedures will be completed in an animal center.

Recommended Degree Program: B.S. in Animal Health and Behavior

  • Marine Rescue Officer
  • Wildlife Rehabilitator
  • Animal Shelter Technician
  • Animal Shelter Managers
  • Animal Health Inspector

A baby sea turtle in a bowl held by a human

There are many different areas a veterinarian may specialize in. For example, a wildlife veterinarian will work with a variety of wildlife, including exotic species. On the other hand, a small animal veterinarian is most likely to work with domesticated cats, dogs, and birds. A career as a veterinarian requires a considerable amount of education. Vets must have a four-year degree, continue on to complete a doctorate program, and finally, pass a state exam to become licensed.

Other veterinarian careers to consider that require fewer years of college are veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants. Both are key roles in caring for and treating animals with responsibilities from assisting with exams, filling prescriptions, and updating records. Communication, compassion, and critical thinking are essential skills and traits to be successful in a veterinary career.

Recommended Degree Program: B.S. in Animal Health & Behavior

  • Veterinarian (Read more below)
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant

Animal Nutritionist

  • Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Equine Dental Technician

Jobs Working With Wild Animals

Working with wild animals is certainly not for the faint at heart. These individuals must have a true passion for animals and wildlife preservation. While some wildlife workers may specialize in one or two types of animals, others may work with a variety of wildlife, from snakes to tigers. Due to the nature of work, these individuals must be highly detailed, excellent communicators, and must be in good physical condition.

Jobs in wildlife may require that work be completed in a variety of environments. Some days may be spent outdoors, others in a conservation habitat, and some days office or lab work may be necessary. Wildlife careers aren’t solely for those wanting to work directly with animals. There are many administrative career options as well such as project planning and managing educational programs.

Recommended Degree Program: B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

  • Zoologist (Read more below)
  • Park Ranger
  • Wildlife Conservationist  
  • Conservation Officer (Read more below)
  • Conservation Biologist (Read more below)
  • Wildlife Biologist (Read more below)
  • Farm Manager
  • Livestock Manager

Jobs Working With Aquatic Animals

Do you enjoy being in or near the water? If so, aquatic animal-related jobs may be a great fit for you. These workers may find themselves by the ocean, at an aquarium, marine park, or even on dry land. Some aquatic jobs may require scuba diving deep into the ocean or a tank at an aquarium, but not all aquatic careers require that you get wet.

An aquarist with marine life in an aquarium

To be successful in working with aquatic animals, one must be curious-minded and observant. After all, you want to know where a whale, shark, or dolphin might be while swimming in their tank.

There are many careers an aquatic animal worker may pursue. Marine mammal trainers will often work with dolphins and whales at parks and zoos. Aquarists may be responsible for a variety of fish at aquariums. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry may opt to work at a museum. These workers typically have a bachelor’s degree at minimum in addition to other certifications such as scuba diving and CPR.

Recommended Degree Program: B.S. in Marine Biology

  • Marine Biologist
  • Marine Mammal Trainer

Jobs Working With Dogs

For all you dog lovers, there are many potential careers working with dogs. These types of jobs require a high level of energy and plenty of patience. Dogs love activity and some have a hard time holding still. Physical strength is a must as well in case you have to carry a dog or are out for a walk with a leash-puller.

A college degree isn’t typically required to work with canines, but it is helpful. In a degree program, you’ll acquire and build many useful skills such as animal behavior, training, and how to treat illnesses and injuries – and may advance into advanced roles faster.

There are many ways to find careers with dogs. Dog walkers and sitters may find postings on job boards or in apps geared toward pet care. Groomers can find jobs at pet stores or might even consider starting their own business. Police dog handlers usually have a degree in criminal justice and begin with years of training in the field as an officer.

  • K9 Unit Officer/Trainer

Perhaps you’re looking for a more unique role. There are many jobs for animal lovers that are little-known, yet make a big difference. What are some of these unusual jobs with animals?

A relocation worker will move animals from overcrowded or kill shelters to other no-kill facilities. For those looking for something on the wild side, consider becoming a snake venom milker . These workers extract venom from snakes to make anti-venom to treat snake bites in both humans and other animals.

Milking a snake: Image by Alexandra Lysenko from Pixabay

Even with the best handlers, animals can be unpredictable. Having careful attention to detail is a must when working with any animal, wild or domesticated. Workers in even the most unusual types of jobs must have a passion for animal welfare. Whether a college degree is required is dependent on the job. However, completing a degree program will enhance your skills and can help you develop your career.

Recommended Degree Program: B.S. in Wildlife Biology

  • Snake Venom Milker
  • Relocation Worker
  • Animal Scientist

When considering a career path, salary often becomes a factor. Many jobs with animals that pay well are geared toward research, science, and conservation. Money may not be as much as a priority to some, but living expenses don’t go away. You can certainly earn a decent salary while following your passion for working with animals. Take a look at this animal science careers list and salaries to get a better idea of job outlook and pay.

Wildlife Biologist

Veterinarian, animal care specialist, wildlife conservationist, conservation officer, conservation biologist.

Wildlife biologists spend much of their time out in the field, making it a great occupation for those with a love for the outdoors and travel. During these travels, biologists study animals, their habits and behaviors like how they interact with humans and other animals. Much of their field research involves conducting experiments to make these discoveries.

Wildlife biologists can be found in the office or lab on occasion, studying specimens, or creating reports. Most wildlife biologist jobs require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum with some employers preferring a graduate degree and even a Ph.D. for higher-level research and lab work.

  • Average Salary (2021) : $64,650 
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2020): 18,500
  • Recommended Degree Program : B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

A veterinarian is one of the highest-paying animal careers. There are many different types of veterinary jobs. Mixed practice veterinarians work with both small and large animals, domestic or exotic. Others may specialize in working with companion animals such as dogs and cats.

A sleeping dog is monitored by a veterinarian: Image by Mirko Sajkov from Pixabay

Some veterinarians may opt to work in research, studying diseases and other illnesses to find medicine and cures. Many of the highest-paying veterinary jobs are in research. Below is a partial list of veterinary careers:

  • Small Animal Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Veterinary Pathologist
  • Zoo Veterinarian

What does it take to become a veterinarian? After completing a bachelor’s program, the next step is to earn a postdoctoral degree. It doesn’t end there; veterinarians must also pass an exam to become licensed in order to practice in their state. Although it takes several years to become one, a veterinary career is one of many rewarding and impactful animal care jobs.

  • Average Salary (2021) : $100,370 
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2020): 86,800
  • Recommended Degree Program : B.S. Animal Health & Behavior

sheep eating from a trough

If you want to care for animals while helping them be happy and safe, then you should consider becoming an  animal nutritionist . Their main duties are to create diets and lifestyle plans for animals to keep them healthy. Since every animal has a different diet and lifestyle, creativity and passion to work with animals are a must to be in this role.

It is usually required to have a minimum of a bachelor degree with a heavy emphasis in animal science. Volunteering at animal shelters or getting a part time job at a veterinary office can help prepare one for this role. While this role is often in the field assessing living conditions, there can also be office work where tests and analysis are performed on computers to support diet or lifestyle recommendations.

  • Average Salary (2020) :  $80,390
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2020):  37,400
  • Projected Demand (2020-30) : 9%
  • Recommended Degree Program :  B.S. Animal Health & Behavior

dog on a leash resting in shade

An animal care specialist is very hands-on with their job. They specialize in training and attending to animals. The job can be in a variety of places, ranging from zoos to kennels. Entry-level jobs in general animal care only require a high school diploma, but to become a specialist and make it a successful career, a bachelor’s degree is usually required.

  • Average Salary (2020) :  $28,600
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2020):  332,700
  • Projected Demand (2020-30) : 33%
  • Recommended Degree Program :  BS in Animal Science

Wildlife and natural environments need to be protected. Wildlife conservationists go out in the field to study and mitigate the human impact in the wild. Common tasks are sampling and testing soil and water for contamination or pollution and educating the public on conservation.

You can be the next Steve Irwin or Jane Goodall. This career requires a bachelors degree focusing on zoology or wildlife biology. You can be working for federal agencies or local officials at places like parks, zoos, or in nature.

  • Average Salary (2021) :  $68,230
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2021):  22,550
  • Projected Demand (2020-30) : 5%
  • Recommended Degree Program :  BS in Wildlife Conservation

Zoology is another one of the many careers with animals that have a variety of specialties. With each specialty comes varying responsibilities. Some zoologists may focus on how global changes are impacting wildlife. Others may focus on the diet and migration of a species. By studying the habits of wildlife, zoologists have an important and influential role in the conservation of wildlife, particularly with animals nearing extinction.

A man holding a large bird of prey

Most entry-level animal jobs in zoology require a college degree. Many zoologists opt to take a program specific to zoology while others may choose a broader program of study such as biology. Post-college, zoologists may find themselves working with animals at a zoo or out studying wildlife in their natural habitats. Others may prefer working in a museum or educational facility with students and the public.

  • Median Salary (2021) : $64,650
  • Recommended Degree Program : B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

A conservation officer plays an important role in protecting wildlife habitats. Although a conservation officer may occasionally come in contact with animals to relocate them or assist with an injury, they typically don’t work directly with animals. These officers instead ensure that laws are followed by visitors to parks and forests. One example of this is a game warden enforcing hunting and fishing regulations.

A love of the outdoors and criminal justice is a must to be successful as a conservation officer. Having a four-year degree in a related field along with criminal justice training is useful. New officers can gain experience through internship and volunteer programs.

  • Average Salary (2021) : $63,750
  • Currently Employed in the U.S (2020): 39,000
  • Projected Demand (2020-30) : 7% (as fast as average)
  • Recommended Degree Program : B.S. in Conservation Law Enforcement

A person with penguins in the arctic: Photo by Suzan Kiršić

The curious and scientifically-minded may thrive in a career as a conservation biologist . These biologists serve as advocates for endangered species, habitat loss, and the impact of global changes. Through research and science, biologists strive to protect wildlife, their habitats, and the planet as a whole.

The completion of a bachelor’s program is beneficial for a successful career as a conservation biologist. Through such programs, you’ll develop valuable research and analysis skills. Several years of work experience is required for most jobs. Many aspiring biologists gain experience through internship and volunteer opportunities. After completing their degree program, conservation biologists most often will find work at government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Next Steps…

Are you still thinking ‘ I want to work with animals’? Not only are there many careers with animals that pay well, but they also create a positive impact. You can go home at the end of the day satisfied knowing that your work is making a difference.

These  degrees  can help you get started on your path to working with animals:

  • Animal Health and Behavior  Bachelor of Science
  • Captive Wildlife Care  Bachelor of Science
  • Animal Science  Bachelor of Science
  • Animal Science and Behavior  Master of Professional Science
  • Wildlife Conservation  Bachelor of Science
  • Wildlife and Fisheries Biology  Bachelor of Science
  • Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture  Bachelor of Science

How can you get started in animal-related jobs? Get in touch with Unity Environmental College to discuss how our degree programs can accelerate your career. Explore our careers and outcomes to learn more about career paths working with animals. Or, browse more jobs that make the world a better place .

Degree Programs

Degree programs

To match your passion, b.s. in marine biology and sustainable aquaculture.

Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture

B.S. in Animal Health and Behavior

B.s. in captive wildlife care.

Captive Animal

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15 Best College Degrees for Animal Lovers

courses working with animals

Key Takeaways

  • Schools offer a wide range of degrees for people wanting to work with animals, the environment, and agriculture.
  • Based on a person’s career goals and preferences, there are degrees available for those wishing to work with both domestic animals and wildlife.
  • There are a plethora of career options available for those who want to work with animals.

animals in the wild

Before you pursue a career working with animals, it’s important to know what your interests are and what specific parts of animal care and research you would like to work in. As with any career, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your capabilities and desires. There are many rewarding parts of a career working with animals, so it’s important to take time to reflect about your goals and desired outcomes.

Key Questions to Consider

Why do i want to learn about animals.

Maybe you want to learn about animals because you had a favorite pet growing up that started a deep love to furry (or scaly) creatures. Maybe you’re passionate about making sure animals’ habitats and homes are secure for future generations. Maybe you want to be a farmer and are interested in the best ways to care for your stock. The field of animal care is as vast and diverse as the animal kingdom itself. Knowing your motivation for learning about animals can help you decide what career you would find the most enjoyment and purpose in. Many programs will include hands-on learning opportunities to help you narrow down your interests.

What animals am I most interested in?

If you like farm animals, then maybe a degree in agribusiness would be perfect for you. If you prefer marine life, then a degree in marine biology could be the best fit for you. Keeping in mind what animals you are most interested in will help inform your decision of what you want to study.

Additionally, maybe there are certain aspects of animal care that entice you. You might be most interested in preserving their natural habitat, caring for their physical health, or helping shape their behavior. These factors can be guideposts to you as you decide on your degree and career path.

Have I considered the harder aspects of working with animals?

While animals can be cute and cuddly, there are also some less than glamorous sides of animal care. Whether you want to work a veterinarian’s office, at a wildlife refuge, or a zoo, you will undoubtedly encounter aspects as animal care that are less than ideal. This could look like cleaning up after animals, managing scared or hard to control creatures, and more. Many people who work with animals report long hours and a physically demanding work environment.

While this is typical of animal work environments, it is not true of every role. Make sure to do your research on what certain jobs will entail so you can set yourself up for success. If you love animals but have no desire to be in potentially dangerous situations, consider look into jobs that don’t require that of you. Maybe being an advocate for animals, an animal researcher, or someone who studies the environment is more up your alley.

Am I okay with the potential emotional roller coaster?

This is something to be aware of during your course of study, but also in your potential career field once you graduate. During school, most animal-centered majors will require a good amount of science courses. These are historically challenging so it’s important to know if this is something you are up for. If you don’t love the sciences, maybe consider a major that deals with animal behavior or ways to help animals in more indirect ways.

After your degree comes what you’ve been waiting for: putting the skills you’ve learned to work in the real world! While there are many benefits to working with animals, it can also be an emotionally challenging job. You might have to work with sick or dying animals, or animals that could pose a threat to your safety. Keep in minds the benefits and the disadvantages so that you won’t be disillusioned when the hard parts of the job come.

Would I want to learn about the medical/science side of animal care?

Many animal related degrees are extremely science-heavy. Degrees related to animals will most likely include advanced science classes, such as biochemistry, organic chemistry, and the like. While there are some animal degree programs that are not as science intensive, students should still be prepared for at least a few biology classes. This is to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to meet the needs of the animals you work with.

Keep in mind that many of the more technical roles of animal care and research require advanced degrees. For example, if you want to become a veterinarian, you will need to pursue your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. If you want to be a biologist or zoologist, you will need at least a bachelor’s or master’s for entry level positions, but a Ph.D. to lead research. It is important to keep the amount of schooling you want to pursue in mind so that you can make the best decision regarding your career path.

taking note of animals wellbeing

What is the Career Outlook Like for Animal Lovers?

There are many different animal-related jobs in the United States. The career outlook for each one differs based on location and field. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , the overall trend for animal-related careers shows an upward trajectory. In total, animal care and service workers are expected to experience a 16% job growth, which is faster than the national average.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for veterinarians is expected to grow by 20%, faster than average considering all other career fields. Because of this, veterinarian technicians are also in higher demand. For roles involving animal behavior, such as animal trainers and pet service workers , there is a predicted 16% job growth, which is faster than the average rate.

In terms of careers for those wanting to work with more exotic animals, the job outlook for zoologists and wildlife biologists is only expected to grow by 3%, which is about as fast as all other occupations. For those wanting a little tamer of a role, farmers and agricultural managers can expect a job decline of about 5%. Despite this decline, there are about 90,000 new job openings every year in this industry.

15 Best College Degrees for Animal-Lovers

Using our proprietary InfluenceRanking™ Engine—innovative machine-learning technology that objectively measures a school’s influence through its students, faculty, staff, and alumni—Academic Influence ranked the best college degrees for animal lovers in the US according to the following criteria:

  • Demand and outlook for career fields related to the degree
  • How many students are pursuing each field
  • Applicability of the degree in today’s workforce

You might also be interested in our ranking of the best colleges and universities for biology degrees or the best online degrees in agribusiness .

Veterinary Biomedical Technology

A major in veterinary biomedical technology can prepare students to enter one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States, veterinary technology. Students will leave this program prepared to assist veterinarians in readying animals, equipment, and medications for medical examinations and surgery.

Common courses include introduction to the profession of veterinary medicine, humane treatment and handling of animals, veterinary parasitology and entomology, and large animal clinical nursing techniques. Students will also typically complete a number of internships so that they can enter the workforce prepared.

Potential Career Paths for Veterinary Biomedical Technology Majors:

  • Veterinary Office Manager
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Biotechnologist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Veterinary Biomedical Technology

  • Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Lincoln Memorial University

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

This major is designed for those planning on pursuing their doctorate in veterinary medicine. Students can expect to learn the anatomy and physiology of many animals while studying the biology and chemical components as well.

Students will participate in courses such as anatomy and physiology of domestic animals, animal nutrition, livestock management techniques, and veterinary medical terminology. Students should be prepared for a high number of science classes, such as organic chemistry, microbiology, and nutritional biochemistry. Labs will be required and necessary for students to learn the skills needed to continue on to veterinary medical school.

Potential Career Paths for Pre-Veterinary Medicine Majors:

  • Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Laboratory Technologist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Pre-Veterinary Medicine

  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • Bowling Green State University

veterinarian at work

Biological Sciences

Biological sciences, sciences related to the study of life, include biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neurobiology, developmental biology, and more. These sciences give students a grasp at concepts such as molecular medicine, ecology and the environment, genetic regulation of plant and animal development, and cell dynamics and motility. These concepts can prepare students for a career with animals as students will have a better understanding of what it takes to keep animals and their environments healthy.

Common courses include bacterial diversity and physiology, physical chemistry for life science, disease and society, and advanced genetics. Students should be prepared to take a number of labs and complete field work as a part of their course of study.

Potential Career Paths for Biological Science Majors:

  • Environmental Conservationist
  • Animal Care Specialist
  • Biological Science Educator

Schools that Offer Degrees in Biological Sciences

  • University of California, Davis
  • Ohio University
  • University of Minnesota

Agricultural Management

Agricultural management, also known as agribusiness management, majors learn about farm management, public policy, food issues, and more. Graduates of programs in agricultural management will learn how to manage and grow farms and businesses. They will be able to gain a systemwide understanding of managerial problems and processes.

Common courses include agricultural economics, propagation of horticultural plants, animal health and disease control, livestock selection and evaluation, and livestock genetics. Degree seekers should also expect a high number of business classes.

Potential Career Paths for Agriculture Management Majors:

  • Agricultural Operations Specialist
  • Agricultural Market Analyst
  • Agronomy Salesperson

Schools that Offer Degrees in Agricultural Management

  • Iowa State University
  • Missouri State University
  • Dickinson State University

managing a dairy farm

Animal Behavior and Ethology

Students of animal behavior and ethology are primarily concerned with studying what animals do and the neural mechanisms that make this possible. They will study the causes, functions, development, and evolution of behavior. Students will learn the effects of animals’ behavior and its adaptive significance. Animal sensation, cognition, and behavior are all primary focuses in this course of study and as a student progresses through their degree, they will begin to focus on a specific area of animal behavior, such as communication or social skills.

Common courses include perspectives in animal behavior, mechanisms of behavior perspectives, ecosystem ecology and global change, and immune response and behavior. Students should expect science classes such as biology and chemistry, but also psychology classes to understand the implications of behavior.

Potential Career Paths for Animal Behavior and Ethology Majors:

  • Animal Trainer
  • Applied Animal Behavior Specialist
  • Animal Adoption Manager

Schools that Offer Degrees in Animal Behavior and Ethology

  • Indiana University - Bloomington
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • University of New England

Ecology majors will focus on environmental science, conservation, and research. This might look like focusing on agricultural practices to study which ones will be of most benefit to the environment. It might also look like focusing on nonrenewable resources, studying how to preserve them and care for future generations. Students will learn about natural biological cycles, problem solve agricultural and environmental problems, and find long term solutions to environmental problems today. They will study terrestrial and aquatic ecological systems.

Common courses include fundamentals of ecology, diversity and evolution of plants, fire ecology and biogeochemistry, and forest tree physiology and breeding. Students will also learn about agroecology, crop and soil sciences, animal science, soil fertility and nutrient cyclings, entomology, and more.

Potential Career Paths for Ecology Majors:

  • Natural Resources Specialist
  • Field Ecologist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Ecology

  • Princeton University
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Oklahoma State University

ecologists working in the field

Animal Science

A degree in animal science should leave a student with scientific expertise in chemistry, biology, and the physical sciences. Students will learn about animal systems and animal behavior principles. This is a hands-on major, and students will not only complete labs, but field work as well. This major typically focuses on the agriculture and food industry side of animal care, but there are some programs that will be focused on the clinical aspects of animal care.

Common courses include general animal science, animal production systems, animal breeding, and food bacteriology. In most degree plans, there will also be a large number of communications and business courses to ensure students are prepared to enter this industry.

Potential Career Paths for Animal Science Majors:

  • Agricultural and Food Scientist
  • Production Supervisor
  • Animal Sales Representative

Schools that Offer Degrees in Animal Science

  • Cornell University
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of Georgia

Marine Biology

A major in marine biology will allow students to study the life processes of organisms that live in saltwater environments. Students will study everything from genetics to ecosystem functioning to physiological traits. Students can expect to learn about marine biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems, and organismal processes.

Students will also study conservation techniques and resource management. Common courses include marine physiology, marine evolutionary biology, scientific writing in marine biology, and marine biogeochemical cycles. Students should expect a high number of science courses, such as chemistry of marine organic carbon, organic chemistry, and aquatic ecophysiology.

Potential Career Paths for Marine Biology Majors:

  • Marine Biologist
  • Aquatic Scientist
  • Marine Conservation Coordinator

Schools that Offer Degrees in Marine Biology

  • San Jose State University
  • University of Alaska – Southeast
  • Florida International University

oceanographer recording data

Zoology majors study animals’ inner workings, activities, and evolution. They will also study various habitats and conservation theories. This degree is broad in scope with students studying everything from insects to mammals. However, as these majors progress, they might decide to focus in on a particular animal group that will prepare them for their future career.

Common courses for those majoring in zoology include animal behavior and conservation, vertebrate zoology, field methods, genome evolution, and zoopathological ecology. Students should expect to take many classes in biology and chemistry as well.

Potential Career Paths for Zoology Majors:

  • Scientific Technical Writer
  • Animal Physiotherapist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Zoology

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Maine

Wildlife Biology

Students studying wildlife biology will develop a strong science foundation as well as an understanding of natural resources and the environment. Students can expect to leave this major prepared to work with the ecology, habitat, and conservation of wild animals.

Common courses include general genetics, advanced vertebrate studies, methods of wildlife ecology and conservation, mammalogy, and natural resource management. Students can also expect to take a large number of courses in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry.

Potential Career Paths for Wildlife Biology Majors:

  • Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer
  • Wildlife Journalist
  • Fishery Manager

Schools that Offer Degrees in Wildlife Biology

  • Colorado State University
  • The University of Wyoming
  • The University of Vermont

animals in the wild

Environmental Science

Majors of environmental science will study the natural sciences with the end goal of learning responsible stewardship of the planet. As they learn how the physical and biological sciences shape the natural world, they will be equipped to fix and help some of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. Many programs will include hands-on learning experiences such as labs and field-based experiences to enable students to develop the tools needed to make a difference in the environmental sphere.

Common courses include environmental compliance, weather and climate, organisms to ecosystems, and sustainable development. Students can also expect a large number of chemistry and biology classes.

Potential Career Paths for Environmental Science Majors:

  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist
  • Environmental Science Teacher

Schools that Offer Degrees in Environmental Science

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Bucknell University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Wildlife Conservation

Students in a wildlife conservation major typically study with their end goal being to use their knowledge to preserve the environment and the earth’s resources and ensure animals and generations to come will be cared for. They will gain a broad knowledge of wildlife management, ecology, and the preservation of biodiversity.

Common courses include becoming a wildlife professional, field methods in wildlife and conservation science, plant diversity and conservation, principles of sustainability, and agricultural law. People in this major can typically either decide to focus on the biological or agricultural aspects of conservation, so this distinction might change their class breakdown. Those focused more on biology will take more science-heavy classes while those in the agricultural track will learn more about natural resources and industry.

Potential Career Paths for Wildlife Conservation Majors:

  • Park Ranger
  • Conservation Planner
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager

Schools that Offer Degrees in Wildlife Conservation

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Auburn University

environment and natural habitat


Oceanography majors will learn about the oceans, their content, their currents, and their boundaries. Typically, students will focus on one of the following areas: ocean climate, marine ecosystems, marine chemistry and geochemistry, or ocean observing science and technology. Students will learn how to monitor water quality and conduct climate change research. They will also learn how to respond to oil spills, severe weather predictions, and human health threats.

Common courses include geological oceanography, marine ecosystem processes, ocean observing systems, and oceanographic field and laboratory methods. Students will learn about the cause and effect relationships of the ocean’s various components, how humans and other factors can disrupt this, and how to protect the ocean and its resources.

Potential Career Paths for Oceanography Majors:

  • Marine Researcher
  • Oceanographer
  • Marine Chemist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Oceanography

  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Washington- Seattle
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Exotic Animal Training and Management

The study of exotic animal training and management, also called zoo management, is for students who want to work with marine mammals and other exotic wildlife. This is another hands-on degree, as students will learn how to handle and train wildlife, build behavioral enrichment programs, create proper diets, and discover ways to minimize disease transmission.

Common courses include principles of zoo science, zoo and aquarium operations, zoo education, and carnivore training and behavior. Students will also typically take a number of business classes in this major as they learn what it takes to operate and manage zoos and other animal organizations.

Potential career paths:

  • Wildlife Refuge Manager
  • Endangered Species Specialist
  • Wildlife Clinician

Schools that Offer Degrees in Exotic Animal Training and Management

  • West Liberty University
  • Drake University
  • Malone University

wildlife keeper caring for exotic animals

Animal Nutrition

An animal nutritionist combines their knowledge of nutrition, animal science, and individual animal needs to create diets and lifestyle changes for animals. Their job is to optimize animals’ quality of life and they do this through a variety of ways. They will evaluate food and diet plans, complete environmental analyses of living spaces and physical activity, and create nutrition plans based on the specific animal’s needs. A major in animal nutrition will provide students with the necessary training to complete these tasks.

Common courses include integrated cattle nutrition, nutritional physiology and biochemistry, and mechanisms of animal growth and development. Students can expect a large number of science classes, such as microbiology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry.

Potential Career Paths for Animal Nutrition Majors:

  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Animal Production Manager
  • Animal Systems Specialist

Schools that Offer Degrees in Animal Nutrition

  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • North Carolina State University

Student Submitted Questions about the Best College Degrees for Animal Lovers

We discussed the topic of the best degrees for animal lovers with current college students to see what questions they had. Below you’ll find these questions and our answers to them provided by our editor, Chloe Dembski . If you have questions of your own, you can submit your question using the form below and we’ll answer it right here in this article!

Kayli asked, “Do I have to get a degree in something animal-related in order to work with animals?”

No! People major in subjects such as film study to make documentaries about animals or communications to speak out about animal injustices. There are many degrees that could inadvertently enable you to work with animals. You just need to decide on your career goals so that you will be equipped for your chosen career. If you want to work in a more hands-on role with animals, it might be smart to work towards a degree that allows you to do this as you could need formal training in the natural sciences.

Evan asked, “Do I have to get advanced degrees to work with animals?”

There are many different jobs where you can work with animals. Some will require advanced degrees, such as a veterinarian or a zoologist. However, others do not require any degrees at all but rather certifications, such as a trainer or a veterinarian technician. It is important to know your career goals so that you can obtain the degree that most fits with your desired career path.

Aaron asked, “What if I don’t know the specific animal degree I want to pursue?”

Many people start out not knowing the specific degree they want to pursue. If this is true of you, take a few classes to see what you are passionate about. Maybe you love learning about the environment, but less so about the anatomy of animals. Keep these things in mind to help shape your decision. Also, look for opportunities for hands-on learning. Maybe you try interning with an agribusiness company and learn it’s not for you. Maybe then you’ll shadow a zoo keeper and realize you love it. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can until something stands out to you.

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Animal Care (0074)

courses working with animals

UCAS tariff

Certificate in Land Based Services

Subsidiary Diploma in Land Based Services

Diploma in Land Based Services

Extended Diploma in Land Based Services

90- Credit Diploma in Land Based Services UCAS tariff

These animal care and animal management qualifications are for anyone interested in a career working with animals. You may be just starting out, or taking a break from a job to get some valuable training.

You don't need any previous qualifications or experience to get started. At Level 2, you can be 16 or under. To take a Level 3 qualification, you need to be 16 or over.

  • Wales – please check QiW website for available funding
  • Northern Ireland

Interested in delivering this qualification?

Find out more about how to become an approved City & Guilds centre or fill out our online customer application form . 

General Information

What is involved in studying this course.

At Level 2 you'll get an introduction to important topics in animal care - you might choose things like feeding, handling and grooming animals, looking after their accommodation and understanding their health and welfare.

Depending on the size of qualification you choose, you might also cover the science behind animal behaviour, do work experience and gain practical skills.

At Level 3 you'll gain an in-depth insight into the techniques and science of animal management. You might cover things like animal biology, animal husbandry and animal nutrition. You'll also gain plenty of practical experience in your choice of skills, from wildlife surveys to animal training.

You'll learn with your training provider - maybe through practical sessions, group discussions or assignments.

You'll be assessed on assignments, one for each unit you complete.

Level 2 You may be new to animal care or have some knowledge and basic skills. You want to develop your skills, perhaps to start work in a pet shop, animal shelter, cattery or kennel or prepare for further training.

Level 3 You may have some experience in animal care or have gained your Level 2 qualification. You want to develop the skills to be a more senior worker or manager, or to prepare for higher-level training.

What Careers Can This Lead To?

A certificate or diploma in Animal Care or Animal Management is designed to help you find work with animals - perhaps in a kennel or cattery, a dog grooming parlour or pet shop.

Once you've completed the Level 2 qualification you can move on to Level 3.

If you have a current job, you might be interested in a work-based qualification:

  • Level 2 or 3 qualifications in Work-based Animal Care.

What Is Involved With Delivering This Course?

You will need experienced and qualified internal assessors and verifiers.  You can train internal members of staff or recruit specially.

You'll also need to provide your learners with a suitable learning environment and the resources they need to complete the practical and theoretical aspects of the qualification. You'll deliver these qualifications in a classroom environment and provide access to practical experience. At Levels 2 and 3, you will need to provide access to work experience.

To find all the requirements for assessment and delivery, download the qualification handbook from the centre documents section. You can get fast-track approval for the Level 2 qualifications if you offer the Level 2 National Certificate in Animal Care (0341-12), the Level 3 Advanced National Certificate in Animal Management (0341-13), or the Level 3 Advanced National Diploma in Animal Management (0341-14). Fast-track approval is available for one year after the qualifications launch. Please check before you apply.

Anyone can take these qualifications, but you must make sure all learners can access the resources they need to complete them.

Level 2 is ideal if you are new to animal care or have some knowledge and basic skills. You want to develop your skills, perhaps to start work in a pet shop, animal shelter or kennel or prepare for further training.

For a full list of units, download the qualification handbook from the centre documents section.

  • Kennel/cattery worker
  • Pet Store assistant
  • Welfare charity worker

Level 2 in Animal Care (0074-02)

Level 2 certificate in animal care.

  • Accreditation No: 500/8281/4 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Type: Credit based qualification This is categorisation to help define qualification attributes e.g. type of assessment
  • Credits: 15 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 90 - 90 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 150 The total time for the qualification
  • Key Stage: Data unavailable This shows the equivalent Key Stage level.
  • Last Certification: 31/08/2029 This is the last date that a certificate can be issued
  • Qualification fees in the UK: £124.60 Our typical price is the one that is most often paid by a centre for a completed learner. Some prices are made up of multiple charging points so action like taking difference units or specialisms to complete and resitting assessments may mean the cost for some learners differs.

Level 2 Extended Certificate in Animal Care

  • Accreditation No: 500/8355/7 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Credits: 30 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 180 - 180 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 300 The total time for the qualification
  • Qualification fees in the UK: £140.20 Our typical price is the one that is most often paid by a centre for a completed learner. Some prices are made up of multiple charging points so action like taking difference units or specialisms to complete and resitting assessments may mean the cost for some learners differs.

Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care

  • Accreditation No: 500/8356/9 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Credits: 60 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 360 - 360 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 600 The total time for the qualification
  • Qualification fees in the UK: £163.60 Our typical price is the one that is most often paid by a centre for a completed learner. Some prices are made up of multiple charging points so action like taking difference units or specialisms to complete and resitting assessments may mean the cost for some learners differs.

One or more pathways within this qualification has been approved by the DfE to appear in the 2016 Performance Tables . To review the qualifications approved please click here . Level 3 is ideal if you have some experience in animal care or have gained your Level 2 qualification. You want to develop the skills to be a more senior worker or manager, or to prepare for higher-level training.

Units may include:

Understand and promote animal health (10 credits) Understand animal anatomy and physiology (10 credits) Plan and monitor animal feeding (5 credits) Undertake dog grooming (10 credits) Undertake pet store design and animal management (10 credits). Undertake an investigative project in the land-based sector (10 credits) Business management in the land-based sector (10 credits) Understand the principles and carry out the practice of biochemistry and microbiology (10 credits) Participate in business planning and improvement in the land-based sector (10 credits) Understand the principles and carry out the practice of wildlife population surveys, ecology and conservation (10 credits) Fundamentals of science (10 credits).

A Level 3 certificate or diploma in Animal Care or Animal Management is designed to help you find work with animals in roles such as; 

  • Animal Trainer
  • Pet Store Manager
  • Kennel Manager

This qualification could lead to employment, or further training; Learners may go onto Higher Education as these qualifications have UCAS points.

Level 3 Animal Management (0074-03)

Level 3 subsidiary diploma in animal management.

  • Accreditation No: 500/8279/6 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Qualification fees in the UK: £249.40 Our typical price is the one that is most often paid by a centre for a completed learner. Some prices are made up of multiple charging points so action like taking difference units or specialisms to complete and resitting assessments may mean the cost for some learners differs.

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management

  • Accreditation No: 500/8280/2 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Credits: 180 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 1080 - 1080 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 1800 The total time for the qualification
  • Qualification fees in the UK: £257.20 Our typical price is the one that is most often paid by a centre for a completed learner. Some prices are made up of multiple charging points so action like taking difference units or specialisms to complete and resitting assessments may mean the cost for some learners differs.

Level 3 Certificate in Animal Management

  • Accreditation No: 500/8320/X This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework

Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management

  • Accreditation No: 500/8321/1 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Credits: 120 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 720 - 720 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 1200 The total time for the qualification

Level 3 90-Credit Diploma in Animal Management

  • Accreditation No: 600/6112/1 This is a reference number related to UK accreditation framework
  • Credits: 90 Credits are a measure of the size of the qualification
  • Guided Learning Hours: 540 - 540 This is the average contact time a centre would typically commit
  • Total Qualification Time: 900 The total time for the qualification

Here you can find all documents related to this suite of qualifications.

By clicking on the section headings below, you can access a variety of documents such as the qualification handbooks and assessment materials, Statements of Purpose, and recognition letters from industry and employers.

Some documents may be password protected. Passwords can be retrieved by logging in to and visiting the Administration section of the relevant qualification catalogue page.

0074 Level 2

Assessment materials.

  • 0074-02 Assessment pack v3-2 pdf 1 MB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074-02 L2 Answer material v2 pdf 96 KB 14 Aug 2018

Centre documents

  • 0074-02 Animal Care Handbook v2-2 pdf 900 KB 11 Sep 2023

0074 Level 3

  • 0074-03 Assessment pack v3-4 pdf 2 MB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074-03 Answer pack v2-2 pdf 170 KB 24 Jul 2018

Declared purpose

  • Declared purpose 0074 90 credit Diploma pdf 99 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • Declared purpose 0074 Certificate pdf 99 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • Declared purpose 0074 Diploma pdf 99 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • Declared purpose 0074 Extended Diploma pdf 99 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • Declared purpose 0074 Subsidiary Diploma pdf 100 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074-03 Animal Managment Handbook v2-2 pdf 1 MB 28 Feb 2022

Additional documents

  • 0074 Overall assignment grading calculation form v1-0 doc 165 KB 14 Aug 2018
  • 0074 L2 L3 Addendum v1-0 pdf 35 KB 14 Aug 2018
  • 0074 City and Guilds structure information v1 pdf 45 KB 14 Aug 2018

Purpose and Recognition

  • 50082796 KS5 L3 Sub Dip Animal Mng Purpose pdf 302 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50082802 KS5 L3 Ext Dip Animal Mng Purpose pdf 305 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50083211 KS5 L3 Dip Animal Mng Purpose pdf 313 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50083557 KS5 L2 Extended Certificate in Animal Care Purpose pdf 96 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50083569 KS5 L2 Diploma in Animal Care Purpose pdf 258 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 60061121 KS5 L3 90 Cred Dip Animal Mng Purpose pdf 313 KB 24 Jul 2018


  • 0074 Recognition Letter Aberystwyth University pdf 1 MB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition letter Dudley Zoo pdf 70 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Harper Adams pdf 223 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Hartpury pdf 251 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Kingston Maurward pdf 219 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition letter Marwell Wildlife pdf 55 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition letter MoD pdf 48 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Myerscough pdf 1 MB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Newgate Kennels pdf 70 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Paradise Park pdf 631 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Pets at Home pdf 73 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter PIF pdf 108 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Reaseheath pdf 59 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter RSPCA pdf 156 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Seaham Vetsf pdf 64 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Uni Brighton pdf 66 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Uni Portsmouth pdf 199 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition letter West Midland Safari Park pdf 73 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter West Midlands Safari Park pdf 124 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Wild Futures pdf 609 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 0074 Recognition Letter Writtle pdf 892 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50083569 L2 Dip in Animal Care SFA purpose pdf 241 KB 24 Jul 2018
  • 50111486 L3 Dip in Zoo Animal SFA purpose pdf 243 KB 24 Jul 2018

Explore our wider maths & English offer

Our maths & English qualifications underpin our apprenticeships and technical qualifications. They build learners’ confidence with the core skills required for employment, including the capacity to problem solve and use technology effectively. They are also key to triggering conditions of funding.

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Related Qualifications

Browse some of our related qualifications:

> (7863) Diploma in Dog Grooming

> (7763) Dog Grooming

> (0141) Livestock

> (7762) Pet Store Management

> (0172) Technicals in Animal Care Management and Equine Care Management

> (0448) Veterinary Care Assistants

> (0067) Work-based Animal Care

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Animal care courses.

Have you always wanted to care for animals? Animal care is a popular industry to work in so why not set yourself apart from the competition.

Our distance learning courses provide you with the knowledge essential for working with animals. With a diverse range to choose from such as animal behaviour, dog grooming and animal welfare courses, they can open doors for a whole host of exciting career opportunities.

courses working with animals

Browse our Animal care courses

courses working with animals

  • Animal Behaviour Level 3

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CIE Level 5 Diploma in Animal Psychology

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CIE Level 5 Diploma in Animal Studies

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Veterinary Support Assistant Level 3

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Dog Grooming QLS Level 3

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Domestic Animal Care QLS Level 3

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Equine Studies QLS

or from £459 in full

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Exotic Animal Care QLS Level 3

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Feline Studies QLS Level 3

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Marine Biology QLS Level 3

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Ornithology QLS Level 3

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Primatology QLS Level 3

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Principles of British Wildlife care and Rehabilitation QLS Level 3

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Zoology QLS Level 3

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At Open Study College, we offer a wide range of animal care courses that are designed to be flexible and accessible, allowing you to pursue your career goals around your current commitments. This means you can fit your studies around your lifestyle and take control of your learning experience. We are committed to providing our students with the support and resources they need to succeed in their chosen career path. Our animal care courses are designed to be accessible, engaging, and relevant, ensuring that you get the most out of your studies and achieve your goals. So whether you’re just starting out in the industry or looking to develop your skills further, we have the perfect animal care course for you.

animal care qualifications we offer

We offer animal care courses from a couple of different awarding bodies, which are: QLS and Open Study College.

You will have the opportunity to start from the very basics with some Level 2 courses, or if you’ve already started your animal care journey, then we also offer Level 3 and 4 courses to develop your pre-existing skills.

Online animal care courses

At Open Study College, we understand that our learners have busy lives and commitments, which is why we offer flexible animal care courses that can be studied entirely online. You can study the same animal care course that you would do in a traditional college, but with the added benefit of complete flexibility.

Our animal care courses are designed to fit around your schedule, with no set timetables or commute required. You can study whenever it suits you, wherever you like, and with 24-hour access to your course materials. This means you can balance your studies with other commitments such as work, family, or hobbies.

With Open Study College, you can simply focus on your studies and achieve you career goals without the added stress of having to adhere to a strict timetable or location-based study requirements. So if you’re looking for a flexible animal care course that fits around your life, Open Study College is the perfect choice for you.


When you enrol on one of our animal care courses, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will be with you every step of the way. They will offer unlimited support and guidance to help you succeed in your course. Whether you have questions about the course material, need help with an assignment, or just want to discuss your progress, your tutor will be on hand to provide the expert support you need.

At Open Study College, we are committed to ensuring that you have the best possible learning experience, and our dedicated tutors are a key part of that commitment. With their support and guidance, you can be confident that you are getting the most out of your animal care course and achieving your goals.

Hear from our students!

Frequently asked questions

How to work with animals?

There are different ways you can work with animals. You can study a college course and earn a qualification, complete an apprenticeship, or volunteer. Here are some of the ways you can get work experience while earning your qualification at the same time:

  • Provide pet-sitting services.
  • Apply to work at a stable or a farm.
  • Volunteer at an animal care shelter or rescue.
  • Volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation centre or zoo.
  • Work at a veterinary clinic.
  • Shadow an individual in your interested field.

What qualifications do I need to work with animals?

The qualifications you need to work with animals will depend on which career path you want to go down. For example, the qualifications needed for dog grooming are very different to those needed to become a vet.

How much do animal care assistants earn?

According to National Careers Service , when starting out as an animal care assistant, you can earn on average £14,000 per year. With more experience, you can earn up to £24,000 per year, all whilst working 38-40 hours per week.

What does an animal care assistant do?

Here are just some of the day-to-day tasks an animal care assistant may do:

  • Conduct daily checks of animals and monitor their health status.
  • Ensure that animals receive regular exercise.
  • Maintain up-to-date records and address queries from colleagues or the public.
  • Clean kennels, enclosures, cages, or stables regularly.
  • Prepare food and help with feeding times.
  • Groom and maintain the cleanliness of animals.
  • Attend to the needs of sick or distressed animals.

Looking to speak to an adviser?

We are delighted that you are considering joining us to study and take pleasure in welcoming you to our family.

Open Study College is one of the UK’s leading distance learning colleges. We provide professionally recognised animal care courses that enable you to study at your own pace, in your own environment either online or via printed materials sent to your home.

We understand that choosing a course is a big decision. That’s why we have a team of friendly, knowledgeable education specialists that can help you choose the right bookkeeping qualifications for you.

Over the past 15 years we’ve enrolled over 100,000 people on courses that have improved their education and their career prospects!

Our education specialists can answer any questions you may have, talk you through our finance  options and get you enrolled over the telephone.

As a family-founded college, we think of our learners as extended members of our family. We’re all here to help you achieve your goals in life, whatever they may be.

If you’d like to speak to an education specialist about our online animal courses, simply complete the form here and you’ll get a call back at the requested time.

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18 Incredible Careers for Animal Lovers (Jobs List for 2022)

Earn your accredited, affordable Veterinary-Related career diploma or degree online with Penn Foster!


Do you love animals?

Would you enjoy caring for them?

Does the idea of a job in animal care sound enticing?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are in the right place.

Seeking a career with animals could not be more rewarding to the animal lover.

It takes a special person to truly nurture and care for the animal in need, and there is no better way to embark on that journey than to make it your field of choice in the work industry.

The benefits of having a career with animals ranging from better health to business ownership.

The potential in this field is endless and the financial gain for doing something you love is quite surprising.

With income starting around the $20,000’s annual income range and increasing with experience, animal care is guaranteed to provide financial security.

This job has increased since 2014 with the annual income at that time starting around $20,000 for a non-farm animal caretaker, which includes dog walkers, traveling dog washing, etc. and as of 2017 the annual wage came in at $23,160

Of course more studies and the more qualified you are the better you get paid, with some occupations getting close to the 200K a year mark!

Let us go through a list of a few possible career choices that not only allow you to work with animals but will provide you with lifelong fulfillment in something you truly have a passion for.

Article Table of Contents

  • 1 Veterinary Assistant
  • 2 Veterinary Technician/Technologist
  • 3 Veterinarian
  • 4 Dog Walker
  • 5 Pet Sitter
  • 6 Animal Caretaker
  • 7 Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • 8 Animal Groomer
  • 9 Pet Detective
  • 10 Animal Photographer
  • 11 K9 Police Officer
  • 12 Conservation Officer
  • 13 Animal Trainer
  • 14 Wildlife Rehabilitator
  • 15 Veterinary Acupuncturist
  • 16 Veterinary Pathologist
  • 17 Animal-Assisted Therapist
  • 18 Zoologist
  • 19 Final Thoughts
  • 20.1 What is the highest-paying job working with animals?
  • 20.2 What jobs save animals?
  • 20.3 How do I start a career with animals?
  • 20.4 Is an animal science degree worth it?
  • 20.5 What colleges have the best animal science programs?
  • 20.6 Can I work with animals without a degree?
  • 20.7 How can I make a lot of money working with animals?

Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

This job is a great starting point whether you are just beginning or about to complete your schooling.

This is a great stepping stone on your journey toward a potential career in a more prestigious position in animal care such as a Veterinarian or Zoologist.

As a veterinary assistant, you are responsible to follow orders given by a veterinary or veterinary technician.

You will be expected to be capable of jobs such as assisting in medical procedures, aftercare of an animal in recovery, engaging the pet owner when they have questions, and being willing to potentially deal with occasional reception and clean up.

This job has a great initial annual wage considering you are not required to have any college, but you must get certified and re-certify yearly.

This certification is typically provided by the employer and is called the NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America).

The average annual wage for a veterinary assistant is $26,140 but in some states such as New Haven, CT. the annual average income is $48,000.

Interested in becoming a veterinary assistant?

Check out our complete guide:  How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

If you are looking for a program, check out this extensive article about online vet assistant schools and programs .

Veterinary Technician/Technologist

Veterinary Technician

For those seeking a career working with animals once they’ve received a degree in that field of expertise consider starting as a Veterinary Technician/Technologist.

This option requires a 2-year associate’s degree for a Technician and a 4-year bachelor’s degree for a Technologist.

Both also require examinations, certification, and in some cases, licensing, depending on the state you will be residing in when applying for a job.

This job has a pay scale ranging from $28,000 to a little over $48,000 annually.

This job requires a higher demand than a veterinary assistant but is quite similar in that you are still assisting a veterinarian who has more knowledge and education.

This is a great career if you are interested in becoming a veterinarian due to the fast-paced and hands-on job detail.

You can be involved on a much deeper level with the animal and/or pet owner as a technician or technologist because you will be responsible for examining the animal and relaying the information to the veterinarian to assist in their diagnosis.

This career path allows for the individual that is interested in becoming a veterinarian to get the necessary experience prior to or during the continuing education required.

Continue reading about a career as a veterinary technician:  How to Become a Veterinary Technician

There are online programs for vet technicians as well.



The most rewarding job that involves working with animals is arguably a Veterinarian.

While this job does require extensive education, and years of experience in a related field, the payoff is exceedingly valuable.

Generally, you need 4 years undergrad, 4 years of veterinary school, and state licensure.

You may even be required to complete a residency and board certification if you’re looking to earn the big bucks.

The average salary has an annual wage upwards of $75,000 but boasts a salary as high as $105,000 depending on location and experience.

This is sure to be the way to go if you are looking to dedicate yourself to a medical career for animals and have the commitment to go all-in for at least 8 years in education and training.

Again, if this is your desire, a temporary position as a veterinary assistant would be the perfect jumping-off point during your journey to veterinarian status.

Dog Walker

As a dog walker, you can choose to make this job as relaxed or complex as you choose.

As your own boss, you can make your own hours and refer to your schedule when booking a client or you can choose to go along with whatever your clientele requests.

In large cities where dog parks and large areas for running are available, you can control your income.

There is not a definitive annual income because it literally differs from one location to the next.

The average annual salary for a dog walker in New York City as of July 2018 was $27,412, which is vastly different from that of a dog walker in Michigan where jobs are posted asking only $10.62 an hour which is 15% lower than the national average.

Research what local dog walkers are charging, find out where your services are most needed, and advertise with simple flyers or social media posts.

You need to set up interviews with each potential client and discuss everything that is involved with the individual pet and their needs.

Set up a personal meeting as well to make sure the animal is not aggressive towards you before you blindly accept a job.

Pet Sitter

This job combines walking the dog with feeding, watering, brushing, playing, etc.

This job may require you to keep the animal in your own home, in which you need to make sure all of the animal’s provisions are available.

If you have any pets of your own, you need to discuss your situation with the client in the initial interview.

As with a dog walker, you must make sure to have a meeting in person to assimilate yourself with the animal.

Because of the added requirements in this position, you can charge quite a bit more.

Once again, you need to research what the average cost is in your area for these services.

Typically, this job earned an average of $48,635 annually as of 2010.

This average is more than many hard labor positions offer.

Animal Caretaker

Animal Caretaker

This job, while very similar to a sitter, can offer a long-term position with one client rather than a one-time job like a sitter often has.

A caretaker is generally someone the client has a personal relationship with and entrusts the care of every need of their pet with.

Rather than sitting for a few hours or days with the pet, the caretaker is involved for weeks or months providing all the necessary care for the pet.

In a lot of cases, people may have pets in their old age as companions but cannot care for the pet, or the client may not have children in their home and their pet is very special to them.

Based on the national average, an animal caretaker makes between $17,550 and $35,860 averaging $21,990 annually.

Animal Cruelty Investigator

Animal Cruelty Investigator

This job opportunity allows you to initially investigate and report the animal cruelty case and follow up all the way to placement in a new home, it requires a lot of attention to detail and a very deep concern for the welfare of animals.

In 2017, animal cruelty investigators combined with the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) have rescued over 47,000 animals, participated in over 30 rescue deployments, and continue cruelty intervention efforts as well as forensic investigations.

The average salary for an animal cruelty investigator is $33,800 and simply requires a valid driver’s license.

It is wise to take some courses in law enforcement, psychology, or any course focusing on animal abuse.

Many employers and some state laws require this before offering employment.

Animal Groomer

Animal Groomer

This job offers the groomer a great opportunity at being a business owner.

The startup for a business like this merely consists of a few items: brushes and combs, nail trimmers, pet shampoos and conditioners, animal ear care, and clippers.

You may choose to offer house calls or to run your business from home.

This job also varies in salary depending on your locale and the demand for pet groomers.

This job does have the option of working for a company, this would be an option if they offer to train or if you have prior experience in grooming animals.

If you have never attempted to do this before, it’s highly suggested to practice on your own animals or offer to groom a friend’s pet.

You must gain experience in cutting hair, nails, etc., and cleaning ears.

The groomer can expect to start with a company at minimum wage and go on to make upwards of $30 an hour with training and experience.

As a mobile dog groomer, the salary can be close to $60,000 and has the potential to have no cap if you hire out and really delve into starting your own company.

Continue reading: Everything you’ll need to know about pet grooming .

Some programs are online for pet/dog groomers , making it much easier to get a certification.

Pet Detective

Pet Detective

If you thought the idea of people sitting and staying was comical…

…I can imagine the sheer mention of the words “pet detective” has you rolling on the floor, laughing out loud.

Yes, it is a real thing, and just like a private investigator, the pay is good, and the reward of reuniting a pet owner with their pet is very satisfying!

Although this type of work may sound like the title to the movies we all remember, it offers the pet lover an opportunity to pay it forward.

This job is best for someone living in a largely populated area because it is something you need to consistently do in order to build a clientele and have a steady income.

You can set your own income goals because you will generally not have much competition for a job in this field.

It is wise, however, to research the area you live in as well as surrounding cities to come up with a decent price bracket.

Animal Photographer

Animal Photographer

Becoming an animal photographer can open an entire career field for even the least seasoned photographer.

You can be in control of your schedule, your hours, your pricing, etc.

This job is probably the most versatile as a self-employment opportunity.

You do need to have experience as a photographer and a knowledge of how to handle pets during a photoshoot, as they may not sit and stay as people will.

This choice in a job really has no bottom line or cap for income due to the fact that a photographer can charge based on their experience, quality of work, quality of equipment, and studio environment along with many other factors.

This position has a potential income that is to be determined by the individual after evaluating local competitors’ prices within each level of expertise as a photographer.

The national average is between $50,000 and $75.000, this is with photoshoots ranging from $500 to $1,500 each.

If you are employed at a studio, again, depending on your experience and abilities you can make anywhere from $10 hourly with commission up to $100 hourly.

This will be based on minimum wage and locale as well as the popularity of the studio.

K9 Police Officer

K9 Police Officer

This is a career path that obviously requires education in criminal justice and completing the police academy.

This choice in a job is certainly one for someone who wants to work in law enforcement and dedicate themselves to a life in this field.

You must have 2-4 years of experience with a police department to apply to a K9 position.

You should be in good health and capable of absolute dedication to your K9 due to the fact they are considered an officer, so much so that when a K9 unit has fallen in the line of duty they are held to the utmost regard just like a person with the same funeral procession as a fallen police officer.

K9 unit officers earn a national average of $64,490 mean annual wage as of May 2017.

Conservation Officer

Conservation Officer

Also known as a game warder, a conservation officer is a law enforcement officer that specializes in protecting the environment and the animals within it.

They enforce the codes, laws, etc. of hunting, fishing, camping, and more.

This job does require an associate’s but it has become common to require a bachelor’s in criminal justice , environmental sciences, or biology.

This career path can earn upwards of $60,000 annually.

Animal Trainer

Animal Trainer

How does training bears in a circus sound? Just kidding, although that does sound like fun.

Animal trainers range from pad training a puppy to behavioral therapy for an out-of-control pet.

You may not be the next dog whisperer, but you can enjoy assisting others in learning how to handle their pets.

This job does not require college but taking some courses in animal behavior would be very valuable.

You can attain this job by working at a shelter all the way to creating your own business as an independent trainer.

This is a great job if you like to travel, you can advertise yourself as a mobile trainer and go to the client.

If you prefer staying local, you can offer to go to the pet owner or pick up and deliver so you can take the pet to different locations for training purposes. (Dog parks, businesses, etc.)

This is another job that has endless possibilities both with income and destination.

You can really explore your options in several areas of expertise if you’re willing to learn some very basic training techniques.

There are also volunteer opportunities for children interested in this field at shelters and adoption clinics.

They teach you techniques to train animals and give you the tools to properly care for both healthy and ill animals.

Put it into action: Become a dog trainer .

Wildlife Rehabilitator

Wildlife Rehabilitator

This is a great volunteer opportunity as well.

Although it pays well if you can find a job opportunity, you can volunteer all over the nation and even the world to do this if you are looking to take a summer abroad.

This job does not require college credentials although it is recommended that you obtain a degree in biology.

Doing some coursework in a subject matter relating to animals in order to better understand your position will help as well.

However, the job does require legal permits that vary from state to state.

You are not allowed to possess injured wildlife without the permits to do so in order to rehabilitate them whether or not you are employed as a wildlife rehabilitator.

Veterinary Acupuncturist

Veterinary Acupuncturist

This job is certainly not for the faint of heart.

If you know what acupuncture is then you know what this position entails.

While not for everyone, it is a good opportunity to learn an interesting technique.

Because this is a niche market, the pay varies depending upon your area and it does require a minimum of an associate’s in acupuncture.

Veterinary Pathologist

Veterinary Pathologist

If you’ve already completed the grueling task of becoming a veterinarian, you can continue your education in this specialty.

This requires a veterinarian to research diseases and analyze body tissue and fluids.

This falls in line with animal scientists or biologists because you are breaking down animal biology and discovering ways to cure and prevent diseases that may otherwise go uncured.

As you can imagine this job has quite an appealing salary, up to the $130,000 range.

After all that schooling, I’d say mom and dad better see it pay off handsomely.

Animal-Assisted Therapist

Animal-Assisted Therapist

Last but not least, an animal-assisted therapist typically will have a degree background in some psychology, while not required it is highly recommended.

In order to execute any type of therapy as a career, most people are looking to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

It is possible to get involved in this career if you simply have a love for animals by participating in volunteer projects with animal therapy or even advertising to use your own, well-trained animals.


If you prefer wild animals over the more domesticated type, then becoming a zoologist may be for you.

While it does require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, it allows you to be one on one with animals from all over the world.

Whether you work in a zoo or in a lab, you have an opportunity to meander with animals that you would otherwise never have contact with.

This job has an average salary in the high $70,000’s.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are endless opportunities to work with animals.

Some careers allow for self-employment while others require years of medical school to heal your favorite furry friends.

Regardless of what path you choose to take; research your options, make an educated decision that supports your desires as well as your financial situation, and enjoy the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest-paying job working with animals.

A veterinarian is the highest paying job that involves working with animals.

Veterinarians are animal doctors and have almost as much training as doctors for humans have, and they must pass a licensing exam.

Veterinarians can make more than $100,000 per year and many open their own practice once they are licensed.

Conservation land managers and wildlife biologists are the next highest at about $75,000.

What jobs save animals?

There are several jobs that can be involved with saving animals.

Animal welfare lawyers and veterinarians are the best paid and are involved more with policy.

An animal rescue shelter manager or pet adoption counselors are more directly involved in saving individual animals.

Animal control officers and wildlife rehabilitators also help save animals.

How do I start a career with animals?

There are many ways to start a career with animals.

Volunteering at your local animal shelter would be a start.

If you want to work as a professional you may need at least a BS degree, and a BA would be better.

Veterinarian assistants or vet techs do not require as much.

Being a vet tech would be a good start to becoming a full veterinarian.

Is an animal science degree worth it?

An animal science degree is worth it if you want to become a professional that works with animals.

There are several specializations you may add, such as marine biology, or wildlife management.

You can become a vet tech, or an animal nurse to work with a veterinarian with your animal science degree.

What colleges have the best animal science programs?

Most state universities have a strong agriculture program that is heavily involved in animal management and care.

Ivy League schools, like Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, have strong animal science programs.

The University of California-Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio State, and Florida are also often mentioned near the top of the best animal science schools.

Can I work with animals without a degree?

Degrees are needed in some jobs involving animals, but there are many opportunities for those who do not have degrees.

Working in an animal shelter is a job that does not need a degree.

You can also be a veterinarian assistant.

There are also jobs like being a pet sitter, or an animal trainer, that do not require degrees.

Animal control officers do not need formal training.

How can I make a lot of money working with animals?

To make the most money you would need a lot of schooling to become a veterinarian, and that is the highest paying job working with animals.

Jobs like an animal groomer, kennel attendant, vet assistant, or pet sitter, are jobs where you can make significant money without any formal training.

Wildlife and conservation officers generally make a good salary and require at least a BS degree.

Noteworthy Resources

  • Career as an Exotic Animal Vet
  • 3 Top Paying Vet Tech Specialist Careers of 2022
  • What Does a Veterinary Assistant Do?
  • 5 Awesome Jobs for Vet Techs
  • What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?

Avatar for Kerry Lynn

I’m a senior looking for work. I am passionate about animals, though I don’t currently have one. I would love to work in an animal organization, in an office-type setting. Maybe work as an admin., sending out letters to sponsors or organizers in other facilities. Not up-to-date on computer programs but if given the chance and be trained, I could get up to speed fairly quickly. Any ideas? I live in the SF Bay Area.

Avatar for laura

I am a vet assistant and it is a GREAT start for anyone to be more hands-on in the animal field. It will help you in many areas, depending on which animals you work with- domestic, exotic, wild. In my state, certification is not required. Many clinics are willing to train anyone with atleast some sort of volunteering experience or a genuine passion. Some may need you to be a front desk first, it really just depends. However, I think it is imperative to mention that these jobs will require you to be ok with aggressive animals at times, blood, feces, urine, other body fluids, broken bones, ear infections, skin diseases etc. While your love for animals may be very grand, the jobs are not always pretty. Especially when seeing animals in rough condition, and undergoing euthanasia. But it is very rewarding in the end. Working with animals for me never actually feels like a “job” when you are helping them.

Avatar for Pauletta F lechman

Thankyou That helps me

Avatar for Mykiah

I think the pet softer is perfect for me because all I want to do is take care of animals! I love the fact that I can do this in my own home too and bond with the animals.

Avatar for Monic

Working as a vet assistant seems perfect for me, not too much responsibility like a vet, but closely with cats and dogs all day long.

Helping pets seems like an amazing career for me, I can’t wait to get started!

Avatar for Shannon Beale

I have always loved taking pictures but it never crossed my mind to be a pet photographer until my friend mentioned it to me back in 2015. Needless to say, I went down that route and I could not be happier! You won’t make nearly as much as you would taking pictures for weddings or other events but people tend to come back over and over again, and tip very well.

Avatar for Harvey

What I love about this list is that not everything here requires you to go into debt. I heard people in places like New York make a killing being professional dog walkers. If it was an option here, I would do it but there, unfortunately, isn’t a demand for it. I am looking into becoming a trainer though.

Avatar for Brie White

I am going to share this with my daughter. She is 15 and LOVES animals. I want her to start thinking about her future and get a plan together. I know she is going to need to start looking into where she wants to go to college soon so it is best to decide sooner than later on which career path she wants.

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20 Jobs Working With Animals (High-Paying, Entry-Level, And Work-From-Home)

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Find a Job You Really Want In

Having a career that focuses on animals rather than people is many people’s idea of a dream job. Of course, there’s a range of choices – some jobs require that you work directly with domestic animals or wildlife, while others are more research-focused or work with animals indirectly.

If working with animals is your passion, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you want to work from home, get a high salary, or just get started in the business, there are job options you can find that’ll suit your needs.

Key Takeaways

Three of the best-known jobs working with animals include veterinarian, dog walker , and zookeeper.

It’s possible to get a job working with animals without a college degree. However, if you want to make a good salary, it’ll behoove you to have one.

Jobs working with animals can range from directly caring for pets or wildlife, to researching domestic animals or wildlife, to observing animals.

20 Jobs Working With Animals

High-paying jobs working with animals

Entry-level jobs working with animals, work from home jobs working with animals, other jobs working with animals, jobs with animals faq, final thoughts.

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If you want to both work with animals and have a high-paying job, then there are several options available to you. Of course, you have to be willing to get a degree in animal science, veterinary medicine, or a similar field. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits of working with furry friends and having a job that pays well.

Veterinarian Average Annual Salary: $126,000

Veterinarians get paid well because there are a lot of requirements in order to become one . This is likely one of the first jobs people think of when considering a career working with animals. It’s also a highly skilled profession with a lot of prestige.

Requirements to become a veterinarian: To become a veterinarian , you’ll need to earn your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

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Veterinary surgeon Average Annual Salary: $246,000

If just being a veterinarian doesn’t seem challenging or high paying enough, then you can become a veterinary surgeon . Most of your interaction with animals will be when they’re under anesthesia, but you will have the benefit of being able to give your patients a better quality of life.

Depending on what type of animals you choose to specialize in, you can open your own practice and offer surgery to pets – such as cats and dogs. Or you can work with larger domestic animals, or even in a zoo or wildlife rehabilitation clinic.

Requirements to become a veterinary surgeon: Veterinary surgeons need to earn a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine and then complete a three- to four-year residency program accredited by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).

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Marine biologist Average Annual Salary: $61,804

If you aren’t interested in domesticated animals but want a well-paid job studying wildlife, then this can be the perfect job for you. Marine biology is a staggeringly varied field, meaning that you can study anything from whales and sharks to mollusks and krill.

Requirements to become a marine biologist: A bachelor’s and master’s degree in marine biology is typically required to become a marine biologist . A doctorate degree in marine biology is also helpful, depending on the type of work you want to do.

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Animal nutritionist Average Annual Salary: $75,000

Understanding the nutritional and dietary needs of animals is serious science, which is why being an animal nutritionist is a high-paying career. The exact nature of your expertise can vary depending on your preferences. You can work with pet food companies to come up with ideal dog and cat foods.

If that’s unappealing, you can work with ranchers to determine the best nutritional choices for their livestock. Or you can work for a zoo, coming up with the best diets for the animals that live there. If wildlife is more your passion, then you can study the nutritional needs and diets of wild animals as well.

Requirements to become an animal nutritionist: To become an animal nutritionist, you’ll typically need a bachelor of science in animal health and behavior, animal science, or a similar field, three years of experience, and a Licensed Animal Nutritionist certification. A master’s or doctorate degree will help as well.

Animal Scientist Average Annual Salary: $66,000

Careers that involve studying animals usually end up being higher paid jobs than ones where you work directly with animals. If you’re interested in animal husbandry but don’t want to be a rancher , then this is a career to investigate. Animal scientists study domestic animals, figuring out the most effective ways to raise and care for them.

Requirements to become an animal scientist: Becoming an animal scientist requires at least a bachelor’s degree – typically in animal science or biology — which is why it’s a high-paying job that works with animals. Most companies will want you to have some experience as a research assistant before becoming a full-fledged animal scientist .

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You may be wondering how to get started in a career working with animals. Maybe going to college isn’t ideal for you, or you want a starter job to get some experience in a career with animals before moving on to your dream job. Whatever the reason, here are some jobs you can jump into without experience.

Pet care associate Average Annual Salary: $35,000

If you want an easy-to-get part-time job that works with animals, this is an excellent choice. Any pet store that caries live animals will need a pet care associate to look after the critters in the store. In addition, you’ll act as an expert in the animals’ care and needs by asking customer questions. In addition to caring for the animals in the store, but you’ll set up new pet parents with the equipment, toys, treats, and food they need to care for their new pet.

Requirements to be a pet care associate: You won’t need any more than a high school diploma to work in a pet store. If you want to run your own store or move in higher management, a bachelor’s degree in management, business, or a similar field can aid in your ambitions.

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Dog walker Average Annual Salary: $23,000

Dog walking is an excellent entry-level job because it doesn’t require any qualifications. There’s getting to be more demand for dog walkers as more people get pets and work full-time jobs.

While you do have to build up a client base, you’ll be able to set your own schedule and decide which dogs – and which owners – you want to work with.

Requirements to become a dog walker: Dog walking doesn’t have any degree requirements, but a bachelor’s degree in animal science or even business management could be helpful if you want to establish a small business or expand to offer additional services.

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Pet groomer Average Annual Salary: $22,412

Getting a job as a pet groomer does require training, but a lot of grooming salons will train new hires. If you can find a place that offers that service, then you can enter right into a grooming career as soon as you finish your on-the-job training. It’s a physically demanding job, but you get to see your clients leave looking their absolute best.

Requirements to become a pet groomer: On-the-job training is the main requirement for becoming a pet groomer. There are also courses you can take on grooming, as well as certifications that can give you an advantage in getting a job as well.

A bachelor’s degree in animal science, business management, or another field can be helpful in running a pet grooming business, however.

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Veterinary technician Average Annual Salary: $32,000

While becoming a vet tech does require some education, it’s a job that you can step into right out of school. Your primary duties will be working with veterinarians and veterinary nurses to ensure your animal patients’ health.

Requirements to become a veterinary technician: An associate’s degree from a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association is usually required to become a veterinary technician .

A bachelor’s degree can be helpful in getting more advanced roles as well. In addition, a veterinary technician certification is required to work as a veterinary technician in most states.

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Animal shelter worker Average Annual Salary: $33,000

Most positions in an animal shelter don’t require any special training or education to get, meaning that this is a job you can get that helps animals without requiring a degree. Animal shelters need people to take care of the animals that live there, interact with potential adopters, and keep track of records.

Sometimes a job at an animal shelter can be very difficult, as you’ll see a lot of animals in distress. You’ll even see people abandoning their loving pets. However, you’ll also have the chance to give these animals a second chance and help them to find a loving forever home.

Requirements to become an animal shelter worker: For basic jobs at an animal shelter, such as a kennel attendant or receptionist , you won’t need a degree. If you’re looking to move into management or a specialist position, such as a dog trainer , then you’ll need more education and/or certification.

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Jobs that allow you to both work from home and work with animals are limited, but they do exist! If you want to be able to work with animals without leaving the comfort of your house, then here are some jobs that’ll appeal to you.

Pet sitter Average Annual Salary: $25,000

You can run a doggie daycare or pet-sitting business from the comfort of your own home. You can offer boarding services where you’ll have a dog stay with you while their person is out of town. This industry is growing as more and more people have pets, meaning that it could turn from a side hustle into your day job.

Requirements to become a pet sitter: While there are no hard and fast requirements to be a pet sitter , your clients are going to want to know that you have extensive experience taking care of the type of animals you’re caring for. Getting an animal CPR and first aid certification will also be a huge plus.

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Blogger Average Annual Salary: $41,048

If you have some animal know-how and you’re a good writer , you can create your own online entity around animals and turn it into a career. This can be especially effective if you have some animal care credentials. Blogs about nutrition, training, and the amusing antics of your own pets can be moneymakers.

Requirements to be a blogger: The only requirements to becoming a successful blogger is experience owning a pet, writing and grammatical skills, and an understanding of how to update a website and use social media.

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Artist Average Annual Salary: $72,000

If you have artistic ability and love drawing animals, then it’s possible to turn that into a career. Artists can work from their own home or studio and sell their work online. There’s a lot of demand for pet portraits, meaning that if can get your artwork noticed, you can get clients to pay you for a drawing of their furry best friend.

Requirements to become an artist: There aren’t any direct requirements to become an artist . Artistic ability is a must to be successful, but a degree in fine arts will help both in terms of training and credibility.

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Breeder Average Annual Salary: $42,000

While this business can be tricky to get into, breeding animals is something you can do from your home. Many people can find success as dog breeders, but there are also purebred cats, sugar gliders, various reptiles, and small mammals that people keep as pets.

Make sure to do your research both in terms of animal care and demand for pets in the area. You want to be sure that the animals you breed end up finding good homes and that you don’t end up with a plethora of pets you weren’t planning on.

Requirements to become an animal breeder: There aren’t any education requirements for becoming an animal breeder , but an extensive knowledge of the animal breed you’re working with and of state breeding regulations is necessary.

Beekeeper Average Annual Salary: $40,000

While not everyone can be a beekeeper from home, if you live in the right area, keeping hives is a great way to supplement your income – or even become a career in and of itself. Backyard hives are becoming more popular and easier to get, but you do have to consider whether you live in area that can support the needs of a beehive.

Requirements to become a beekeeper: There aren’t any real requirements to start a hive in your backyard, however, you’re going to want to understand bee behavior and have the necessary equipment and knowledge to tend to them and harvest the honey.

There are myriad jobs out there that allow you to work with animals. Having animals be the focus of your career is something that a lot of people are interested in, but there are a wide range of career types that include that aspect.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if none of the jobs listed above interested you, then here are a few other careers working with animals that you could pursue.

Dog trainer Average Annual Salary: $32,000

Dog trainers spend most of their time working with dogs and their owners. If you want to forgo working with people almost entirely, there are services that board and train, meaning that you wouldn’t have to rely on the dog’s owner to do the training themselves.

This career does require laying out lesson plans, understanding dog behavior, and being willing to make alterations to suit individual dogs. Some trainers will go to people’s homes for lessons, others work in pet stores, and some will be employed by a kennel or shelter.

Requirements to become a dog trainer: There aren’t any actual requirements to be able to call yourself a dog trainer . However, it’s important to understand dog behavior and training methods. There are apprentice programs and getting a Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is recommended.

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Zoo keeper Average Annual Salary: $31,016

This job can be different at each zoo , so the pay rate and experience necessary can vary greatly. In some zoos, the zookeeper is responsible for the care and treatment of the animals and might need to have a degree. In others, a zookeeper can be little more than a tour guide .

Requirements to become a zookeeper: A bachelor’s degree in animal science, zoology, or a life science is typically required to become a zookeeper. Some jobs only require an associate’s degree or job experience, but high-level positions usually require a degree and several years of experience.

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Animal control officer Average Annual Salary: $46,000

While you may not interact with animals all the time, animal control officers are responsible for taking care of any animal-related problems in their community. They help find strays, capture threatening and feral animals, remove pests, and sometimes get kittens out of trees.

It can be a difficult job at times, especially if you live in an area with dangerous, wild animals. Not all of your interactions are going to have a positive outcome, as sometimes you’ll be required to euthanize an injured or sick animal. However, other times you can end up saving someone’s best friend.

Requirements to become an animal control officer: Usually, all that’s required to be an animal control officer is a high school diploma or GED and some experience with animals, but a degree in a related field will open up more opportunities. Some states require applicants to complete a certification course as well.

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Farrier Average Annual Salary: $29,000

If you’ve been disappointed by the lack of horse related jobs on this list, then look no further. Farriers are skilled tradespeople who care for horse’s hooves. That means they have to understand horse anatomy, metalworking, and horse behavior. Their primary duties include cleaning, trimming, and shoeing horses.

A starting farrier typically doesn’t make a whole lot of money, but if you can work into the racing world or the show horse business, you can make a few hundred thousand dollars a year keeping those magnificent horses on their toes.

Requirements to become a farrier: Completing a farrier training program is necessary to becoming a farrier. Additional farrier association certificates and a degree in equine science or animal science can also be helpful.

Animal behaviorist

Average Annual Salary: $33,000

Animal behaviorists primarily work with pets – usually dogs – that display problematic behavior. This may be aggression, severe anxiety, or fearful reactions. Going to an animal behaviorist is often a last resort for owners, meaning that you’ll also have to work to assuage their fears.

Being an animal behaviorist requires an extensive understanding of animal behavior and how to guide your furry clients into more acceptable responses. Behaviorists can have their own businesses or work for a kennel or animal shelter.

Requirements to become an animal behaviorist: In order to be a behaviorist, you’ll likely need a master’s degree. You’ll usually get a postsecondary degree in biology or animal science, then get a master’s in behaviorism.

In order to be a certified behaviorist, you also need two years of professional experience. That means that you’ll need to go through a training period working with another behaviorist. Once you’ve completed this, you can get the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) certification from the Animal Behavior Society (ABS).

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What should I study to work with animals?

To work with animals, you should study subjects such as veterinary science, zoology, and environmental science. At a basic level, veterinary science will help you understand the anatomy and behavior of animals, zoology is useful for getting a genetic and evolutionary background of the animal kingdom, and environmental science is essential for understanding the natural habitats of wildlife as well as the application of sustainable agricultural practices.

Can I work with animals without a degree?

Yes, you can work with animals without a degree. Jobs in dog walking, pet sitting, pet grooming, and training can all be run on a freelance basis or landed as an entry-level job without a college degree. Additionally, animal breeding doesn’t require a degree (although you will need to register with your state and other official bodies (e.g., the American Kennel Club, for dog breeding).

There are also many positions for veterinary support and administrative staff that don’t require a college degree, especially if you have experience in customer service and/or administrative office work.

What is the highest-paid job with animals?

Is it hard to get a job at a zoo?

Yes, it is hard to get a job at a zoo. Zoo jobs are in high demand, as many people interested in careers with animals see the experience of working with diverse and exotic creatures from around the globe as the be-all-and-end-all of their vocation. Not to mention that working in a zoo is difficult and often requires constant vigilance during long shifts, sometimes entirely outdoors.

The best thing about wanting to work with animals is that the world loves its critters. If you can think of a job that involves animals, it’s probably out there and someone is looking to hire. Or you can start your own business and be your own boss doing what you love.

There’s a lot of variety in the field of animal care, you could start in high school by walking or grooming dogs, go to college, train to become a veterinarian and make a lot of money providing veterinary care during the day. Then at night, or even when you retire , you could have a little kennel where you watch other people’s animals when they’re away.

For people who are drawn to animals and working with them, it’s usually more about their passion for critters than anything else. Since there are so many animal-related jobs to choose from, there’s sure to be one that makes work a joy.

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Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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  • Animal Care and Use (ACU) Core

Working with the IACUC

This course provides basic training on the protection of animal subjects used in research.

About this Course

Working with the IACUC is intended for laboratory research personnel who will write animal-use protocols for review by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) member or who will handle animals under such protocols. It provides basic information regarding the U.S. regulations for protection of animal subjects used in research, teaching, and testing. It also describes the sources and applicability of regulations governing animals in these uses.

In addition, it discusses the role, authority, and composition of the IACUC, the types of IACUC review, and the items of information required for the review. It discusses animal surgery, blood sample collection, antibody production, and euthanasia.

General discussions are also provided for requirements for personnel training and experience, and occupational health and safety.  It provides recommendations for housing rodents, exercising dogs, enriching the environment of primates, and using human patient care areas for animal procedures. Finally, there is a discussion of the requirements for making changes in a project involving animals and the procedures for reporting inappropriate use of animals.

View Series Page for FAQs

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Animal Workers and Staff, IACUC Members, Investigators, Research Assistants, Students

Organizational Subscription Price: Included in Animal Care and Use (ACU) Core series, available as part of an organizational subscription package or for $675 per year/per site as a subscription add-on for government and non-profit organizations; $750 per year/per site as a subscription add-on for for-profit organizations Independent Learner Price: $99 per person

Course Content

Working with the iacuc: introduction.

Introduces the Working with the IACUC course and provides the course objectives.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17660 (English)

About the IACUC

Describes basic elements, roles and responsibilities, and functions of an IACUC.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17661 (English)

Federal Laws, Policies, and Guidelines

Discusses basic laws, policies, and guidelines that govern the use of animals for research, testing, and education in the United States.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17662 (English)

Planning Research and Completing the Protocol Form

Explains how investigators need to complete and justify answers to items on the animal protocol form. Covers key elements of planning research including recognizing the need to consult with the veterinarian, considering alternatives to minimize animal use and pain or distress, avoiding unnecessary duplication of previous animal studies, correctly classifying procedures performed on animals into the USDA pain/distress categories, understanding the guidelines for prolonged restraint, recognizing the need for humane endpoint criteria, and understanding appropriate euthanasia methods.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17663 (English)

Procedures: Surgery, Antibody Production, and Blood Collection

Covers key procedures in animal protocol forms including surgery, antibody production, and blood sample collection.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17664 (English)

Personnel and Their Welfare

Discusses the importance of training for personnel involved in animal research, requirements for performing work in animals involving recombinant DNA or infectious agents, considerations that should be given when using human clinical areas for animal research, and the importance of an organizational Occupational Health and Safety Program in protecting the safety of personnel and animals.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17665 (English)

Special Animal Welfare Considerations

Explains the need to house social animals in pairs or groups, and the need to justify single housing when not possible. Covers the need to preferentially house domesticated rodents in solid bottom cages with contact bedding and the requirements for organizations to establish programs for dog exercise and primate psychological enrichment.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17666 (English)

Making Changes to an Approved Animal Use Protocol

Discusses the requirement and methods for obtaining IACUC approval prior to making significant changes in animal procedures, as well as other processes organizations may establish for review and approval of changes that may be more minor in nature.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17667 (English)

Reporting Animal Use Concerns

Discusses the procedures for reporting misuse or mistreatment of animals or noncompliance in keeping with federal and organizational regulations, laws, policies, or guidelines.

Recommended Use: Required ID (Language): 17668 (English)

Additional Modules of Interest

Aseptic surgery.

Discusses the principles of aseptic technique with an emphasis on the practical application of these principles in the laboratory setting.

Recommended Use: Supplemental ID (Language): 12840 (English)

Antibody Production in Animals

Describes the use of antigens and adjuvants for the production of polyclonal antibodies and their ability to produce pain and distress. It also discusses the procedures for immunization, as well as the production of monoclonal antibodies and the use of ascites collection.

Recommended Use: Supplemental ID (Language): 13325 (English)

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This course provides IACUC members and administrators with more in-depth information about the conduct of semiannual evaluations.

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Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS)

BSS offers courses that cover the principles of biosafety and biosecurity, including the safe use and containment of biohazardo...

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Research Study Design

This course provides learners with an understanding of how to improve study design, collect and analyze data, and promote reproducible research.

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Technology, Ethics, and Regulations

Covers various technologies and their associated ethical issues and governance approaches.

Technology, Ethics, and Regulations

Conflict Management

Provides an overview of conflict, types of conflict, conflict styles, communication styles, and intervention strategies.

Conflict Management

Working with the IACUC – Refresher

This course provides retraining on the protection of animal subjects used in research.

Working with the IACUC – Refresher

Working with Mice in Research Settings

This course provides training on working with mice in research settings.

Working with Mice in Research Settings

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

This course provides training that meets OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard.

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

Working with Rats in Research Settings

This course provides training on working with rats in research settings.

Working with Rats in Research Settings

Wildlife Research

This course provides training for persons involved in wildlife research.

Wildlife Research

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Basic

This course covers the core norms, principles, regulations, and rules governing the practice of research.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Basic

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BIO Professional Development

Through a curated network of education alliance partners, BIO offers industry professionals executive training and development resources for accelerating career growth

Working With Animals

Working With Animals focuses on the special considerations of working safely with laboratory animals. A detailed look into animal laboratory equipment and animal laboratory best practices will be covered.

  • Identification of hazards associated with work involving vivarium biohazards.
  • Description of animal biosafety levels as listed in the CDC's Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.
  • List of engineering controls and practices used within the vivarium.
  • Explanation of safe operating practices in the vivarium.

Download Course Syllabus

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Biopharma Business Acumen was developed for those who need to better understand the unique considerations encountered by industry executives.

Basic Disinfection Practices for Tissue Culture Laboratories introduces disinfection methods for laboratories working with infectious agents.

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Regulations details current OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Regulations, how to determine if your organization is subject to its laws, and how to properly integrate them into existing medical surveillance, health, and safety programs.

NIH Recombinant DNA Compliance highlights the history and current legislative initiatives for NIH compliance, how these regulations may affect your institution and the operation of the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

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Animal Care & Vet Science Courses

Study animal care & vet science courses in australia & new zealand with us we offer certificates, diploma, bachelor and phd courses..

Various animal care courses help you get ahead in your animal care career. Enroll with us and get recognised qualifications in animal care. All our services are for free . Apply now and start your career in animal care! We are official international education advisors for Australia and New Zealand and can help you to apply at any course of your choice.

We offer the following certificate courses in Animal Care:

  • Certificate in Animal Care
  • Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
  • Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
  • Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Certificate IV in Captive Animals
  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

Popular animal care courses

Advanced Certificate in Animal Health Care

This course is perfect if you wish to have a wide knowledge of different animals and various things related to their health.

Advanced Certificate in Zoo Keeping

Zoo keeping is one of the popular animal jobs that helps you work with animals scientifically. If you want to become a zoo keeper or an interested in the career path, then this course if for you! Not only will you learn about what it takes to become a zoo keeper, you will also be taught a wide variety of skills from the health of animals and various other aspects of care involved in animals. You can choose your favourite area of the course to focus on!

Natural Health Care For Animals

This course is designed for people who wish to care for animals and provide them with some natural and holistic therapies that can help out animals in different ways to what they are used to.

Animal Behaviour Courses

This course is great if you wish to fully understand the behaviour of animals that make them so unique in our world. You will be taught why animals behave the way they do and how you can cope in various situations!

Check out some useful courses related to animal health and behavior at various colleges in Australia. Apply now and study in Australia and get work experience!

We offer the following animal care courses as part of Bachelor and PHD Degrees

Bachelor of Animal Science Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Bachelor of Zoology Animal Function, Health and Welfare Course Animal Production Systems and Products Course Animal Structure and Function Course Disease and its Control in Animals

Overview of courses/units in animal care

Animal Courses

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How Important is Dog Training?

 brown and white dog putting learning to sit and being rewarded with a treat

Ask the Expert: How Important is Dog Training? According to the 2023-2024 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 65 million U.S. households own a dog. Training provides many benefits to both the owner and the pet. Below, a certified professional dog trainer from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University outlines the importance of training.  

Helps with the human-animal bond Positive reinforcement-based training is fun for the learner and the human.

Teach a dog what you want them to know in the future A puppy jumping on people is cute; that same dog jumping as an adult is not usually appreciated.

Dogs are more likely to respond to an owner’s cues if there has been a high rate of reinforcement (reward) previously Calling a dog to “come” after they slipped out of the house is more likely to be successful if the person has practiced in different situations by praising and rewarding the dog for coming.

Punishing a dog will not teach them what you want them to do Instead, give the dog alternative behaviors like sitting for attention rather than jumping.

Socialization happens during the early weeks of a dog’s life Focusing on beneficial exposures rather than frequent exposures is best. For example, use treats to pair with seemingly scary, unfamiliar people like those in hats, with walkers, or with beards. Alternatively, when dogs feel overwhelmed, allowing them to choose to walk away supports them to make good decisions in the future.

Sandra Robbins, CVT VTS, CPDT-KSA, KPA-CTP is a veterinary technician and trainer in the Behavior Service at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals .


Building, Architecture, Outdoors, City, Aerial View, Urban, Office Building, Cityscape

PM Shift Animal Care Tech

  • Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
  • Animal Care Services
  • Staff-Full Time
  • Opening at: Feb 14 2024 at 12:25 CST
  • Closing at: Feb 28 2024 at 23:55 CST

Job Summary:

Duties will be milking cows, calf feeding, and moving cattle to parlor. Other duties may include feeding, cleaning, handling, and general care of the dairy cattle in an efficient and accurate manner. This position uses the employees experience and training to complete task and to care for livestock with limited supervision. To be successful in this position you must also exhibit a positive working attitude, communicate well and develop a good working relationship with co-workers and supervisors and show initiative to see what needs to be done and to get it done. Previous farm experience is not necessary, we are willing to train the right candidate. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) is committed to maintaining and growing a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity, believing that these values are foundational elements of our excellence and fundamental components of a positive and enriching learning and working environment for all students, faculty, and staff. At CALS, we acknowledge that bias, prejudice, racism, and hate have historically occurred in many forms that cause significant and lasting harm to members of our community. We commit to taking actions each day toward a college that is inclusive and welcoming to all. We encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  • 5% Collects samples from animals and administers medications, injections, and treatments according to established protocols and procedures to be used for diagnostic tests and research
  • 5% Inventories, cleans, and maintains organization of animal holding spaces and supplies
  • 15% Prepares food and formulas and feeds animals according to established schedules and specifications
  • 5% Inspects and reports equipment problems to ensure optimal and safe operation
  • 5% Maintains organization of and updates records related to research procedures
  • 65% Observes animal behavior, performs basic animal care, and reports concerns to the appropriate entities to contribute to the health and well-being of animals and promote research

Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals. The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world. For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion

Preferred H.S. Diploma


Will train the right person, no experience necessary, but cow knowledge and dairy experience is preferred. -Ability and desire to work and learn in a dairy cattle research setting. -Desire to provide and care for cattle in a research setting. -Desire to work with baby calves up to 4 months of age. -Desire to learn modern collection, diagnosis, recording and treatment protocols -Desire to train on and regularly operate skid steers and other utility vehicles -Ability to organize and work independently following training. -Basic computer entry skills.

Work Schedule:

PM shift works from 1:30 PM until Midnight. 10 hour shift; work every other 3 day weekend. Opposite weekend off 3 days.

Full Time: 100% It is anticipated this position requires work be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location.

Appointment Type, Duration:


Minimum $17.00 HOURLY Depending on Qualifications Actual pay will depend on experience and qualifications. Employees in this position can expect to receive benefits such as generous vacation, holidays, and paid time off; competitive insurances and savings accounts; retirement benefits. Additional benefit information can be found at . 

Additional Information:

-A probationary period will be required -A criminal background check will be required -Working conditions are mostly in livestock barns with a minimum lifting ability of 50 pounds.

How to Apply:

Don't feel you meet every qualification but feel you could excel in this role? We are eager to learn more about how your experience and passion may align with this position so we still encourage you to apply! Please click on the 'Apply Now' button above to start the application process. You will be asked to upload a current resume/CV and provide 3 references within the application. The application reviewers will be relying on written application materials to determine who may advance to preliminary interviews.

Justin Cave [email protected] 608-263-3715 Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1. See RELAY_SERVICE for further information.

Official Title:

Animal Care Technician II(AN009)



Employment Class:

University Staff-Ongoing

Job Number:

The university of wisconsin-madison is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer..

You will be redirected to the application to launch your career momentarily. Thank you!

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How China Broke One Man’s Dreams

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A crisis of confidence is brewing inside China, where the government is turning believers in the Chinese dream into skeptics willing to flee the country.

Li Yuan, who writes about technology, business and politics across Asia for The Times, explains why that crisis is now showing up at the United States’ southern border.

On today’s episode

courses working with animals

Li Yuan , who writes the New New World column for The New York Times.

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  22. How Important is Dog Training?

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