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7 Jobs for Pet Lovers

Julie Morse
June 11, 2015

Want a career involving animals? These pet-centric jobs expose you to pets and pet lovers on a daily basis.

Pets make us happy. It’s a simple fact of life. After a long day, coming home to a loving pet is a wonderful feeling. Why not carry that into your career and find jobs with animals?

Some of us animal lovers are lucky enough to work in office environments where pets are welcome to curl up by the desk and provide a little respite to our hectic agendas. However, those of us who aren’t allowed to bring our pets to work may feel like there’s something lacking in our lives.

“Having a pet-centric career exposes one to pets and pet lovers on a more frequent basis,” says Kristen Levine, pet expert and president of Fetching Communications and PetPR.com. "Less traditional pet jobs can allow a person to apply their existing expertise in a pet-centric way For example, dog grooming would utilize creative and beauty skills!

Here are seven career options for people who love animals.

Want to learn how much pet care providers in your area earn? Check out Care.com's pet care rate calculator.
 

  1. Animal Shelter Worker
    There are a wide variety of positions at animal shelters -- ranging from kennel cleaning to adoptions to clerk to fundraising to management, says Levine. You can even find degree programs for people interested in animal welfare management positions. The typical pay starts at $20,000 and can go up to $60,000. 

    Find jobs through this job site run by the Humane Society of the United States
     
  2. Pet Blogger
    If you love pets, why not start a fun blog about it. There are lots of pet blogs around, so think about how yours can be different and what type of audience you want. This position requires a great deal of social media stamina, but if you’re lucky and successful, you can make a good living. Or it could be a great part-time job to keep you thinking about animals.Check out BlogPaws, a community of pet bloggers, for more information.
     
  3. Dog Handler
    “If you’ve always wanted to work at a dog show, the best way to start out is being an apprentice to a dog handler,” says Darlene Arden, author and certified animal behavior consultant. “It’s a very tiring job, but can pay up into six-figures." You could even get a bonus depending on how your dog places. Plus, you could get to travel all over the country.

    For more advice, head to the Professional Handlers Association.
     
  4. Veterinarian
    If you like animals, but also math and science, think about becoming a vet. There are many specialties and fields a veterinarian can venture into -- ranging from oncology to cardiology to orthopedics, just to name a few. “Depending on your specialty, you can become chief-of-staff at a pet hospital or a college professor,” says Arden.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average vet makes about $86,000 per year.

    Follow these Steps to Becoming a Veterinarian.
     
  5. Pet Retail
    From selling pet accessories, food or the pets themselves, there are a lot of options in this field! Levine recommends checking out careers in management, stocking or being a clerk if you’re considering working in a pet store. Those careers range from $20,000 to $80,000 a year.
     
  6. Dog Walker
    Want a part time job that lets you be outside all day and play with animals? Dog walkers can work as freelance consultants and create their own schedule and client roster, or even join a dog walking agency.

    Find dog walking jobs on Care.com.
     
  7. Dog Trainer
    A lot of training and precaution is involved in becoming a dog trainer. The best way to start out is to apprentice with a trainer who has a significant amount of experience. The next step is to take a dog trainer exam to become certified. Dog trainers can make anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000 a year. Quite a range, but start small and sky's the limit!


Find families looking for dog trainers on Care.com.

Julie Morse is a freelance journalist and copywriter living in San Francisco.

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