Career Options That Allow You to Work with Dogs
Many people who love dogs may enjoy the opportunity to work with dogs as part of their career. Luckily there are a number of different job options that involve working with dogs in a variety of capacities. Because these jobs vary in terms of their educational requirements, it is likely that anyone could find a job on this list that they could potentially qualify for. We will discuss some of these possibilities in greater detail below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technician||$32,490||19%|
|Groomer||$22,230 (for all animal care and service workers)||11% (for all animal care and service workers)|
|Non-farm Animal Caretaker||$21,990||11%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for People Who Want to Work with Dogs
Veterinarians are essentially the primary care physicians of the animal world, as it is their job to provide all types of animals with medical care ranging from regular health check-ups to diagnosing medical conditions and handling surgeries. As dogs are a very common household pet, veterinarians are likely to work with dogs on a regular basis and help make sure that they are able to live long and happy lives. To become a veterinarian, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, which takes four additional years to complete. Veterinarians must be licensed; however, federal and state veterinarians may follow different requirements.
As a veterinary technologist or technician, you will work in the office of a veterinarian or in a research setting. Common tasks include administering medication, taking x-rays, drawing blood, and restraining animals during examinations. As veterinarian offices see many dogs on a normal basis, this job will definitely involve working with dogs. Technicians usually work alongside veterinarians and are required to complete a 2-year veterinary technology program. Technologists must undergo additional education and training with a 4-year degree, which allows them to perform more advanced tasks. Both careers typically require a credentialing examination.
Animal trainers are employed by organizations like zoos, pet stores, or law enforcement or by individuals who want training for their pets, as in the case of many dog owners who enroll their dog or puppy in obedience classes. Trainers teach animals how to respond to various voice calls and signals by performing a desired behavior, like sitting or coming. Some trainers may work specifically with dogs who are going to become service-dogs or work with law enforcement. To become an animal trainer, you will generally need a high school diploma. Some community colleges offer courses in animal training or behavior or you could also enroll in a training-oriented school to learn the necessary skills.
Groomers often work for pet shops or may have their own business in which they provide grooming services for a variety of animals, but most commonly household pets like cats and dogs. A groomer's duties often include bathing the pet, cutting their hair and nails, and styling their fur in accordance to the owner's wishes. There are a couple of ways to become a pet groomer. Some groomers learn by working with an experienced groomer while others attend a grooming program.
Non-farm Animal Caretaker
A non-farm animal caretaker is an individual who usually works for some type of animal rescue organization or at an animal shelter with the goal of finding new homes for abandoned or lost pets. While they may be responsible for some administrative tasks like answering phones and keeping records, they also work closely with animals, such as dogs, by providing them with basic care. Caretakers make sure animals and their living area are kept clean and that they have food. To become a non-farm animal caretaker, you generally will only need a high school diploma.