Anyone wanting to work for and with animals can find careers with the government and private sector, as well as freelance possibilities. Depending on the career choice, no formal education may be necessary.
There aren't domestic animal services degree programs, but there are many related fields that can prepare workers for animal-related careers. These include biology, animal sciences, veterinary sciences, zoology, and agricultural sciences. Animal lovers who hold degrees or certificates in these areas might be able to enter career fields as diverse as journalism, law enforcement, or animal care. While there are many career paths, some possible options to consider include animal control worker, kennel technician, or animal writer.
|Career Titles||Animal Control Worker||Kennel Technician||Animal or Pet Writer|
|Education Requirements||High school diploma||High school diploma||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6%*||11%* (for animal care and service workers)||2%* (for writers and authors)|
|Average Salary (2015)||$35,330*||$23,630* (for nonfarm animal caretakers)||$69,130* (for writers and authors)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Animal control worker, kennel technician and animal or pet writer are just three of the careers available in domestic animal services.
Animal Control Worker
Animal control workers or officers work on behalf of government agencies to protect the welfare of both animals and the general public. An animal control officer investigates reports of animal abuse or neglect and apprehends stray, sick, and feral animals. In many areas, animal control officers and workers also provide educational services to the community, which might include conducting presentations on leash laws, pet microchipping, and spay/neuter programs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that during the decade spanning 2014-2024, open positions for animal control workers will increase by 6% (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the BLS reported that the average annual salary of animal control workers was $35,330.
Kennel Technician or Manager
Animal kennel technicians, also called kennel attendants, care for pets in a kennel (animal boarding facility) environment. Technicians feed, groom, and exercise the animals in their care. Kennel managers assume responsibility for a kennel's business operations, such as training and supervising other employees.
According to BLS forecasts for 2014-2024, job opportunities for all animal care and service workers, including kennel technicians, could grow by 11%. Nonfarm animal caretakers, including kennel techs, earned an average annual salary of $23,630 in 2015, per the BLS.
Animal or Pet Writer
According to the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University, a degree in animal care or sciences can be helpful to journalists and other writers who want to specialize in writing about pets for magazines, newspapers, books, and other media. As is true in other areas of writing or reporting, holding a degree, particularly a bachelor's or graduate degree in an animal-related discipline, can improve a pet or animal writer's credibility, leading to more and better-paying opportunities.
The projected rate of job growth for writers was only 2% for the 2014-2024 decade, per the BLS. For magazine or other media reporters, the BLS predicted a 9% decline in job opportunities, although there might be freelance opportunities available. In 2015, writers in general earned an average annual salary of $69,130.
Domestic animal services can be considered any job that works for the good of animals. This may include animal control workers, those who work in kennels and animal boarding facilities, and people who write about animals. Experience or a degree may be required or preferred by employers.