Careers Saving Animals

Individuals who have a heart for animal welfare may want to consider a career that involves saving the lives of animals. Many options are hands-on, though not all involve medical procedures.

Career Options that Involve Saving Animals

There are a number of jobs that would be well-suited for individuals who have a love of animals and want to devote their careers to helping save animal lives in one way or another. We will discuss some options that involve opportunities to save animal lives; they are available across several different fields and require different levels of education.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Veterinarian $88,770 9%
Veterinary Technologist/Technician $32,490 19%
Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist $60,520 4%
Range Manager $61,810 (all conservation scientists) 7% (all conservation scientists)
Nonfarm Animal Caretaker $21,990 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information About Careers that Involve Saving Animals


As a veterinarian, in addition to providing primary care like regular check-ups and vaccinations, you will also sometimes be called upon to perform lifesaving surgeries or treatments for animals who have been in accidents or are suffering from illnesses and disease. Some veterinarians may specialize and work with a particular type of animal, like horses or exotic animals, while others mainly work with common household pets. To become a vet, you will need a bachelor's degree before attending a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

Veterinary Technologist/Technician

Veterinary technologists and technicians also play a key role in saving animal lives, as they work alongside veterinarians and assist in treatment and animal care. Technologists and technicians differ in that technologists are able to perform more advanced tasks like administering medicine and may work in a laboratory setting, while technicians primarily assist vets. Veterinary technologists will need a bachelor's degree in the field while veterinary technicians need an associate's degree in the field.

Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist

Another career option for individuals who are interested in animal lives is a career as a zoologist or wildlife biologist. While these professionals may not directly be responsible for saving animal lives, they do conduct important research on topics that affect animal welfare in the wild, like reproduction habits, how invasive species affect native species, diseases, and how animals interact with their natural environments. This research can be used to help raise awareness about endangered species, the destruction of natural habitats, and other issues negatively affecting animals that humans may be able to help prevent. To become a zoologist or wildlife biologist, you will need at least a bachelor's degree, though many of these professionals have master's degrees or Ph.Ds.

Range Manager

A range manager is a type of conservation scientist who is primarily concerned with how rangelands are protected across the country, as they make up a large percentage of the land in some states. Range managers help save animal lives by making sure their natural habitat is kept healthy and safe from outside threats like invasive species and wildfires. They also work to help restore rangelands that have gone into decline. To become a range manager, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in forestry or a related field.

Nonfarm Animal Caretaker

As a nonfarm animal caretaker, you will often work at an animal rescue or shelter caring for animals who have been neglected, lost, or abandoned. Your duties will vary and may include taking care of the basic needs of animals by feeding and bathing them, as well as administrative duties like organizing adoptions and maintaining records. Many of the animals you will care for might otherwise pass away if left on their own, making this a job that definitely involves saving animal lives. To become a nonfarm animal caretaker, you generally will only need a high school diploma.

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