Are you smitten with “man’s best friend” and cuddly kittens? Like to “horse” around at the stable? Do animals in the wild simply wow you? Sometimes the most satisfying jobs are those you gravitate to naturally. Here are three potential animal-loving career paths that could be fun to consider.
If you’ve always had a soft spot for animals of all kind, and your heart goes out to sick pets and injured forest critters alike, being a veterinarian could be your calling.
What You’ll Do
As you may know, a veterinarian—aka vet—is pretty much a doctor for animals. And it’s not a bad occupation to explore as employment in is expected to grow a faster-than-average 9 percent through 2024, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Veterinarians examine, treat, prescribe medications for and perform surgeries on a range of animals. They also are tasked with euthanizing animals should the need arise. Some vets work in animal hospitals or privately practice, while others may work in the food industry specializing in research or livestock.
What You’ll Earn
Having a job that makes you feel good and pays well isn’t always that easy to find. But veterinarians fall into that comforting category. Depending on location in the country and specific job setting, vets can earn anywhere from $53,210 to $158,260 per year, with a median salary of around $88,490, according to 2015 BLS data.
Degree You’ll Need
No great or satisfying career comes easy though. Most veterinarians first earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field such as biology or zoology, followed by about four years earning their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine—a program that can be competitive to get into. In veterinarian school students not only study subjects like animal anatomy and physiology, they also spend time getting hands-on experience in a lab and at animal hospitals meeting their clinical requirements.
Finally, a veterinarian must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination in order to begin practicing.
Do you feel frustrated hearing about species on the brink of extinction? Want to help threatened and endangered animal populations around the world whose habitats are shrinking? Becoming a zoologist can contribute to these global problems.
What You’ll Do
The name zoologist may be a little misleading—they don’t all spend their days playing with animals at the zoo, although some may provide expertise needed in that type of setting for animal observation, breeding and public education.
Zoologists examine how animals live and interact with one another and their environments, and many specialize in a specific type of species. A largely research-based career, zoologists are tasked with tagging and tracking the movement of various species, collecting samples that can inform about health, diet and ecosystems, and analyzing their data to help influence policy and funding for programs that support wildlife and ecology.
While the zoology field is projected to grow slower than average through 2024, it will grow by 4 percent and will be particularly important as the world’s human population increases and along with it, its impact on and conflicts with the wild.
What You’ll Earn
In 2015, BLS data indicated that zoologists made between $39,180 and $97,390 per year, although the median was $59,680. Annual salary will depend on where your work is based, your qualifications, the type of work you’re doing and the institution or organization you work for.
You will need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology, Biology or related major to acquire an entry-level job in this field. However, if you’re looking to conduct more comprehensive research with an organization or independently—and earn a higher wage—you will want a Master’s Degree or Ph.D.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Americans own 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats. But unfortunately, some of these pets end up in less-than-ideal situations. If you believe every animal deserves a loving home, becoming an adoption counselor could be your calling.
Pet adoption counselors help put pets in loving homes. They review owner applications, interview families interested in adopting and even observe interactions between potential owners with prospective pets. As adoptions are completed, they also help educate families about safety, training and nutrition to help ensure a long, healthy and happy life for the animals.
This is another feel-good occupation and it’s expected to grow at a faster-than-average level, 11 percent, through 2024.
Animal adoption counselors can earn anywhere between $18,160 and $57,170 per year depending on experience and training, although the median annual wage in 2015 was $26,610.
A high school degree will be necessary, as will good communication and customer service skills. You’ll also need to have experience with animals, awareness of some of the issues facing pets, and for some positions, counselor training.
I love any kind of animals, they are all so CUTE!!!!
can you make a what’s next for acting please?
I love the idea of being an pet adoption counselor.
im going to be a pitbull rescuer
I want to be a veterinarian so i could help animals that are sick and engender,
no way that’s boring =(
i love animals so much i would hove to be a pet adoption counselor!
I am going to be either a docter for kids or a vet for animals
I want to be a veterinarian for cats!
Theese are great jobs and i just love ALL ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would adopt pets because I love animals and they matter so I would be a pet adoption councler to be with pets all day
I would be a veterinarian, because I love animals but I want them to be safe and healthy! Being a vet sounds so fun! I can’t wait to get to college!
yaaaaa… But you’ll have to go through 8 years of college.