Animal Care Degrees
If you’ve always loved animals you may find a career in animal care rewarding, and there are many career training programs that can get you started. Animal care programs include mostly certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in veterinary science, dog obedience training and instruction, and pet grooming. Depending on the program you choose, you may learn animal physiology, behavior, health, and pharmacology; how to assist in emergency care and physical exams, and administer medications; how to perform lab tests; how to care for orphaned animals; how to train animals for ownership or service; or how to groom animals with patience and sensitivity. You may even be able to complete some animal care programs online or via distance learning.
Entry-level employees can sometimes gain experience through on-the-job training, however a college degree is necessary for high level positions. Candidates should look to earn an associates or bachelor’s degree to excel in this field.
Animal Care Job Opportunities
Jobs in the animal care field are estimated to grow faster than the average through 2018. Competition is likely for coveted positions at zoo’s however as people spend more money on their pets, many animal care givers could see an increase in business.
Animal Care jobs expected to grow include:
- Pet Groomer
- Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Veterinary Assistant
- Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor
- Animal Care Specialist
- Kennel Caretakers
- Animal Trainers
Animal care workers are expected to handle training, bathing, grooming, and providing companionship to animals. Other duties may include making sure the nutritional needs are managed, and clean and safe living arrangements are provided.
Typical animal care workplaces can include:
- Veterinary hospitals
- Dog grooming salons
- Animal shelters
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlooks Handbook, 2010 – 2011 Edition.