Are you tired of the boring nine to five? Do you want to work a job that’s exciting, fulfilling, and allows you to work with animals all day long? Well, then you’ve come to the right place.
When people hear about possible jobs for animal lovers, they usually just think of veterinarians. While this is an admirable and rewarding job, it’s actually not the only one. You don’t need to necessarily go through the college curriculum in order to be able to work a dream job with animals.
There are many jobs that only require a little bit of training that can still let you connect with and help animals in need. Are you interested in learning more? Then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
- Zoo Veterinarian
A zoo veterinarian is a specialist who has undergone advanced training. They’re able to treat exotic animals who are currently in captivity. As a zoo vet, your patients may take the forms of:
- small mammals
- aquatic animals
You’ll be responsible for treating illnesses and injuries of animals that live in zoos. You’ll also have to perform preventative medical care. A zoo vet might also have to use different types of medical equipment, such as imaging devices and surgical tools.
In order to get a job as a professional zoo veterinarian, there are a few things that you’re going to have to acquire. First, you’ll need to have a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree. You’ll also need to pass the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Exam).
Lastly, although it’s not required, you’ll probably want to join a professional association. The AAZV (American Association of Zoo Veterinarians) is a popular one.
- Animal Trainer
Being an animal trainer can cover a wide array of specialties. As an animal trainer, you might be hired to housetrain a puppy or teach a parrot to talk. Essentially, your goal is to train pets to act in certain ways or to stop them from exhibiting specific behaviors.
As a professional animal trainer, you can expect to make around $28,880. Depending on the type of animal and business you work with, your responsibilities will vary. If you worked in a doggy daycare center, then your job would be to keep the animals safe and teach them good manners.
In an aquarium setting, you could perform behavioral conditioning of pinnipeds. You might even end up working in animal entertainment and help with backstage responsibilities.
Perhaps the most well-known job for animal lovers, veterinarians take care of all kinds of animals. Small animal vets usually take of pets, such as birds, cats, and dogs. Other veterinarians will care for more exotic animals like lizards, snakes, and rodents.
A veterinarian needs to be able to diagnose illness and also perform medical procedures. Unlike with people animals can’t communicate the problems that they’re feeling. So a veterinarian needs to be observant and have good problem-solving skills.
There are several responsibilities that a veterinarian will have to take on. These responsibilities include:
- Giving immunizations
- Providing emergency care
- Prescribing medicine
- Advising people on the care of their pets
- Performing physical exams
- Performing dental procedures and surgery
- Euthanizing animals
To become a professional veterinarian, you will have to get a DVM degree from a college of veterinary medicine. You’ll also need a license that’s issued by your state.
- Veterinary Technician
If you choose to become a vet tech, you will have to be comfortable with assisting veterinarians with treating and diagnosing animals in research facilities, animal hospitals, and/or private clinics.
Some roles that a vet tech will take on include:
- testing blood
- administering vaccines
- urine and stool sampling
- preparing animals for surgery
- administering anesthesia
- monitoring vital signs
- taking x-rays
- performing dental procedures
- keeping animals restrained during exams
If you’re interested in becoming a vet tech, it’s important to know that you don’t need a bachelor’s degree. However, you will have to go through a two-year program and pass an exam.
There are certain skills that a vet tech should exhibit in order to thrive in their career. First, you’re going to want to be good at active listening. You’ll have to be able to follow the vet’s instructions exactly so that you can take the best care of the patient.
You’ll also need to be able to verbally communicate instructions to other coworkers. And because you’ll be on your feet all day, you’ll need good stamina and endurance. And, of course, you’ll have to be okay with being around sick and hurt animals while still remaining professional.
The job of a groomer is to maintain the appearance of a pet. They typically work with cats and dogs. A groomer might work in an animal shelter, pet shop, veterinary clinic, or do house calls. Many groomers even work out of special grooming vans.
While most groomers start by training with more experienced groomers, there are no legal or educational requirements for becoming a professional groomer. With that said, there are national associations that a groomer can join to give themselves more credibility.
- Veterinary Assistant
A veterinary assistant is someone who cares for animals that are under the supervision of a veterinary technician or a veterinarian. These people are in charge of exercising, cleaning, and feeding of animals. A veterinary assistant will also restrain an animal during treatment and physical exams.
Typically referred to as vet assistants, these people can perform lab work some times, especially when it comes to collecting urine samples and doing blood work.
There are many roles and responsibilities that a vet assistant is usually in charge of. Let’s go over some of the most important responsibilities below:
- feeding animals
- monitoring animals while they eat
- exercising the animals
- maintaining, sterilizing, and cleaning operating rooms, cages, exam rooms, kennels, and medical tools
- providing first aid to animals in an emergency
- administering medication to animals
- stabilizing animals until a doctor can take charge
- doing some clerical work
- bathing animals
- assisting vets and vet techs with lab work
- restraining and comforting animals during care and exams
The majority of vet assistants work in clinics and animal hospitals. However, some vet assistants also work in research programs, universities, and colleges.
When it comes to education and training, advanced education is not required. You will need a high school diploma but don’t need to complete secondary school. When it comes to training, most employers will give you on-the-job training. However, some employers will only take candidates who have prior experience working with animals.
Whether your job is at a research facility, school, or in a vet’s office, you’ll most likely be spending your time in outdoor spaces, operation rooms, kennels, and labs. Also, some of your patients might be frightened or aggressive. Because of this, you risk being scratched or bitten and you should consider wearing protective gear.
Being a vet assistant can sometimes be unpleasant and upsetting. You will have to assist with euthanizing animals and getting rid of the remains. Not to mention dealing with pet owners who are grieving and sad.
With all that said, you’ll also be given the rewarding experience of helping sick animals get better and injured animals recover.
- Veterinary Surgeon
While veterinarians are qualified to perform some surgeries, a veterinary surgeon is much more specialized and trained.
As a veterinary surgeon, you will have to:
- evaluate nuclear scans and x-rays
- perform surgical procedures
- interact with vets and pet owners
- conduct diagnostic tests and presurgical exams
- use specialized tools
- write case reports
- prescribe follow-up home care
- supervise post-operative care
In order to become a veterinary surgeon, you’ll have to complete a four-year college course in animal science. You’ll then have to go through a four-year veterinary college and be admitted by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
You’ll then have to undergo an internship for one year and do a residency for three years.
Which of These Jobs for Animal Lovers Are You Interested In?
As we can see, there is a wide variety out there when it comes to jobs for animal lovers. And each of these jobs requires a different amount of education and expertise, so there’s bound to be a job out there for everyone. Just remember to look over all of the requirements before you start applying.
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