Sometimes it feels like the distance between passion and career is so vast. Few of us have the luxury to do what we love and make a living from it.
Most of the time, it’s an either-or situation where you sacrifice your passion for earning a living or vice versa.
However, it’s not impossible to turn what you love into a day job, as tough as it can be. In America today, about 20 percent of the working population feel passionate about their jobs. It’s not much, but it means you can do something you love.
For animal lovers, it may seem like there aren’t many options for working with animals.
In this post, we’ll share jobs that offer direct involvement with animals. We’ll discuss those that require tertiary education and certifications and those that don’t.
1. Veterinary Work
This is a no-brainer. Probably the first thing you’ll consider is a career in veterinary medicine.
But not every animal lover wants to be a vet or is in a position to be one. The thing is, veterinary work is a broad field that goes beyond just being an animal doctor.
Let’s look closer at some of the jobs within veterinary work that may be a good fit for you:
Vets are medical doctors specialized in animal medicine. They diagnose, treat, and care for different animals, from horses to cats and even snakes or lizards.
This may come as a surprise. Animals don’t always have the best dental hygiene. And because of this, they’re at risk of developing severe dental problems. And a vet dentist handles those.
Formal education isn’t necessary in becoming a vet assistant. Basically, you’ll be carrying out simple tasks around the vet’s office.
Your duties may include:
- Taking in the sick animals
- Booking appointments
- Maintaining records
- Watching over and caring for the animals
As a vet nurse or technician, you’re more involved in the primary medical care of the animals under the directions of a licensed vet.
2. Animal Rescue
For an animal lover, a career in animal rescue is pretty fulfilling. It’s a diverse area, and you get to work with animals of all kinds and make a difference in the lives of your furry companions.
One of the roles in animal rescue is working with a team of rescuers or animal control officers. It’s a challenging role that includes responding to cases of abuse, neglect, or human endangerment.
You may also work in shelters or as an adoption counselor.
Much like a vet assistant, a job in animal rescue doesn’t require tertiary education. Some experience handling animals is a plus, and some employers may demand it.
However, this is one of those areas where you can learn on the job.
3. Conservation Officer
Let’s say you’d love to be a cop, but you love animals more. Well, you can be both.
You just need to land a job as a conservation officer, which is also known as a game warden, wildlife trooper, or forest ranger.
Basically, you’ll be a law enforcement officer in charge of wildlife protection.
To get started, you’ll need a degree in animal sciences or environmental conservation. From there, you’ll need to sign-up for a training program and pass a state civil service exam.
4. Animal Breeder
If you’ve ever thought of becoming a breeder, here’s the good news: it’s a timeless venture that pays both ways. You get to earn a living while caring for and breeding animals.
Animal breeding is a straightforward career that focuses on experience rather than education. While a degree in something like animal science would be handy, it’s not a requirement.
To begin your career as a breeder, choose a species to specialize in. It could be cats, dogs, or horses. You’ll then need hands-on training. Working with experienced breeders is the best way to get started.
5. Pet Groomer
If you would rather spend the day with your furry friends than sit in an office, why not try pet grooming?
And no, grooming doesn’t have to be a side thing for when you want a quick buck. It’s a serious job that you can turn into your career.
Pet owners or clinics hire groomers to groom cats and dogs. A formal education isn’t typically a requirement to become a professional groomer, but previous experience is.
You’ll need to attend training at a grooming school or work with an experienced groomer to learn the ropes.
6. Animal Trainer
What you need to become an animal trainer varies depending on the animal you specialize in.
Usually, your high school diploma is enough concerning education. However, you need training and certification to start working as a professional dog or horse trainer.
With marine or exotic animals, you’ll need a degree in marine biology or animal sciences to begin entry-level and gain experience.
Do you love marine animals? Probably have a fishbowl that you try to take with you everywhere?
Perhaps you’d love to be an aquarist.
An aquarist is a trained individual who takes care of marine animals in an aquarium. It’s an upgrade from the fishbowl, just way more complicated.
You’ll be in charge of monitoring the health and safety of various animal species in an enclosure. Cleaning the animals, watching their diet, and preparing them for exhibitions is also part of an aquarist’s job description.
A job as an aquarist could be an entry-level or a senior position, depending on formal education and experience.
8. Pet Blogger
Ever considered becoming a pet blogger? This is actually a legitimate career and it’s not that hard and also very lucrative.
The first step in becoming a pet blogger is to find your niche.
First things first, find your passion. Finding your niche is key to having success with this job. It is the difference between being a successful pet blogger and being a one-hit-wonder.
To get started, you could ask yourself these questions: What kind of pets do I love? What kind of pets do I have? What kind of life do they lead? Are they different from most other people’s pets in some way that will provide an unparalleled experience for my readers?
If you have pets that are unique or that have interesting stories then you may be able to market yourself as the perfect person to write about your experiences with them.
Does any of the above jobs seem like it’s up your alley?
Well, this post doesn’t cover half of what’s out there. There are plenty of opportunities for people who love working with animals.
All you need is a bit of experience, the proper education, and a passion for animal well being to get started.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Cheney to help them with their online marketing.