The Best Jobs for Animal Lovers

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Do you love animals? Do you wish you could be surrounded by them all day and somehow get paid? Well, we’ve discovered the top ways to make a living while living out your dream. Check it out.

Don’t assume that the only animal-centered career includes veterinary school. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spend over $60 billion on a given year on their pets. The Bureau of Labor reports pet jobs for animal care and service workers are expected to grow faster and increase jobs in other sectors by 21 percent from the years 2008 to 2018. So from service to science and research, the right animal job is out there for you.

Pet Adoption Counselor

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This job pays anywhere from $16,000 – $32,000 annually and requires workers to be detail-oriented, flexible, and reliable. Also known as animal adoption counselors or pet resort concierges, pet adoption counselors main goals are to increase the number of adoptions. Ever thought of yourself as a matchmaker? Well, here’s your chance to shine. You’ll get to connect pets of all kinds with their future owners by familiarizing yourself with each pet and its personality so that when someone comes to adopt, you’ll know just what animal to suggest to them. You’ll conduct interviews, take care of filing out the proper forms, and educate people who adopt on how to care for their new pet. After the adoption, you stay in contact to make sure things are going smoothly for everyone involved. This job includes marketing and outreach events to find future adopters and explain pet behavior, mini-counseling sessions to help pet owners who are thinking of getting rid of their pets find different options, and working with volunteers to help raise awareness about pet adoption.

Professional Pet Sitter

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Are babies not your thing? Never fear, because pets are here, and they need someone to look out for them, too. Pet sitters can charge hourly, and are known to average around $32,000 a year if they work full-time. There are certain places, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (located in New Jersey) that offer a certification program that includes pet handling, business skills and first aid. Since you are essentially starting your own business here, some things you may want to consider investing in will be pet-sitting insurance and bonding, a reliable car, gas, pet treats, and toys. You are responsible for the pet 24/7 while owners are away, so being accountable is par for the course. Professional pet sitters care for pets in the pets’ own homes, providing them with water, food, and attention. You can stop in once or twice a day for about an hour at a time, or choose to stay overnight while the owner is away.  Holidays and summers are usually busiest, as those are the most popular travel times.

Wildlife Rehabilitator

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Do you prefer to live life on the wild side? How about taking a job caring for wild animals? As a wildlife rehabilitator you’ll care for injured, sick, and orphaned animals that have been left alone to fend for themselves in the wild, with the objective to help them recover and return to the wild, happy and healthy. The average national salary is anywhere from $24,000 to upwards of $36,000, but the perks are really what makes this job so desirable. Your daily care will help these animals regain their strength so that they can survive on their own. It consists of feeding them a nutritious diet, keeping them clean and groomed, administering medication to prevent illnesses, and playing with them, essentially lifting their spirits and giving them the vigor they need for the life they’ll be returning to. From bottle-feeding squirrels to cleaning otters affected by an oil spill, this job puts you on the front lines with the animals that need it most. You’ll be the go-to person in most unknown wildlife situations, so be prepared and knowledgeable when people ask for your advice. You’ll be educating the public on what your organization does, raising community awareness, and encouraging donations.

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