13 Best Jobs for Animal Lovers (High Paying)

Are you looking for jobs for animal lovers?

We’ve curated the best jobs for those with a strong inclination toward animal care and conservation. If you love animals and want to translate that into a rewarding career, this list is made for you.

What Makes a Good Job for People Who Love Animals?

To create a worthy list of jobs for animal lovers, we came up with some criteria we could use to find the most suitable roles.

We looked for jobs that will:

  • Enable direct interaction with animals
  • Involve responsibilities related to animal welfare
  • Allow educating others about animals
  • Require diverse knowledge of animal species
  • Facilitate contributing to animal conservation efforts

Best Jobs for Animal Lovers

Here is our list of 13 job ideas for animal lovers:

1. Marine Biologist

  • Average salary: $84,384 per year

A marine biologist, also sometimes known as a marine scientist or oceanographer, is an expert in the creatures of the sea.

Their main duties involve studying marine organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment. They might be involved in research, data analysis, and even expeditions to collect samples or observe marine life in its natural habitat.

A degree in marine biology or a related field is typically required. Analytical skills, physical stamina, and a readiness to spend considerable time at sea are also highly valued in this role.

2. Pet Adoption Counselor

  • Average salary: $38,335 per year

A pet adoption counselor is a professional who matches rescue pets with prospective owners.

Their job involves assessing the needs and lifestyle of people looking to adopt, and pairing them with suitable animals from the shelter. They play a vital role in ensuring that pets find loving and compatible homes.

The role often requires experience in animal care or a related field, excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong knowledge of animal behavior and care requirements.

3. Zookeeper

  • Average salary: $40,307 per year

A zookeeper, often also known as an animal keeper or animal caretaker, is responsible for the care and management of animals in a zoo.

Their duties involve feeding animals, cleaning their habitats, and sometimes performing health checks or helping with breeding programs. Zookeepers often also play a role in educating the public about the animals in their care.

The job typically requires a degree in zoology or a related field, and previous experience with animal care is usually a plus. Physical fitness and a willingness to work irregular hours are also key requirements.

4. Aviary Keeper

  • Average salary: $45,299 per year

An aviary keeper is a zookeeper specializing in birds.

They take care of birds in zoos, bird sanctuaries, or aviaries, which involves feeding, grooming, and observing them for signs of illness or distress. An aviary keeper may also participate in breeding programs and public education about bird species.

A degree in zoology, biology, or a related field is often required. You’ll also need a strong love for birds, knowledge of their care, and good observational skills.

5. Animal-Assisted Therapist

  • Average salary: $56,010 per year

An animal-assisted therapist uses the bond between animals and humans to help people overcome various physical, mental, and emotional issues.

This involves planning and implementing therapeutic interventions involving animals, often dogs or horses. The interventions aim to improve patients’ motor skills, social skills, and emotional well-being.

The job typically requires a degree in psychology, social work, occupational therapy, or a similar field, along with additional training in animal-assisted therapy. You’ll also need a love for animals, but we think you have that part covered.

6. Animal Behaviorist

  • Average salary: $45,790 per year

An animal behaviorist, sometimes known as an ethologist, studies the behavior of animals.

This involves observing animals to understand their behavior patterns, social interactions, and survival techniques. These findings can then inform efforts to improve animal welfare, whether in a domestic, farm, or wild setting.

The job usually requires a degree in animal science, biology, or a related field. Excellent observation skills, patience, and a deep understanding of animal behavior will also go a long way.

7. Animal Nutritionist

  • Average salary: $60,999 per year

An animal nutritionist specializes in formulating diets that meet the nutritional needs of animals.

They design and supervise the implementation of feeding plans for animals, whether in zoos, farms, or pet food companies. Their work is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of the animals under their care.

The job typically requires a degree in animal science, veterinary science, or a related field. A strong understanding of animal physiology and dietetics is also ideal.

8. Pet Groomer

  • Average salary: $36,801 per year

A pet groomer is a professional who maintains the hygiene and appearance of pets, most commonly dogs.

Their duties involve bathing, trimming, and styling pets’ fur, clipping their nails, and cleaning their ears. Pet groomers also often check for signs of skin issues or parasites during their grooming sessions.

The role doesn’t usually require formal qualifications, but training or certification in pet grooming can be beneficial. Good physical stamina, patience, and a gentle hand with animals will also pay dividends here.

9. Aquarist

  • Average salary: $77,095 per year

An aquarist is a professional who takes care of aquatic animals and plants, usually in an aquarium setting.

They are responsible for the day-to-day care of the inhabitants of the aquarium, including feeding, monitoring health, and ensuring the conditions of the aquarium are optimal. They may also be involved in breeding programs and educational initiatives.

A degree in marine biology or a related field is usually required, and any hands-on experience with aquatic life can be beneficial. A love for marine life, attention to detail, and the ability to work irregular hours are also important.

10. Veterinary Technician

  • Average salary: $38,343 per year

A veterinary technician is essentially a nurse for animals in a veterinary setting.

They assist veterinarians with a variety of tasks, including patient examination, administering medications, preparing animals for surgery, and laboratory work. They also provide comfort and care to the animals during their stay at the clinic.

This role typically requires a degree or certification in veterinary technology. It’s a role that demands a high level of compassion for animals, along with technical skills and the ability to handle stressful situations.

11. Wildlife Photographer

  • Average salary: $41,000 per year

A wildlife photographer captures images of animals in their natural habitats for various purposes, such as for magazines, books, and conservation awareness.

Their work involves traveling to different locations, understanding animal behavior to capture the right moments, and using photography equipment effectively. Patience is paramount in this job as it can take a considerable amount of time to get the perfect shot.

While formal education isn’t always required, a strong portfolio and knowledge of animal photography almost certainly will be. Patience, a love for wildlife, and a willingness to travel often are also key.

12. Dog Walker

  • Average rate: $16 per hour (but you can make $20+)

A dog walker is a professional who provides exercise for dogs while their owners are busy or away.

Their duties involve taking dogs for walks, playing with them, and ensuring their safety during the outing. Some dog walkers also offer additional services like pet sitting or basic grooming.

The role doesn’t require specific qualifications, but experience with dogs and a basic understanding of their behavior will always help. Physical fitness and reliability are important here, too.

13. Animal Shelter Manager

  • Average salary: $67,392 per year

An animal shelter manager oversees the operations of an animal shelter or rescue center.

Their duties may include supervising staff, ensuring animals are cared for, coordinating adoptions, and handling administrative tasks. They also often work with community members and volunteers.

While a degree in animal science or a related field can be beneficial, it’s not always required. However, experience working with animals and strong management skills are favorable. This job calls for a high level of compassion, leadership, and organizational skills.

There Are So Many Great Careers for Animal Lovers!

From taking on the role of Pet Groomer to steering the helm as an Animal Shelter Manager, the list is chock-full of gratifying jobs for people who adore animals.

Caught your eye on any particular role? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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