Animal care and service worker essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $20,840
- 2010 number of jobs: 234,900
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 23 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: None
Animal care and service workers; what they do:
Most of us love animals and at one time or another dream of working with them someday, perhaps as an animal care or animal service worker. The occupations include a lot of work, thus it takes more than affection to sustain an animal care assistant career or an animal care technician career. Animal care worker careers and animal service worker careers include cleaning, disinfecting and repairing animals’ habitats.
Animal care workers and animal service workers find jobs in settings such as local kennels, animal shelters zoos, circuses and aquariums.
An animal care technician career includes keeping records of the food the animals eat and the treatments they receive.
Animal care and service workers duties:
- Mixing food, liquid formulas, medications or food supplements, based on an animal’s needs
- Providing treatment to sick or injured animals or contacting veterinarians to secure treatment
- Washing, brushing, clipping and trimming animals’ coats and nails and cleaning ears
- Feeding and watering animals
- Collecting and recording animal information from owners
- Examining and observing animals to detect signs of illness or injury
- Answering phones and scheduling appointments or drop-offs
- Doing a facility’s laundry and keeping animal pens, stables and equipment clean and organized
- Ordering, unloading and storing feed and supplies
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Animal care and service workers job titles:
- Dog Groomer
- Kennel Attendant
- Pet Groomer
- Pet Stylist
- Animal care technician
- Animal shelter worker
- Animal care worker
- Animal care attendant
- Animal shelter worker
Animal Care and Service Workers Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in an animal care worker career or an animal service worker career, frequently learn on-the-job, but many employers require candidates to have a high school diploma. Some community college and vocational programs serve people who want to train dogs or horses.
In some cases, a college degree helps; zoos typically seek animal care technicians with a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science or a similar field.
Animal care workers seeking to serve as pet groomers have the option of attending a state-licensed grooming school.
Animal care workers who choose to work at a marina may need a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, animal science or a related field.
Certification programs can help a job candidate establish credentials and enhance their skills.
Animal care and service workers programs cover subjects such as:
- Animal health and nutrition
- Kennel hygiene and management
- Small animal grooming
- Animal care law and ethics
- Medical care and animal nursing
- Pharmacology for animals
- Veterinary technology
Animal Care and Service Workers Job Outlook
Forecast: 23 percent employment growth for animal care workers and animal service workers from 2010 to 2020. Employment growth varies according to a candidate’s specialty, with nonfarm animal care technician jobs increasing almost 10 times faster than those for animal trainers. Marine mammal trainers, horse trainers and zookeepers have the strongest job competition.
Animal Care and Service Workers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $20,840
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $27,250
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $18,010
- Animal shelters
- Pet stores
- Veterinary clinics
- Zoos and aquariums