Whether you’ve just finished school or you’re considering a career change, you can make a living by working with cute, furry, four-legged creatures. You might need academic qualifications to pursue a career in some of these five professions, but there’s really only one main requirement: a love for animals.
Veterinarians in the US earn, on average, $70,046 per year, according to PayScale. However, they rarely do it for the money, but rather for the emotional reward of bringing an animal back to health. Pursuing a career as a vet must not be done lightheartedly; the Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that “1 in 3 veterinarians worked more than 50 hours per week in 2012”. You’ll need to be prepared to take on emergencies at an ungodly hour, and make difficult decisions pet owners might not feel comfortable with making themselves.
2. Animal Photographer
If you have a love for animals and photography, you can benefit from combining the two. You’ll need to invest in all the right equipment, computer software like Adobe Photoshop, and a photography course is recommended though not required. Animal photography offers a variety of career options: you can specialize in wildlife photography, supply images to stock photo agencies, or photograph people’s pets in your studio or in their own homes.
3. Pet Sitter
Pet owners go on holiday just like everyone else, and their neighbours or friends can’t always look after their pets while they’re away. As a pet sitter, that’s where you come in. You can either choose to look after pets in your home or visit them a few times a day in their own familiar surroundings. Pet sitters make an average $10 an hour, while TheRichest reports a median annual salary of $39,480.
4. Dog Walker
Of course “dog walker” was going to be on this list! You can devote yourself to a full-time dog walking job, or do it on the side for elderly neighbours and busy dog owners. Dog walkers make about $10 an hour, and you get to fix your own route. As a dog walker, you’ll need to be physically fit (just like in the movies, you might need to walk 20 dogs simultaneously), highly organised, and time management should be man’s other best friend.
5. Pet Groomer
If you spend endless hours dolling up your (disapproving) four-legged friends, you might want to think about a career as a pet groomer. You don’t necessarily need any formal education to become one, but enrolling in a pet grooming course won’t do you any harm. Although you’ll be working with mostly dogs, you might need to invest in some armor when you’re grooming cats.
(Just think of the $10 you’re earning an hour).
Few people get to say they enjoy what they do, and you’ll get to join those lucky few working in these career fields as an animal lover.
Are you employed in one of these professions? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
All images via iStock