20 Jobs That Work With Animals (With Salaries and Job Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 December 2022

Published 26 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you are an animal lover, you may find a career that involves working with them rewarding. A variety of jobs involve working with animals, including jobs in animal care, observation and training. Understanding the salaries, responsibilities and skills for these jobs can help you decide which career to pursue. In this article, we list jobs that work with animals and their requirements.

20 jobs that work with animals

If you are interested in jobs that work with animals, consider the following roles:

1. Pet groomer

National average salary: $48,367 per year

Primary duties: A pet groomer grooms pets, such as dogs and cats, for their owners. They may perform basic maintenance tasks, such as washing and trimming fur and nails. Pet groomers have technical skills in pet grooming and the ability to work to deadlines. The Pets Australia Grooming Technician Course and Certificate III in Animal Management can help develop these skills.

2. Kennel attendant

National average salary: $47,225 per year

Primary duties: A kennel attendant, sometimes known as a kennel assistant, takes care of pets while their owners are away. They feed the pets, clean their kennels, administer medication and, sometimes, walk and socialise the animals. Kennel attendants need strong pet care skills which they may develop through a Certificate II in Animal Management.

Related: How to Become an Animal Attendant (With Steps and FAQs)

3. Dog walker

National average salary: $47,622 per year

Primary duties: Dog walkers exercise dogs for their owners. They often provide additional pet sitter duties if their clients are away from home. Dog walkers need good physical fitness and the ability to discipline dogs. They typically develop their skills on the job.

Related: 9 Awesome Jobs For 13-Year-Olds To Start Earning Money

4. Veterinary assistant

National average salary: $51,650 per year

Primary duties: Veterinary nurses help veterinary nurses perform routine animal examinations. They may also perform clerical duties greeting clients and scheduling new appointments. Many veterinary assistants learn their skills on the job. A Certificate II or Certificate III in Animal Studies can teach veterinary assistants about the animals they help treat.

Related: What Is the Role of a Vet Receptionist? Duties of the Job

5. Pet shop assistant

National average salary: $53,174 per year

Primary duties: Retail assistants working in pet shops help customers find the pets and pet supplies they need. They clean cages, feed animals and socialise them before they're sold. Retail assistants need good customer service and cash handling skills and a strong knowledge of pets and pet products. They learn their roles through on-the-job training.

6. Kennel manager

National average salary: $53,663 per year

Primary duties: Kennel managers oversee the operations of a kennel or animal shelter. In addition to the tasks kennel attendants perform, kennel managers create work schedules, hire and train new kennel attendants and manage the administration of services provided by the shelter such as pet housing and fostering. Along with the skills kennel attendants need, kennel managers need good organisation and managerial skills. While many kennel managers learn on the job after working as kennel attendants, some develop their skills with a Kennel Management Diploma course.

7. Animal caretaker

National average salary: $54,256 per year

Primary duties: Animal caretakers look after the basic needs of animals in shelters and pounds. Their duties may involve feeding, cleaning cages, training and monitoring health. Animal caretakers need strong organisation and animal handling skills. Most animal caretakers develop their skills through practical experience on the job.

Related: How to Write an Animal Shelter Resume That Gets You Noticed

8. Beekeeper

National average salary: $55,392 per year

Primary duties: Beekeepers, also called apiarists, manage hives to make sure they produce honey, beeswax, pollen and royal jelly. They collect bee products, monitor the health of the bee population and breed bees to increase the production of bee products. Beekeepers need bee handling skills to safely perform their duties. Beekeepers usually learn these skills through a Certificate III in Beekeeping and work experience with an experienced beekeeper.

9. Stable hand

National average salary: $55,570 per year

Primary duties: Stable hands provide care for horses in breeding, racing or riding stables. They feed, groom and exercise the horses and monitor their health. They also clean and maintain their stables and equipment and accompany them to racing and equestrian meets. Stable hands usually learn their skills through a traineeship. Completing a Certificate II in Horse Care improves their skills.

10. Zookeeper

National average salary: $56,455 per year

Primary duties: Zookeepers manage all aspects of care for the animals they monitor, including feeding, cleaning enclosures and supervising breeding programs. Many also deliver educational talks that teach the public about animals and the issues they face. Zookeepers need a good rapport with animals and strong communication skills. They typically need a Certificate II in Animal Studies and a Certificate III in Captive Animals. Volunteer experience and on-the-job training often develop their skills.

11. Animal trainer

National average salary: $57,401 per year

Primary duties: Animal trainers train animals to perform tricks or interact safely with humans. They may train animals in zoos, amusement parks, horse riding centres or for movies. Animal trainers need strong discipline skills and the ability to build rapport with the animals they work with. They develop these skills through on-the-job experience and apprenticeships with senior trainers.

12. Animal technician

National average salary: $59,742 per year

Primary duties: Animal technicians support scientists by caring for animals used for scientific purposes, including research and breeding. Some of their duties include feeding and monitoring animal health, assisting with testing and observing animal reactions to testing. Animal technicians are strong communicators with good observation and animal handling skills. Most employers ask for animal technicians with a Certificate III or IV in Animal Technology, Laboratory Technology or Captive Animals. Majoring in biological testing, biotechnology or environmental monitoring can help animal technicians in their careers.

13. Veterinary nurse

National average salary: $61,388 per year

Primary duties: Veterinary nurses assist veterinarians during consultations and surgical procedures. They may also work alone or with a veterinary assistant on simple procedures, including dental checks and clipping nails. Veterinary nurses are expert multitaskers with strong animal handling skills. A Certificate IV in Animal Management or Animal Care is essential. On-the-job training helps develop these skills.

Read More: How To Become a Veterinary Nurse (With Duties)

14. Pet shop manager

National average salary: $61,588 per year

Primary duties: Pet shop managers make sure pet shops operate smoothly and deliver the best experience for customers. They purchase pets and supplies from breeders and vendors, create work schedules and hire and train pet shop assistants. Pet shop managers need strong organisational and managerial skills. Many managers develop their skills through on-the-job training after working as shop assistants. However, courses such as Certificate III in Retail or Certificate IV in Leadership and Management are also beneficial.

15. Pet sitter

National average salary: $64,769 per year

Primary duties: Pet sitters care for pets while their owners are on holiday. People with these jobs with pets may provide care in the pet's home or their own, including feeding, cleaning and socialising. Successful pet sitters are responsible people with a good rapport with animals. They usually develop their skills on the job.

What jobs pay well working with animals?

Here are some high-paying jobs that can allow you to work with animals:

1. Animal control officer

National average salary: $76,883 per year

Primary duties: Animal control officers enforce laws surrounding animal care. They take control of unattended or mistreated animals and transport them to council facilities. Animal control officers need good animal handling skills and physical fitness. Animal control officers should hold a Certificate IV in Animal Regulation and Management.

2. Wildlife biologist

National average salary: $82,130 per year

Primary duties: Wildlife biologists study the way animals behave so the public can understand them better. They monitor their populations and habitats and advocate their conservation. Wildlife biologists are keen problem solvers with strong project management and communication skills. They need a bachelor's degree in science or environmental science, majoring in a related area such as wildlife biology or conservation.

Related: How to Be a Wildlife Conservationist (With Duties and Skills)

3. Farm manager

National average salary: $84,332 per year

Primary duties: Farm managers receive a salary to manage a farm, including tending its crops, raising its livestock, performing maintenance tasks and administrative duties. Farm managers working on farms with animals monitor their health, maintain their living quarters and transport them for show or sale. Farm managers need organisation, physical fitness and problem-solving skills. Farms typically prefer farm managers with a bachelor's degree in agriculture or a related subject.

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Ecologist

National average salary: $99,006 per year

Primary duties: Ecologists study the relationship between animals and the environment. They also advocate for preserving the natural world. Their work helps the public understand man's impact on the planet and which animals are at risk of extinction. Ecologists must be passionate about the world around them, with strong problem-solving and communication skills. They need a Bachelor of Science majoring in a relevant topic, such as ecology and evolutionary biology.

Related: What Does a Zoologist Do? (Skills and Education)

5. Veterinarian

National average salary: $135,433 per year

Primary duties: Veterinarians provide medical care for animals, especially pets. They diagnose and treat animals and perform routine procedures such as vaccinations, desexing and dental checks. Veterinarians learn their technical skills by completing a bachelor's degree in veterinary science or medicine and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. They need extensive knowledge and experience in various medical areas such as animal anatomy, pathology, surgery and pharmacology.

Can I work with animals without a degree?

Many people have an animal care career without a degree. Some employers prefer hiring people with certificates or diplomas while others accept early school leavers or people with a secondary certificate. Jobs that work with animals with the highest salaries often need degrees, while lower-paid jobs have little to no educational requirements.

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