There are those of us who profess to loving animals, and then there’s a segment of the population for whom it’s more than that—it’s a passion and way of life. For those people who are somewhere in the middle of really loving animals and wanting to make it a career, you’ve come to the right place. This post on awesome career choices for animal lovers is just for you.
This won’t be an easy job, as you’ll get soaked, slathered and soaped up on a daily basis. But you’ll also be tasked with calming down anxious dogs and cats who just don’t like to get wet, be scrubbed, or leashed into place.
Average Salary: $25 to $30 an hour, $50,000 to $150,000 for your own shop, or about $35,000 for a portable basic trailer.
What could sound better than being paid to spend your days outside in the wild, researching firsthand how dogs’ first cousins live and behave? The downside is you’ll have to get a Master’s degree to crack open the door on this field, but with gray wolf populations across Canada and Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming (plus Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona), your job can be fairly flexible.
Salary: You start off around $36,000 and can work your way up to about $93,000.
Quite possibly one of the most common occupations associated with animal lovers, vets are trained in basic care for all animals but specialize to working with certain subsets, like house pets or exotic pets. You’ll need four years of veterinary school to become qualified as a vet, but the job outlook is good and steady.
Salary: From $50,000 to $150,000
Cat or Dog Breeder
There are animal owners who are content paying $50 for the first fuzzy face that comes along, and then there are animal owners who do incredible research and turn to highly qualified breeders for the best animal. That’s where you come in, offering up your skills to discriminating buyers who are looking for very specific things in their pets.
Salary: Depending on your skill level and knack for breeding good cats and dogs, you can make anywhere from $18,000 to $57,000.
Writer or Photographer
You’ll get to work with animals on a regular basis, but from a bit more of a distance than some of the other occupations. But because the animal world consists of pet owners who are just crazy about their pets, there’s no shortage of magazines, websites and other publications that require writing and shooting.
Salary: Depending if you have steady employment or freelance, salaries can vary greatly but expect to start around $15,000 and go up.
Similarly to a wolf biologist, you’ll be studying marine life in their natural habitats. The downside is you’ll need a graduate degree and job competition can be extremely fierce, which means you’ll need to push hard to make a career out of it. But the plus side is you can work in places like Hawaii or the Caribbean, and have your employer be any one of a number of sources.
Salary: With a PhD, you can expect to start making $40,000 to $50,000 a year.
These six career choices for animal lovers are but a few of the dozens available, and it only takes a bit of imagination to parlay your passion into a paycheck.