21 Awesome Jobs Working with Animals
Updated December 07, 2022

21 Awesome Jobs Working With Animals: From Veterinarian to Pet Sitter

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If you love animals and you are looking for a career change, here are 21 awesome jobs working with animals that will make you happy to go to work

If you love animals why not make it a career path?

We have researched and compiled for you a list of 21 awesome jobs working with animals.

Jobs working with animals can be extremely lucrative as well as psychologically and emotionally rewarding.

Working with animals can also be a nice side gig for you to make some extra money during your free time.

If you are looking for more ways to bring in extra cash make sure you  check out these 100 ways to make extra cash.

Other motivators can include the flexibility some of these jobs offer, or simply the fact that many people don’t even see these as real jobs, but rather a way to relax and make some money.

In this article we will go over some jobs that can be done on a part-time basis allowing you a chance at working with animals without a degree, while others require dedication, a degree, or crazy hours.

If you are thinking of getting back to college to make this career change take a look at these 31 passive income ideas to help you save some cash for college!

The first job that always comes to mind is a veterinarian, but we think you will find all of these 21 awesome jobs working with animals quite interesting.

1.  Veterinarian

Since we already mentioned it above, we might as well cover it first.

  • This is a career choice and not so much a part-time undertaking.
  • Veterinarian’s careers are projected to grow at a rate of 18% in the coming years.
  • Generally careers working with animals are on the rise.
  • This growth means that there is a high demand for people to join this field. It can also mean that there is a very good chance for job security.

On average over 3000 veterinarians graduate from school each year in the US alone. It will take you anywhere from 7 to 9 years to get all the credentials necessary to practice.

The good news is that salaries are high, with the highest average salary being recorded in the state of Connecticut surpassing $125,000 annually.

2. Zoo Vet

This is a rather highly specialized area to get into, requiring the same credentials as above, with many years dedicated to school and studying.

However, you will get to spend your days in a zoo, making it one of the most rewarding jobs for animal lovers!

This career path will allow you to form deep meaningful relationships with animals as you would be their caretaker for life, seeing them almost daily.

To place the cherry on the pie, it also pays extremely well, with the national median salary coming in just under $95,000.

3. Animal Trainer

This one is fun!

You will get the great pleasure to help animals adapt to their new environments and owners.

Many owners struggle to fix undesirables behaviors in their pets.

When pets are not trained properly, their owners might consider giving them up and take them a shelter.

So in a sense you become the person who can save the relationship between owner and pet.

You need to have a good understanding of how animals behave and why, but after that you can teach pets to do tricks, or even take it to the next level and train animals for performances.

The perk for this job is that it can be done on a part-time basis, as a way to bring in extra income according to your schedule.

Animal trainer can gain well in excess of $20,000 annually.

Since this job is not accompanied with a high salary check out these  71 side business ideas that will help you earn a significant amount.  

4. Pet Groomers

Much like the previous listing, being a pet groomer can be something you do part-time and whenever your schedule allows it.

You can work for a pet shop that provides the service, or even get your own supplies and run a small business on the site so you get to keep all the profits.

Depending what direction you take this you can make as much as $30,000 annually, or more if this becomes your full-time job.

5. Pet Adoption Counselor

These guys have the responsibility to match potential owners with shelter pets.

Pet adoption counselors perform background screenings on potential future pet owners, reviewing applications and do some paperwork.

You will also have to be extremely observant and take notice of the behavior of the potential owner around the pet.

Sometimes you will have to take the role of the educator, and help future pet owners how to understand their pets and make suggestions on pet care and training.

When all is checked and clear, you will have to do processing for the adoption fees.

This role is usually a full-time job, however, you can do it on a part-time basis to help with the erratic schedules of the full-timers.

Depending what direction you take with this option, pet counselors report annual salaries in the area of $22,000.

No college degree or any other credentials are necessary. Just a passion to work with animals. 

6. Dog Walker

There are so many benefits to pick this up as a part-time gig.

You can set up a schedule for yourself on weekends, or afternoons and pick up several pets for their afternoon / morning walk.

An extra perk is that dog walking will give you a chance to go out there and walk, which is good for your health too!

No credentials necessary. Just run a few local ads online/offline with your number and start collecting clients.

If you live in a city where dog walkers are in demand you can charge between $15 to $20 for a 30-minutes walk. Rates go up from there.

7. Pet Sitter

The average pet sitter gets up to $37 a day.

This position is in high demand as people are traveling more lately.

Not only would you be helping people feel secure about their pet when they are not around, but you can bring in a decent amount of cash annually making this an excellent choice about working with animals without a degree.

The job is not that demanding as most of the time pets are taking care of themselves, excluding the couple of times a day you have to walk them and feed them.

You can start by letting friends and family know you are available as a pet sitter and make sure you mention your rate.

8. Dog / Cat Breeder

If you love a specific breed or breeds of dogs or cats, this type of job is a perfect match.

Dog and cat breeders get to hang out with animals and play with kittens and puppies, while making sure that high genetic standards are kept for future owners.

Many breeders state this is a side gig for them, as they still keep their day-job.

But many can take this on and create a full scale business.

The average income for a breeder reported close to $43,000 annually making this one of the jobs with animals that pay well.

9. Marine Biologist

Let’s make a mention to our less furry friends who live in the ocean!

That is a fascinating whole world on its own, and pursuing a career as a marine biologist can bring in a decent pay out.

The median salary is reported close to $50,000, while it can climb significantly higher depending on your training and education becoming one of the jobs with animals that pay well.

You will need at least a 4-year degree in Marine Biology to get started and depending on your goals you can go all the way to a PhD.

An additional perk in this career path is that you usually end up living and working in exotic places.

If you do need to get back into college to make this happen, there are plenty of ways to make money on the side and support your college fund.

Recently, we came across this cool app and we just have to tell the world about it because it can help you get some serious money back. 

Also, you can clean out your closets and sell all the things you no longer need to boost your savings.

10. Animal Cruelty Investigator

Do you have a strong sense of justice and love animals?

If yes, then this job is right up your alley, but it can be one of the more taxing jobs for animal lovers.

You will need a strong stomach for this though, as well as the ability to keep your emotions in check.

As the title implies you will be dealing with cases where animals are being abused or are suffering by improper care and attention.

The world needs more people defending animals, so if you think this is a good match, then know that the average salary for this position starts at $32,000.

11. Wildlife Rehabilitator

The position of a wildlife rehabilitator involves coming in contact with animals that have wounds or other health issues.

In most cases these animals have suffered due to a natural disaster like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, or even oil spills.

The median salary reported for this position is close to $25,000.

With this job you can make a positive impact, however, it is unfortunately one of the lowest paid ones.

To get some extra money coming in read more about these amazing 109 ways to make extra money now!

12. Animal-Assisted Therapist

This is a great one. You will get to help people heal from trauma, illness or injury with animal therapy.

You need to take a short course, average 150 hours to get certified, and you can find online appropriate centers that can certify you as an animal-assisted therapist.

And get ready to be surprised, as this career path offers well in excess of $80,000 annually to full-timers!

We have to admit that this job definitely is rated as one of our favorite choices. It has the whole package; you will get to make a lot of cash, while helping people recover from trauma and other situation with the help of well-behaved animals.

13. Pet Photographer

If you have a flair for photography and a love of animals, then you hit the jackpot with this position.

You can start by placing ads offering your services, either at your place / studio or by visiting clients at their houses.

Pet photography can be one of the great jobs working with animals to bring in loads of extra cash, or depending on your business skills, it can explode to be a full scale business.

Median salary for pet photographers is reported close to $45,000.

You can do it full-time, or on weekends charging per picture delivered or per hour.

You can use local listings, various social groups, and run a few ads to get yourself branded.

We also suggest using Fiverr to get your services listed.

14. Pet Blogger

Just like pet photography, pet blogging needs creativity and an artistic flair.

Develop a blog writing about pet nutrition, trends, competitions, pet wellness, and products.

This one can be done on your free time, and when your blog grows enough, you can begin advertising relevant products and services.

Many pet bloggers report an average salary of $45000 annually.

We suggest you give a read to a lot of insightful articles on Blogging Done Right.

To get started with your blog we have found the perfect host for you. 

We also did some research and for new bloggers we found some other amazing tools.

15. Zookeeper

One of the great careers working with animals, is that of a zookeeper!

As a zookeeper you would be in charge of the general welfare of the zoo animals, their roaming grounds and often engage with visitors who want to know more.

To get started down this career path you will need a general Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree in life sciences, meaning that you have to be serious if you’re looking for jobs working with animals.

You can always get a higher education if you want to increase your credentials and salary.

Zookeeper do travel a lot and participate in educational conferences and programs.

16. Pet Store Employee

This can be a full-time job, or a part-time/weekend gig.

You will be dealing mostly with people, therefore customer service skills are a must.

The overall tasks include helping customers in locating and picking anything their pet needs.

Some pet stores do sell pets, in which case you most likely have to do some light pet care.

The median salary for a pet store employee is close to $22,000 annually.

Since this is not one of the highest paid options, should you decide to go down this route, keep in mind that you can find more ways to make extra money.

We recommend you take a look at these 71 side business ideas that will help you earn a significant amount.

17. Laboratory Animal Caretakers

There is no formal education required for this job. You would be trained on the job by a veterinarian or a laboratory technician.

Your main duties would be to look after the animals in the lab where research is happening.

This is not for everyone, as usually pet lovers do not condone lab testing on animals.

The median salary for this position comes just under $25,000 annually.

18.  Guide Dog Trainer

This is an incredible position because not only you get to work with animals, but you also get to help people in need.

You will need training and certification before you are allowed to train seeing-eye dogs.

This can also become a career choice or be a part-time venture for you.

The median salary for a guide dog trainer is just under $45,000 annually.

19. Dog Food Truck Owner

We thought to include a new trend on our list!

This is a new phenomenon taking over in bigger cities.

It is exactly what it sounds like.

Much like a food truck owner, a dog food truck owner, operates a truck parked strategically in locations with tons dog traffic.

This is the perfect gig for the weekends, and if you find it lucrative enough you can make it your full-time job.

Depending how creative you want to get, you can create your own dog treats or sell popular brands.

It is the perfect spot for dog walkers to stop and take a break, socialize with other pet owners and before you know it, they will be out looking for you!

For this one, you will have to find yourself a nice food truck, or an old one that you get to renovate.

And while we are on this subject, keeping your costs down when operating a food truck will be critical for your revenues.

Learn more about GetUpside and how you can save on your gas!

20. Organic Pet Food Maker

Did you know that in US alone pet owners spend $28 million annually on food?

You can start making food for your local dogs and cats. Advertise with flyers or online, and let your community know that you have organic, homemade pet food available.

Make sure you learn what you need to know about pet food quality and safety, and if you end up scaling this business to something bigger you will need to take a look at The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

This is a great option if you love to make food, and you might as well have your own pet food truck to go along with this!

21. Wildlife Photographer

This one is a bit more adventurous than the pet photographer option we previously mentioned.

To be a wildlife photographer you will go on hikes, in parks and in nature in general, and look for animals in their normal habitats to photograph.

You can display these pictures on Instagram or your blog.

Sell them to magazines for profit or even to various portals looking for royalty free pictures like Istock or Shutterstock.

The average salary for a wildlife photographer is slightly over $40,000 annually.

But remember you can do this charging hourly, or per picture or even place pictures on websites as mentioned before and get paid per download.

Fiverr is an incredible platform to also create a profile and sell your pictures or take orders from people looking for wildlife pictures

There you have it, 21 amazing suggestions if you are looking to work with or around animals.

We are certain our list gave you a few ideas, but if we forgot to include something comment below and let us know!


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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