Five Non-Veterinary Careers For the Lifelong Animal Lover


Being a veterinarian is a rewarding and impressive job, but not everyone is cut out for it. Whether the sight of needles makes you ill or treating a sick dog is not your idea of a fun Saturday night, there are plenty of other jobs out there for the animal lover.

A career where furry friends fill your 9 to 5 is many people’s childhood dream, but it can very well become a reality. These jobs are practical, fulfilling and ensure that you get to work alongside wildlife, family pets, or underwater creatures. So if you’re an animal lover, but don’t want to sport a stethoscope, here are five potential careers for you.

1. Wildlife Rehabilitator

Do you aspire to help endangered species like giant pandas, snow leopards or gorillas? Wildlife rehabilitators make their careers preserving and protecting these species threatened by man. This line of work only requires a high school diploma, but one must become certified in wildlife conservation and have the proper permits. Wildlife rehabilitators primarily heal and help wild animals on the path to releasing them back into their natural habitat. You will have to handle many injured animals, but being a part of their recovery makes it all worthwhile.

Average Salary: $40,000

2. Animal Trainer

Potty-training a new puppy is no easy task. However, if you find the relationship element of the task rewarding, consider becoming an animal trainer. Animal trainers work in a variety of settings — from pet owners’ homes to behind the scenes on a movie set. And depending on what kinds of animals you love, consider training at an aquarium, spending your time training dolphins or playful sea otters. One upside of this career is the option of being self-employed: one fourth of animal trainers are. All you need is a certificate and you’re good to go.

Average Salary: $60,000

3. Zookeeper

Many of us have fond memories of visiting the zoo with our families and seeing the exotic animals that live there. If you’ve ever wondered what a career at a zoo would be like, this job might be appealing to you. Zookeepers are in charge of feeding, bathing and monitoring the health of all a zoo’s amazing creatures. They look for irregular behavior in the animals and report any abnormalities to the veterinarians. The diversity in animal life makes this a perfect career for people interested in zoology and exploration.

Average Salary: $50,000

4. Animal Photographer

It’s hard to imaging having a bad day when your job is taking pictures of adorable animals. Although it may be difficult to make an energetic dog sit still for a photo, this job is all about capturing the beauty of nature’s friendliest beasts. If you are interested in taking pictures of pets, you can make a self-employed living selling your own services and photos. But the job isn’t all golden retrievers and house cats: people in this field can also be wildlife photographers who seek out animals in their natural habitats. This career does not require a degree, though photography classes or internships are strongly recommended. This is a promising career for those who don’t want to choose between photography and their love of animals.

Average Salary: $38,000

5. Marine Biologist

The ocean is one of the world’s biggest mysteries. Covering two thirds of the earth’s surface, there is much to be explored. That’s where marine biologists come in. They study all parts of the ocean, including the water itself and the amazing life within it. There are many sides to this career, as it covers a wide range of studies. Part of marine biologists’ research is educating companies and governments on how people can have less of a negative impact on the ocean and its residents. If you know how to swim and scuba dive, you’re already a few steps ahead.

Average Salary: $75,000

-photo by Andrew Branch on Unsplash

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