Non-farm animal caretakers care and service animals by feeding, grooming, exercising and training pets. Whether it is at a boarding kennel or a rescue shelter, they are tasked with providing basic care to every animal, including dogs, cats, birds, horses and marine mammals. Some animal caretakers are also professional pet sitters.
Evenings, weekends, holidays occasionally
Non-farm animal caretakers will have irregular hours depending on where they’re employed. A rescue shelter or a veterinary clinic may operate 24 hours, for example, but a grooming facility may operate during regular business hours.
Someone who is self-employed, on the other hand, can create their own hours, especially if they specialise in pet sitting, walking, training or grooming, and will have clients with irregular hours, too.
As a result, you could work a standard 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday week schedule, or you may need to work evenings, weekends and holidays on occasion.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
DVM / VMD degree
To become a non-farm animal caretaker, you primarily need on-the-job experience. No formal education beyond high school is a requirement, though it does help to have postsecondary qualifications in specialised or technical fields.
In certain areas, however, you will need certification and licensing, which will vary on the jurisdiction. For example, if one of your main responsibilities is grooming, then you will need to attend a government-accredited grooming school and complete a minimum level of hours.
There is plenty of room to advance in animal caretaking, mostly because more US households are choosing to have pets instead of children.
With the right attitude and dedication, there are many opportunities to grow and even become an industry authority in a diverse array of fields. You could start by volunteering at an animal shelter, for example, which with time could lead you to becoming a charity coordinator or a veterinary technician.