31 Jobs That Involve Animals (With Salaries and Job Duties)

Updated July 24, 2023

Person with a badge around their neck pets dog on left and bunny sits in front

There are many career options for those who enjoy working with animals. Some career paths may require extensive education in animal science, while others rely on experience. If you love animals, it's beneficial to learn about the careers that can help you pursue your passion.

In this article, we share a list of 31 jobs involving animals and describe some duties and salaries to help you plan your career path effectively.

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23 careers that involve animals

Each of the below career paths requires varying levels of education, experience and specialty training. Some of these roles may require you to have a high school diploma, college degree or experience in veterinary medicine. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.

1. Veterinary nurse

National average salary: $25,402 per year

Primary duties: Veterinary nurses work with veterinarians during surgical and other medical procedures. They may also administer medicine, including giving the animals shots. Veterinary nurses may help the vet collect information about the pet, including their eating habits, weight and other key health factors. A vet nurse also helps to calm anxious pets during visits.

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2. Kennel technician

National average salary: $29,297 per year

Primary duties: A kennel technician works in animal shelters and vet clinics. Their main duties include cleaning kennels and ensuring the animals have food and water. Some kennel technicians may also help exercise the animals or play with them, but it often depends on the needs of the shelter or clinic where they work.

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3. Animal control officer

National average salary: $29,493 per year

Primary duties: An animal control officer enforces municipal and state laws regarding animal humane care and treatment. They also handle calls for assistance with animals from police and help civilians with domestic and wild animal issues. They may perform animal welfare checks and retrieve any wild or lost pet causing a disturbance.

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4. Animal care attendant

National average salary: $30,279 per year

Primary duties: An animal care attendant performs general responsibilities in the care and feeding of animals. These individuals usually work in pet stores, veterinarians' offices and animal care facilities. Other duties can include cleaning living spaces and taking animals out for exercise.

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5. Veterinary technician

National average salary: $35,678 per year

Primary duties: Veterinary technicians perform tasks that include preparing animals for treatments, taking baseline measurements to determine an animal's health, administering medications and more. A veterinary technician, or vet tech, works closely with a veterinarian to ensure they treat animals based on a diagnosis.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Veterinary Technician

6. Equestrian coach

National average salary: $36,865 per year

Primary duties: Equestrian coaches teach students how to ride a horse. They may also teach advanced students a variety of riding techniques. They develop lessons and exercises for each session. Equestrian coaches may also help keep the stable clean and care for horses.

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7. Farmer

National average salary: $37,089 per year

Primary duties: Farmers are individuals that work on ranches and farmland. They may handle crop production and the care of livestock. Farmers raise and manage animals such as cows, goats, pigs and chickens. Their daily duties may include feeding and watering the animals, grooming them, cleaning barn stalls and collecting animal products such as milk or eggs.

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8. Animal technician

National average salary: $37,664 per year

Primary duties: Animal technicians work in laboratories and clinics. They provide care and observation for research animals. Animal technicians clean the animals' pens and ensure they have fresh food and water. They also take notes on the animals' behavior to assist the lead researchers in their studies.

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9. Zookeeper

National average salary: $38,460 per year

Primary duties: Zookeepers work closely with zoo animals to ensure they receive proper treatment. Their responsibilities include preparing food for the animals and serving them, monitoring the animal's behavior and ensuring that each animal's enclosure includes enrichment and comfort. Zookeepers may also interact with guests at the zoo, offering facts about the animals and their enclosures.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Zookeeper

10. Animal trainer

National average salary: $40,670 per year

Primary duties: Trainers work with animals to exhibit specific behavior. Some animal trainers help dog owners develop a command-and-response system. Other trainers condition animals to become accustomed to humans. Trainers formulate individual training plans for the specific animal they're working with.

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11. Animal breeder

National average salary: $41,050 per year

Primary duties: An animal breeder is an individual who oversees the breeding of a specific type of animal. They typically work with livestock or domestic pets, such as dogs. Animal breeders may also help inform pet owners and farmers of the breeding process or offer care instructions for the animal.

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12. Dog walker

National average salary: $41,333 per year

Primary duties: A dog walker helps exercise dogs by taking them for walks. Dog walkers often walk several dogs at once and can help to train them correctly with treats and encouragement.

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13. Marine biologist

National average salary: $42,079 per year

Primary duties: A marine biologist combines several disciplines into the job. They can scuba dive, take samples in a challenging environment, record statistical information and perform lab tests on samples. Depending on the workplace, they may also educate students and the public.

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14. Pet sitter

National average salary: $43,797 per year

Primary duties: Pet sitters stay in the client's home to take care of pets such as dogs, cats and other small pets. Pet sitting involves regular feeding and cleaning up after the animals. They also exercise the animals when requested and play with the pets to ensure they're emotionally and physically healthy while the client is away. Depending on the pet and their required level of care, you may check on them once or several times per day.

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15. Retail sales associate

National average salary: $45,566 per year

Primary duties: A retail sales associate who wants a job that involves animals can find employment at a pet store. A pet store employee may be responsible for stocking shelves, caring for animals on display, educating prospective pet owners on the care and feeding of their new pet, maintaining aquariums, feeding animals on a regular schedule and cleaning cages and enclosures.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Retail Sales Associate

16. Wildlife specialist

National average salary: $47,786 per year

Primary duties: A wildlife specialist works with wild mammals, birds and reptiles. Duties involve evaluating injured animals, creating a treatment plan, tracking migration and overseeing the care and handling of the animal while in captivity. They also determine if an animal can heal sufficiently to return to its natural habitat. Interacting with the public and educating people about wild animals may also be part of a wildlife specialist's duties.

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17. Barn manager

National average salary: $49,755 per year

Primary duties: A barn manager is an individual who handles operations within a private or industrial barn. They oversee the care of the animals, hire assistants and arrange for the breeding or showing of an animal for competitions. Barn managers often work with horses but can manage barns with other animals if desired.

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18. Pet groomer

National average salary: $51,047 per year

Primary duties: Animal groomers clean and trim animals based on their knowledge of types of fur and grooming products. They consult with the owners to determine the best animal grooming method and care for dogs and cats that have experienced animal cruelty or neglect. They work mainly with dogs, though other animals can require grooming, as well.

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19. Wildlife biologist

National average salary: $59,808 per year

Primary duties: Wildlife biologists study life in wild habitats, specifically undomesticated animals. They may travel to remote areas of the world to observe animals and track their behavior.

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20. Pharmaceutical sales representative

National average salary: $72,519 per year

Primary duties: A veterinary pharmaceutical representative visits veterinary offices within a designated geographical territory. They bring information about new medications from the manufacturer and discuss the veterinarian's experience with existing medicines. After making a sale, veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives may schedule a follow-up conversation with the vet to learn about the drug's success.

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Related: What Does a Sales Representative Do? (Plus Job Description)

21. Zoo veterinarian

National average salary: $98,710 per year

Primary duties: A zoo veterinarian works primarily with exotic animals within the zoo. They may perform routine checkups and care for any sick animals. Zoo veterinarians may also tend to zoo animals giving birth and help integrate baby animals into the environment of their enclosure.

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22. Veterinarian

National average salary: $128,131 per year

Primary duties: Veterinarians evaluate, diagnose and treat animals. They complete annual checkups, perform minor surgeries and administer vaccines and medicines. Veterinarians can work in general practice or specialize in a related field, such as amphibians or small mammals.

Find veterinarian jobs

Read more: Learn About Being a Veterinarian

23. Zoologist

National average salary: $161,382 per year

Primary duties: A zoologist studies animals in the wild and in captivity. They conduct research to better understand how animals and people interact with one another. Zoologists may also assess society's impact on wildlife habitats and suggest solutions for minimizing damage.

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Note that figures from Glassdoor help supplement data from Indeed.

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8 unusual animal jobs

These are some unusual jobs with animals you can pursue:

  1. Farrier

  2. Dolphin trainer

  3. Animal colorist

  4. Reptile breeder

  5. Pet food tester

  6. Animal massage therapist

  7. Cat trainer

  8. Venomous snake milker

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