The Best Career Choices for Animal Lovers

julianIn today’s entry, Julian Omidi takes a look at career paths for people who want to help animals.

Have you ever thought of becoming a zoologist or veterinarian? Perhaps you’d rather be involved with animal training or marine biology. Whatever your particular animal-related field of interest, there is a career for you. Like any other avocation, the choices diverse and most require at least a college degree in a specific subject area. Here’s a quick rundown, from Study.com, of the most common career choices for those who truly love animals and want to spend their lives helping them:

Veterinarian: This is perhaps the best-known and most difficult career path for animal enthusiasts. It’s essentially a doctoral degree program where candidates spend as much money and time as they would in a traditional medical school. You’ll need a solid college transcript to get into vet school. Spots in most schools are limited and highly competitive, so it pays to plan ahead. If you want to become a vet, take as many science courses as possible in college, get part-time jobs at animal clinics or shelters and keep your grades up. The average veterinarian in the U.S. earns close to $100,000 annually as of 2014. (Yes, all that hard work is worth it!)

• Animal care worker: This field is broad and the educational requirements for jobs depend largely on what you do. Growth is expected to continue and jobs are plentiful. Anyone with at least a high school diploma can enter as a staff member at a shelter or an assistant at a veterinary clinic. Many people work as animal groomers during high-school summer breaks.

• Zoologist/biologist: You’ll need at least a college degree to enter this field, but the career choices are wide and well-paying. If you have good observation skills, hold a degree in biology (even marine biology), zoology or a related discipline, you’re good to go. There are also Ph.D. paths for zoologists and biologist which would allow you to teach at the college level. Pay is very good and those willing to travel to remote areas have the best opportunities for advancement.

• Animal massage therapist: This is a relatively new field. Entry requires a high school diploma and massage therapy license in the U.S. Specialized courses in horse, dog and cat massage are a big plus. Some states are now beginning to certify equine (horse) and canine (dog) massage therapists. Many equine therapists work with race horses and top breeders around the world. You won’t get rich, but pay is better than average and you’ll also be able to sell your services to humans as a traditional masseuse/masseur.

Be good to each other, and consider a career in an animal-related field,
Julian Omidi
Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous non-profit organizations, including Civic Duty and many others.

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