There are many motivators behind someone’s decision to work with animals. You may be passionate about animal welfare or wildlife conservation, want to help animals stay healthy or simply want a career offering more exercise. Combining your interests with your love of animals can make for a really rewarding career. And the great thing is, there is an animal job to suit almost everyone.
When considering which are the ‘top’ animal jobs, it’s these interests, and what you’re looking to achieve out of your career, that will determine which is the best for you.
Someone may value a job with a higher wage over one that has more contact time with animals. Another may find fulfilment in a role combining scientific research with animal studies. Or one that enables you to immerse yourself in nature.
You need to determine the best-suited animal jobs for you, then find out what prerequisites you will need to pursue them. That way, you’ll have more of an idea of what you want from your career early on. And know exactly how to reach it ahead of time.
Taking the time to sit and figure this out now will give you a better indication of where to start looking. To help, we’ve listed the top animal jobs that people commonly pursue and what these roles involve below.
If you’re fascinated by exotic species, working in a zoo provides a great opportunity to interact and engage with them. Because zookeepers work both with animals and the public, their roles are incredibly diverse. Which is one of the reasons this is classed as a top animal job.
In addition to this, you will have a duty of care to the animals you are responsible for. Which besides being fed a nutritious diet and living in clean surroundings, means they need regular stimulation and enrichment. And that means it’s your duty to design games that get them to play, exercise and have fun every day.
In terms of wage, you can expect to start on £12,000+ and gradually work up to over £25,000 in a head keeper role. You don’t necessarily need qualifications to become a zookeeper. But since it’s such a popular career, most zoos will prioritise candidates with zookeeping diplomas or related university degrees.
This regularly features in top animal jobs lists. This is because veterinary work blends animal care and science, which is something many people are interested in. Plus you can earn a competitive salary, so you can be financially rewarded for work that you are already passionate about.
As a vet, you would be responsible for providing animal patients with medical and surgical treatment. To do so, you need detailed knowledge of animal physiology, medicine, and nutrition. So, you can diagnose illnesses, perform operations, and prescribe medications.
Your expertise will help prevent diseases and their spread within animals. And many other ailments that can negatively impact their health. Depending on your interests and the level of study you complete, you could work with domestic pets, large animals like horses or exotic animals in zoos.
You’ll need a degree in veterinary science or medicine to become a veterinarian. Which will allow you to gain registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). After which, you can start on £30,000+ and earn anything up to £93,000 a year with the relevant experience.
The RSPCA is a popular place to work as it has a great reputation for helping animals. So if you’re passionate about animal welfare, becoming an RSPCA inspector would likely appeal to you. It positions you to make a real difference to the well-being of animals, which can be hugely rewarding.
Your duties in the role would be varied. But they can include anything from investigating cruelty and neglect complaints to educating the public on appropriate animal care. Understandably, this can bring with it some emotional challenges. But if you have the resilience to handle these situations, you can take animals away from threatening situations. Getting them the care they need and finding them new homes where they will be treated with love and affection.
Certain entry requirements have to be met to become an RSPCA Inspector. Once in the role, you can earn between £19,000-£27,000 a year. A great way to get prepared for the role is through an Animal Welfare Officer Level 3 Diploma (RQF) or with the Animal Licensing Inspector Award (RQF) Level 3.
As a wildlife conservationist, you strive to protect animal species and their habitats from external threats. Which can include anything from new hostile species to man-made developments or the effects of climate change. This means you’re able to align yourself with conservation issues you feel particularly passionate about.
Conservation roles are known for being diverse. You can be involved in anything from awareness and educational activities to community work, events, wildlife observation and research. Which is highly desirable to those who enjoy being active and having a different task to work on each day.
Many roles fall under the scope of wildlife conservation, and each is highly competitive. Lots of jobs don’t have entry requirements, but you’ll need qualifications to stand out from the sea of applications.
You can study courses in African Wildlife Conservation, Zoology, Ecology and Marine Conservation. All of which will help build your knowledge about conservation challenges and better align you with this career path.
If you’re looking for a career combining animal contact, the outdoors and self-employment, dog walking may just be the answer. Dog owners, like the rest of society, are becoming increasingly busy. As a result, statistically, dogs aren’t getting the exercise and stimulation they require.
With the average cost of a walk at £20 per dog and the option to walk multiple dogs at once, you can earn a considerable wage in this profession. Plus the investment costs are minimal, so you could set up a profitable business quite quickly.
There aren’t any requirements for dog walkers to be qualified at the moment, but this is expected to change. It would also be wise to study a targeted course to understand the wider aspects of this line of work. From how to plan your business to managing canine behaviour. A Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals Level 3 Award (RQF) is ideal for that purpose.
Start your Ideal Animal Job
No matter what your idea of a top animal job is, online courses can help you get started. What’s more, they enable you to study from the comfort of home.
You can gain the skills to transition into a completely new career while keeping to your existing schedule. Which helps our learners remain financially secure while they complete their education. Unlike traditional colleges where working while studying can be a challenge.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges are one of the UK’s leading distance learning providers. With many online courses that can help you develop your skills and reach your career goals.
The above are just some of the animal jobs people commonly pursue. There are many more that cater to a broader range of interests.
Explore others that may be perfectly suited to you by clicking the link to our animal faculty below.