Find The Best Animal Care Specialist Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$31,670
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
18%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
43,092
Job Openings

Animal Care Specialist Careers

Animal care specialists take care of the wellbeing of animals at veterinarian offices, shelters, laboratories that use animal testing, kennels, or any other place where many animals are kept. Animal care specialists take care of basic duties such as feeding animals, grooming them, and making sure that their living spaces are clean. If they are working with a veterinarian, they can perform basic medical tasks like giving medication and assisting during surgery. They take care of administrative duties like maintaining patient logs and interact with customers at a vet's office or animal shelter.

While some animal care specialists have a bachelor's degree in animal science or a related field, many are able to succeed with only a high school diploma. Some previous experience working with animals, even as a volunteer, is also helpful.

Animal care specialists earn an average salary of $31,670 a year, but most are not in this field for the money. They do their job because they love animals.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an animal care specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.23 an hour? That's $31,670 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 18% and produce 15,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Animal Care Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many animal care specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed decision-making skills, problem-solving skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an animal care specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 23.8% of animal care specialists included animal care, while 11.6% of resumes included customer service, and 6.8% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the animal care specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most animal care specialists actually find jobs in the non profits and health care industries.

How To Become an Animal Care Specialist

If you're interested in becoming an animal care specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 37.8% of animal care specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.9% of animal care specialists have master's degrees. Even though some animal care specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an animal care specialist. When we researched the most common majors for an animal care specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on animal care specialist resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an animal care specialist. In fact, many animal care specialist jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many animal care specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as volunteer or internship.

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Average Salary
$31,670
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
18%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
43,092
Job Openings

Animal Care Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Animal Care Specialist

Cashier
12.7 %
Volunteer
11.7 %

Top Careers After Animal Care Specialist

Animal Care Specialist Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Animal Care Specialist

Animal Care Specialists in America make an average salary of $31,670 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $47,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$31,670
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Tampa, FL
Salary Range18k - 43k$29k$28,581
Madison, WI
Salary Range21k - 34k$27k$27,175
$18k
$43k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Animal Care Specialist
Animal Care Specialist
Covance
Covance
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$31,30506/30/2021
$31,305
Animal Care Specialist I-Zoological
Animal Care Specialist I-Zoological
Seaworld Parks & Entertainment
Seaworld Parks & Entertainment
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$28,17506/25/2021
$28,175
Animal Care Specialist I/II-Extra-Help Animal Care Specialist I
Animal Care Specialist I/II-Extra-Help Animal Care Specialist I
County of Merced
County of Merced
06/09/2021
06/09/2021
$30,61606/09/2021
$30,616
Animal Care Specialist
Animal Care Specialist
Covance By Labcorp
Covance By Labcorp
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$31,30505/30/2021
$31,305
Animal Care Specialist
Animal Care Specialist
Covance By Labcorp
Covance By Labcorp
05/25/2021
05/25/2021
$31,30505/25/2021
$31,305
See More Recent Salaries

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Animal Care Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

68.3 %

male

28.7 %

unknown

3.0 %

Ethnicity

White

86.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.1 %

Asian

5.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.0 %

French

8.0 %

German

6.0 %
See More Demographics

Animal Care Specialist Education

Majors

Biology
14.4 %

Degrees

Bachelors

37.8 %

Certificate

20.8 %

Associate

18.4 %

Top Colleges for Animal Care Specialists

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

2. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

3. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

5. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

8. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

9. Lincoln Memorial University

Harrogate, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$22,010
Enrollment
1,861

10. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Animal Care Specialist That You May Like

Palliative Care Always
coursera

Palliative Care Always is a specialization for health care practitioners, patients and caregivers. We've designed this specialization to demonstrate how palliative medicine integrates with patient care, and to help you develop primary palliative care skills. Over the next five courses, you will develop skills in symptom management, goals of care and effective communication to improve the quality of life for patients and families suffering with serious illness. Our hope is that you feel increasin...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

Certificate in End of Life Care
ed2go

(19 contact hours) The Certificate in End-of-Life Care will enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals and individuals who work with or care for those experiencing a terminal illness...

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Top Skills For an Animal Care Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.8% of animal care specialists listed animal care on their resume, but soft skills such as decision-making skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For an Animal Care Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an animal care specialist. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and California. Animal care specialists make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $36,902. Whereas in New Jersey and Delaware, they would average $36,902 and $35,680, respectively. While animal care specialists would only make an average of $34,909 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Animal Care Specialist Jobs:
152
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
1.32
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Animal Care Specialist Jobs:
915
Highest 10% Earn:
$57,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New York

Total Animal Care Specialist Jobs:
1,830
Highest 10% Earn:
$53,000
Location Quotient:
1.56
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Animal Care Specialist Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
146+
2. PetSmart
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
80+
3. Pet Supplies Plus
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
40+
4. Rainforest Cafe
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
26+
5. Busch's
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
22+
6. SeaWorld
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$76,294
Animal Care Specialists Hired: 
16+

Animal Care Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020