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Become A Service Worker

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Working As A Service Worker

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $58,560

    Average Salary

What Does A Service Worker Do

Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.


Animal care and service workers typically do the following:

  • Give food and water to animals
  • Clean equipment and the living spaces of animals
  • Monitor animals and record details of their diet, physical condition, and behavior
  • Examine animals for signs of illness or injury
  • Exercise animals
  • Bathe animals, trim nails, clip hair, and attend to other grooming needs
  • Train animals to obey or to behave in a specific manner

Animal care and service workers train, feed, groom, and exercise animals. They also clean, disinfect, and repair animal cages. They play with the animals, provide companionship, and observe behavioral changes that could indicate illness or injury.

Boarding kennels, pet stores, animal shelters, rescue leagues, veterinary hospitals and clinics, stables, aquariums and natural aquatic habitats, zoological parks, and many laboratories house animals and employ animal care and service workers.

Nonfarm animal caretakers typically work with cats and dogs in animal shelters or rescue leagues. All caretakers attend to the basic needs of animals, but experienced caretakers may have more responsibilities, such as helping to vaccinate or euthanize animals under the direction of a veterinarian. Caretakers also may have administrative duties, such as keeping records, answering questions from the public, educating visitors about pet health, and screening people who want to adopt an animal.

Animal trainers train animals for obedience, performance, riding, security, or assisting people with disabilities. They familiarize animals with human voices and contact, and they teach animals to respond to commands. Most animal trainers work with dogs and horses, but some work with marine mammals, such as dolphins. Trainers teach a variety of skills. For example, some may train dogs to guide people with disabilities; others teach animals to cooperate with veterinarians or train animals for a competition or show.

Groomers specialize in maintaining a pet’s appearance. Kennels, veterinary clinics, or pet supply stores employ groomers, where they groom mostly dogs, but some cats, too. In addition to cutting, trimming, and styling pets’ fur, groomers clip nails, clean ears, and bathe pets. Groomers also schedule appointments, sell products to pet owners, and identify problems that may require veterinary attention.

Groomers may operate their own business, work in a grooming salon, or run their own mobile grooming service that travels to clients’ homes. Demand for mobile grooming services is growing because these services are convenient for pet owners, allowing the pet to stay in its familiar environment.

Grooms care for horses. Grooms work at stables and are responsible for feeding, grooming, and exercising horses. They saddle and unsaddle horses, give them rubdowns, and cool them off after a ride. In addition, grooms clean stalls, polish saddles, and organize the tack room where they keep harnesses, saddles, and bridles. They also take care of food and supplies for the horses. Experienced grooms sometimes help train horses.

Keepers care for animals in zoos. They plan diets, feed, and monitor the eating patterns of animals. They also clean the animals’ enclosures, monitor their behavior, and watch for signs of illness or injury. Depending on the size of the zoo, they may work with one species or multiple species of animals. Keepers may help raise young animals, and they often spend time answering questions from the public.

Kennel attendants care for pets while their owners are working or traveling. Basic attendant duties include cleaning cages and dog runs, and feeding, exercising, and playing with animals. Experienced attendants also may provide basic healthcare, bathe animals, and attend to other basic grooming needs.

Pet sitters look after animals while their owner is away. Most pet sitters feed, walk, and play with pets daily. They go to the pet owner’s home, allowing the pet to stay in its familiar surroundings and follow its routine. More experienced pet sitters also may bathe, groom, or train pets. Pet sitters typically watch over dogs, but some also take care of cats and other pets.

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How To Become A Service Worker

Most animal care and service workers have a high school diploma and learn the occupation on the job. Many employers prefer to hire people who have experience with animals.


Most animal care and service worker positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

Although pet groomers typically learn by working under the guidance of an experienced groomer, they can also attend grooming schools. The length of each program varies with the school and the number of advanced skills taught.

Most zoos require keepers to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, or a related field.

Animal trainers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some positions may require a bachelor’s degree. For example, marine mammal trainers usually need a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, animal science, biology, or a related field.

Dog trainers and horse trainers typically qualify by taking courses at community colleges or vocational and private training schools.


Most animal care and service workers learn through on-the-job training. They begin by performing basic tasks and work up to positions that require more responsibility and experience.

Some animal care and service workers may receive training before they enter their position. For example, caretakers in shelters can attend training programs through the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association. Pet groomers often learn their trade by training under the guidance of an experienced groomer.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills. For example, several professional associations and hundreds of private vocational and state-approved trade schools offer certification for dog trainers.

The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers certification for master status as a groomer. Both the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International offer a home-study certification program for pet sitters. Marine mammal trainers should be certified in scuba-diving.

For self-employed workers, many states require animal care and service workers to have a business license.

Other Experience

For many caretaker positions, it helps to have experience working with animals. Nearly all animal trainer and zookeeper positions require candidates to have experience with animals. Volunteering and internships at zoos and aquariums are excellent ways to gain experience in working with animals.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Animal care and service workers must be compassionate when dealing with animals and their owners. They should like animals and must treat them with kindness.

Customer-service skills. Animal care and service workers should understand pet owners’ needs so they can provide services that leave the owners satisfied. Some workers may need to deal with distraught pet owners. For example, caretakers working in animal shelters may need to reassure owners looking for a lost pet.

Detail oriented. Animal care and service workers must be detail oriented because they are often responsible for keeping animals on a strict diet, maintaining records, and monitoring changes in animals’ behavior.

Patience. Animal caretakers and all animal trainers need to be patient when training or working with animals that do not respond to commands.

Physical stamina. Stamina is important for animal care and service workers because their work often involves kneeling, crawling, bending, and lifting heavy supplies, such as bags of food.

Problem-solving skills. Animal trainers must be able to assess whether the animals are responding to teaching methods and identify which methods are most successful.

Reliability. In order to meet the customer’s needs, animal care and service workers need to care for animals in a scheduled and timely manner.

Trustworthiness. Pet sitters must demonstrate that they can be trusted when caring for animals and properties while the owner is away.

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Service Worker jobs

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Service Worker Career Paths

Service Worker
Therapist Program Director Chairperson
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Specialist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Support Specialist Therapist Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Adjunct Professor Associate Dean
5 Yearsyrs
Service Supervisor Operations Manager Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Service Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Worker Home Health Aid Career Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Service Supervisor Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Instructor Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Director
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Service Coordinator Social Worker Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Family Support Specialist Program Coordinator Social Worker
Social Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Case Manager Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
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Service Worker Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Japanese

  • Italian

  • German

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Portuguese

  • Cantonese

  • Armenian

  • Russian

  • Hindi

  • Croatian

  • Greek

  • Urdu

  • Arabic

  • Swedish

  • Korean

  • Bosnian

  • Tagalog

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Service Worker

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Service Worker Education

Service Worker

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Real Service Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Supervisors/Managers of Personal Service Workers Hairbar Inc. DBA James Joseph Salon and Studios Boston, MA Mar 23, 2011 $54,500
Social Services Worker-UTR Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center of Chicago Chicago, IL Aug 10, 2014 $50,294
Supervisor of Personal Service Workers Pure Medspa Ontario, CA Aug 29, 2008 $50,000
First-Line Manager of Personal Service Workers Zigzag Beauty Salon, Inc. Rutherford, NJ Jun 25, 2010 $45,914
Manager of Personal Service Worker Massage Express McLean, VA Sep 30, 2008 $45,079
Supervisor, Carwash Service Workers Cinesha Corporation T/A Seven Car Wash Sterling, VA Apr 24, 2009 $44,928
First Lien Supervisor/Managers of Personal Service Workers Krysia's Beauty Salon Garfield, NJ May 23, 2008 $44,829
Manager of Personal Service Workers Lanphier Day Spa Darien, CT Jan 17, 2008 $42,325
Protective Service Worker Southwest Boston Senior Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Aug 26, 2015 $41,151
Protectice Service Worker Southwest Senior Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Aug 26, 2015 $41,151
Social Service Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Feb 05, 2015 $40,170
Supervisor of Personal Service Worker BVR, Inc. Union City, CA Jan 25, 2008 $39,236
Social Services Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Mar 02, 2013 $38,992
First-Line Supv/Mgr of Personal Service Workers Pen Homes, Inc. La Mirada, CA Aug 05, 2010 $37,566
Managers of Personal Service Workers Avanti Nails and Skin Care, Inc. New York, NY Jul 12, 2010 $37,500
Social Services Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Oct 16, 2010 $36,932
Gerontological Social Services Worker W. S. Group Corporation Alhambra, CA Sep 01, 2010 $34,404
Manager of Personal Service Worker Sun Princess Corporation Los Angeles, CA Dec 01, 2009 $33,768
Supervisor Personal Service Worker Thompson's Guest Homes Hillsborough, CA Feb 07, 2008 $31,117
1St. Line Sups/Mgrs-of Personal Service Workers Cachuela ICF/DDN Home, Inc. Orange, CA Nov 19, 2010 $30,971
1St. Line Supervisor/Managers of Personal Service Workers KIMS Cleaners, Inc. Newport News, VA Jun 17, 2008 $25,691
Service Worker Dara Orbach Livingston, NJ Mar 13, 2009 $24,940
Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers Community Pool Service Rockville, MD Dec 12, 2011 $24,107 -
Service Worker Anchor Aquatics, Inc. MD Apr 01, 2014 $24,063
Service Worker Anchor Aquatics, Inc. Apr 01, 2014 $24,063
Service Worker Baytree Landscape Contractors Ladson, SC Apr 01, 2016 $24,021
Service Worker Juan V. Camacho Somerset, NJ May 05, 2009 $24,021
Live-In Household Domestic Service Worker Josephine Wang PA Apr 13, 2015 $23,708
Service Worker Elias Choukair Middlesex, NJ Jul 12, 2010 $21,726

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Top Skills for A Service Worker


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Top Service Worker Skills

  1. Ensure Safety
  2. Child Abuse
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked collaboratively with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the District Attorney's office to ensure safety of client caseload.
  • Investigate child abuse and neglect allegations by conducting time sensitive investigations through interviewing and counseling.
  • Prepared food and implemented customer service.
  • Perform advanced and complex social services casework involving abuse/neglect/exploitation of children in potentially dangerous dynamics.
  • Provided crisis intervention and support.

Top Service Worker Employers

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Service Worker Videos

Learn English - English Conversation for Service Workers [English Subtitle]

HTML5DevConf may 2014: Alex Russell, Google: Service Workers: Offline Now(ish)!

Pros And Cons Of Being A Social Worker