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.Education
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.Training
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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Animal Caretaker||Meadow Grove Farm||CA||Aug 10, 2012||$39,131|
|Animal Caretaker||MacKinac Island Carriage Tours||MI||Apr 20, 2012||$31,305|
|Animal Caretaker||Goldens Bridge, Inc. D/B/A Heritage Farm||NY||May 01, 2012||$30,345|
|Animal Caretaker||Peninsula Equine, Inc.||CA||Jan 15, 2012||$29,364|
|Animal Caretaker||Performance Horse Shoeing||CA||Apr 01, 2012||$29,364|
|Animal Caretaker||Dominic Galluscio Stable, LLC||NY||Jun 01, 2012||$27,131|
|Animal Caretaker||Dominic Galluscio Stable, LLC||NY||Apr 27, 2012||$27,131|
|Animal Caretaker||Acres West||CA||Jan 18, 2012||$25,795|
|Animal Caretaker||Horrigan Enterprises, Inc.||CA||Jan 18, 2012||$25,795|
|Animal Caretaker||Diamond Mountain Stables||CA||Jan 24, 2012||$25,795|
|Animal Caretaker||McIntosh Stables USA, Inc.||CA||Jan 15, 2012||$25,086|
|Animal Caretaker||Waldenbrook Farm, Inc.||CA||Apr 01, 2012||$25,086|
|Animal Caretaker||Millennium Farm||CA||Jan 10, 2012||$25,086|
|Animal Caretaker||EWC & Associates, Inc. DBA Portola Valley Training||CA||Apr 01, 2012||$25,086|
|Animal Caretaker||Thumbs Up Farm, Ltd.||WA||Apr 01, 2012||$21,830|
|Animal Caretaker||Trade Winds Farms Se, LLC||FL||Sep 25, 2012||$21,517|
|Non-Farm Animal Caretakers||JEDD Josephson Racing Stable||Albany, CA||Apr 21, 2011||$21,475|
|Animal Caretaker||W.T. Phipps, II Racing Stable, LLC||FL||Nov 25, 2012||$21,267|
|Animal Caretaker||Rossville Farms, LP DBA Rossville Farms, LP||TN||Apr 01, 2012||$21,016|
|Animal Caretaker||Alcole Enterprises, LLC||CA||Jan 15, 2012||$20,974|
|Animal Caretaker||A. Ferris Allen III||DE||Mar 15, 2012||$20,912|
|Animal Caretaker||Vintage Farm Corporation||MD||Apr 01, 2012||$20,912|
|Animal Caretaker||McLean Robertson Racing||MN||Apr 01, 2012||$19,973|
|Animal Caretaker||Rhone Racing||MN||Apr 01, 2012||$19,973|
|Animal Caretaker||Bargee Farms, Inc.||PA||Jan 01, 2012||$19,847|
|Animal Caretaker||Southeast Thoroughbred Racing LLC||FL||Nov 20, 2012||$19,827|
|Animal Caretaker||Stonehenge Stables, LLC||NJ||Apr 08, 2012||$19,827|
|Animal Caretaker||Rushlow's Arabians Inc.||MI||Jan 01, 2012||$19,764|
|Animal Caretaker||Equitor, Inc.||FL||Dec 01, 2011||$19,493|
|Animal Caretaker||Edwin T. Broome||FL||Dec 01, 2011||$19,493|
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