You have finally decided that happiness for you would be to spend your days with animals - and get paid for it. Thankfully, there are several career options available. Some require a lot of schooling and some require experience, but all jobs with animals demand an appreciation and love for all things furry, feathered and even scaly.
When you mention working with animals, most people immediately think of veterinarians. Veterinarians have devoted their lives to learning about and helping animals. They work and study through 8 years of college and exorbitant student loans. But for them the effort is worth it. For those who wish to pursue the ultimate animal medical career and be a key player in the health and healing of pets, veterinary medicine is a gratifying and satisfying career.
Veterinarians cannot do all the work themselves; they must rely heavily on the abilities and skills of trained veterinary technicians. Being able to help the veterinarian care for the pets, as well as interact and educate owners, is a wonderful and fulfilling career. Many technicians have had special training and have graduated from a veterinary technician training program. A few begin by working with animals at a veterinary clinic without formal training, and with time, become experienced technicians. The disadvantage is that it takes a lot longer to learn on the job than with a formal program and there may be procedures they cannot do because of lack of training, experience or state law requirements.
If caring for sick and injured pets would break your heart, you might consider life as a groomer. You get to turn dirty unkempt animals into beautiful princes on a daily basis. You learn how to care for the skin and hair as well as how to keep the pet healthy. Groomers also learn various aspects of animal behavior and have plenty of opportunities to educate owners on the best way to keep their pet clean and gorgeous. Trimming hair can be challenging. Some pets do not enjoy being restrained and some hair cuts are quite precise and elaborate. But with training and experience, your services will be invaluable to many pet owners.
Would you rather take care of pets on a temporary basis? Offer food, water, playtime and love? Think about working in a kennel or as a pet sitter. Pet sitters care for animals while their owners are away. The health and well being of these pets are completely in your hands. You get to provide a much-needed service and the owners know that their pets are being properly cared for during their absence.
If you want to make an impact on an animal's and owner's life, think about learning to be a dog trainer. Teaching dogs to obey commands and even perform tricks is very rewarding. Experienced and talented trainers are in high demand to take those unruly puppies and turn them into loving and obedient family members. You get to see results and watch as the family learns to appreciate and understand their companion. In a small way, you get to help keep families together and prevent a disobedient, misunderstood dog with a behavior problem from being abandoned or relinquished to a shelter. Some people can even parlay a career in basic obedience to a career training exotic animals for shows or even movies.