Animal care and service workers are employed in a number of animal-related
positions, including animal caretaker, animal trainer, kennel attendant,
groomer, pet sitter, groom, and zookeeper. They are employed by
pet stores, animal shelters, rescue leagues, veterinary clinics, stables,
laboratories, aquariums, natural aquatic habitats, and zoological parks.
Many animal service positions require on the job training, but some, such
as that of a marine mammal trainer, require a bachelor's degree and
additional skills. Earnings are relatively low compared to the
national average, but job outlook for most positions is excellent, except
in the highly competitive careers of zookeeper and marine mammal
trainer. For information about becoming an advanced pet care
technician, visit the Pet Care
Services Association website. Additional information about pet
grooming careers can be found at the
National Dog Groomers Association of America website.
Kennel attendants work in a boarding kennel and care for animals while
their owners are away. They perform basic tasks like cleaning
cages and dog runs, filling food and water dishes, and exercising the
animals. Some attendants may also be responsible for bathing and
grooming the animals, and providing basic heath care.
Animal groomers work in kennels, veterinary clinics, animal shelters,
and pet supply stores. Some operate their own business from a
salon or make house calls. Groomers brush and comb animals, clip
their fur and nails, clean their ears, bathe them, and blow them dry.
Caretakers working in animal shelters take care of the basic needs of
the animals, in addition to keeping records and interacting with the
public. Experienced caretakers may be responsible for vaccinating
animals and euthanizing severely ill, injured, or unwanted animals.
Pet sitters look after pets in the owner's home while the owner is
away. They feed, walk, and play with the animal(s). They
may also bathe, groom, and train them.
Grooms take care of horses in stables. They are responsible for
saddling and unsaddling horses, rubbing them down, and walking them to
cool off after a ride, as well as feeding, grooming, and exercising each
horse. They also clean the stalls and replenish bedding, polish
saddles, clean and organize the tack room, and store supplies and feed.
Zookeepers work in zoos, preparing animal diets and cleaning their
enclosures. They also assist in raising very young animals, and
keep a record of animals' behavior. Many keepers also answer
questions for the visiting public.
Animal trainers train animals for purposes such as riding, security,
performance, obedience, and disability assistance. Dogs, horses,
and marine mammals are the most commonly trained animals. Trainers
often work in circuses, marine parks, aquariums, animal shelters, dog
kennels, or horse farms.
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About Animal Caregivers & Trainers