Working with animals can be a way to do meaningful and impactful work that is also healing. Humans share deep connections with animals. As we have grown and continue to shape the planet in a variety of ways, some positive some harmful, it is our duty to also look after non-human life on this planet.

There are a number of jobs available that pay for working with animals. We have journeyed through the internet, sometimes sidetracked by cute penguin videos, to bring you the best jobs out there that involve working with animals. We will inform you of the top 6 jobs working with animals

How We Rate Jobs Working with Animals

Jobs working with animals span a variety of different occupations. You could take care of animals in a zoo and be responsible for their maintenance, happiness, survival, and exercise. On the other hand, you can work as a groomer, a job that sees you cleaning different types of pets often.

Both of the jobs listed will require different skills form the person that wants to work in that position. Because different jobs require different skillsets we think it is beneficial to let you know how we rate jobs working with animals.

We rate jobs working with animals as follows:

  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Salary

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications of the top jobs working with animals range from no needed formal education, to needing a specific college degree to gain employment. We consider the minimum qualifications of these types of jobs because we want to provide a well balanced look at this industry.

Some people may not have had the privilege to receive a degree or a particular education. Those people should not be limited in the work they can do with animals, because at the end of the day no amount of formal education is going to outweigh experience.


We also take into consideration salary when we rate the top jobs working with animals that you can find. Salary is important because it is possibly the only source of income that you will be living on. That is why jobs that we find must have livable wages in order to be rated highly.

If a job has a low salary, we will consider the rigor of the work, and factor that into our final review of the position we are referring to.

1. Groomer

Pet Groomer

Groomers are tasked with helping pets look as clean as possible. They help wash pets and also trim fur. Typically, groomers who work in Hawaii, California, or Rhode Island make the most amount of money.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualification for a groomer is usually either a high school diploma or GED certificate. Most of the training occurs on the job, and there are plenty of YouTube videos, and resources that you can use to figure out how to groom different types of animals. Usually owners will have some form of reference for how they want their animal to be groomed.

We think the high school diploma is a generous minimum qualification that ensure has basic research knowledge and can perform the functions of this job well.


Usually salary is decided by a number of factors and one can get as much as $35,207 for this job. Because groomers usually work in a freelance capacity, salary is decided by all the total funds you get from grooming.

Grooming experience, education, and how much you charge people are all factors that affect how much money you can make as a groomer. Folks who are a bit wealthier are also willing to pay more money for the animals to be groomed. If you can land a few of these customers, you will be in the clear.


While the education requirement for being a groomer is low, it does not provide a great salary on the low end. This might be a calculated risk that some want to take if they want to work with pets. If you take on this role we advise you to also have another part time job to help cover expenses. While you get to be around animals constantly, you are tasked with essentially cleaning them. If you enjoy cleaning animals, then this role will work for you.

2. Dog Walker

Dog walker

Dog walkers are usually tasked with both walking dogs, and our pet sitting dogs while the owner is out. This job can end up being a variety of different things as some owners have preferences on where they want their dog walked.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum education requirement for dog walkers is a high school degree or GED. However, depending on your experience walking pets you could land a job while still in high school or without one of these degrees.

Most of the training for this job is done on the job and includes being comfortable walking multiple dogs at the same time. You could take courses through the Human Society of the United States and the American Human Association. You can learn pet sitting skills through the National Association of Professional pet sitters.


The salary will be largely determined by the number of clients you can get and the frequency with which you walk their pet, or take care of their pet. One can get as much as $45,625 annually for this job.

The amount of money you can make also depends on the wealth of the person you are walking the dog. Knowing how to negotiate wage will help you make more money in this role.


Dog walking is an easy skill to pickup, and can help you make some extra money on the side. You get to walk animals and enjoy their company while making money!

3. Laboratory Animal Caretaker

Lab pet

Lab Animal Caretakers work alongside animal scientists, veterinarians, or biologist. It is the Laboratory Animal Caretaker’s duty to make sure that the lab animals are taken care of, fed, and monitored. The types of animals you could end up working with vary from lab to lab.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications for a Laboratory Animal Caretaker is that they at least have a high school diploma or GED. Most of what the Laboratory Animal Caretaker will learn will be through on the job training, and from the other animal scientists or veterinarians inside of the lab.

Being able to use technology will also be of great assistance in this role, as you will have to monitor animals with machines from time to time.

Some employers do prefer certification, which The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science has online certification courses for. While these courses do cost money, they are an easy way to gain certification for employers that require it.


Laboratory Animal Caretakers can expect to make $26,140 per year. Amount of experience and the budget of the lab you select will be the deciding factor in how much money you can make in this position


Laboratory Animal Caretaker’s receive a lot of on the job training from professionals. If you want to continue working with animals in the future, we believe this is a good first step to solidifying that future. You get to work with people who have dedicated their lives to working with animals, and you are also paid decently well. This type of job can help you pivot into becoming a Veterinary Technician.

4. Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technicians perform medical testing on animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Veterinary Technicians need an extensive background of knowledge with animals, and must be able to use technology like computers.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications to become a Veterinary Technician is to complete a college level program that meets the standard of the American Veterinary Association. These are either two-year or four-year programs that teach technicians what they need to know.

After education, there is an exam that technicians must complete. Following the exam, the Veterinary Technician must register according to their states rules.


It is a very stable job that will allow you to help monitor and take care of animals who are in need of medical attention. One can earn between $22,340 to $48,330 for this job.


While this job requires a college education, examination, and certification, it also provides a stable job where one can work with animals. It may not be as easy to break into the veterinary tech field as it is to be a dog walker, but this position comes with added benefits like healthcare.

5. Conservation and Forest Technicians

Conservation and Forest Technicians

Conservation and Forest Technicians are responsible for keeping track of wildlife, gathering data on the wildlife and their environment, and assisting in the suppression of forest fires.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications to work in this position is at lease a high school degree and a valid drivers license. However, some employers do expect at least an associates degree in some field that is related to forestry technology or fieldwork.

For training, you want to look for programs that are accredited through the Society of American Foresters. Depending on the details of the specific role that might be posted, you may also need to gain certification to use certain tools or pesticides.

This position usually provides on the job training and also requires that you feel comfortable working in forested environments.


Conservation and Forest Technicians can expect to make between $24000 to $36000 depending on the company they work for and the education they have.


While Conservation and Forest Technicians have the potential to earn a lot of money, the pipeline to get one of these positions is not very well laid out. Landing one of these jobs is going to require a bit of research and training. You will also want to live in an area where you are dealing with animal wildlife and not pest wild life.

6. Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Biologist

Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist study animals and how those animals interact with their environment. Usually these roles study animal wildlife.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications to become a Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist is a bachelor’s degree in a related wild life sciences major. Usually a master’s degree is required for advanced positions within this field. This field requires a lot of education to land.


This is one of the highest paying jobs you can land that lets you work with a variety of different types of animals for around $60,300 annually.


Although there is a steep level of education that must be obtained to gain one of these jobs, that financial and environmental payoff is well worth it. When you work as a Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist you play a direct role in ensuring that different wild species of animals survive on this Earth. We think anyone who wants to work with animals for a long time, and has the opportunity to go to university, should consider this position.

There Are Many Ways to Get Paid to Work with Animals

As we have listed the top 6 jobs you can get working with animals, there are multiple ways you can earn money by being around animals. If you don’t feel like going the education route, there are jobs for you if you have a high school diploma or GED.

If you do feel like going the education route, there also jobs you can get that have a larger financial payout in the future. Ultimately we believe if you like working with animals most of the jobs we listed give you a variety of ways you can work with animals. The only caution we would give is to working as a Veterinary Technician, as in that role you may have to deal with sick animals who don’t get better.

Make sure you know to what degree you want to work with animals, and search for your nearest organizations that can get you started on your way to working with animals!

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