If you’re looking for a job, it’s always a bonus if you can find something you enjoy. When you’re an animal advocate, you’ll find quite a few job options that can be an excellent match. Finding pet lover jobs can be easier than you think when considering all of the different possibilities.
If you’re a pet lover, you could start a dog-walking or pet-sitting service, apply to a local animal shelter, or try pet photography. You could also become a professional groomer, dog trainer, or veterinarian. Other options for pet lover jobs are a search-and-rescue worker, animal behaviorist, or even working in animal control or as an animal cruelty investigator.
As you can already see, the list of jobs for pet lovers is rather extensive. Perhaps you’ll even discover several ideas you haven’t thought about before. Check them out and see which ones sound the most enticing to your animal-loving self.
12 Jobs Pet Lovers Would Love to Have
1. Animal Trainer
As an animal trainer, you’ll have many opportunities to work with animals and their owners. People often seek the help of professional trainers when they need help getting their dogs to behave. The most popular choice is a dog trainer, which can make anywhere from $10 to $20+ an hour depending on where you live.
However, you could also pursue some more unique positions, training different animals or training animals for film or television. If you like a challenge, consider being an animal behaviorist. These trainers typically deal with the most challenging cases of pet behavior. But be prepared to have to train some pet owners too.
You can pursue a job as a vet by getting your bachelor’s degree, attending veterinarian school, getting your veterinarian license, and choosing a specialty. Indeed.com places the average veterinarian salary at $111,411*, with vets with more than ten years of experience making $160,000+. As a vet, keep in mind that you’ll see the best and the worst times in animals’ lives. So, while you’re helping animals, you also need to make difficult decisions and deal with grief.
3. Vet Tech
As a veterinary technician, you assist the doctor with patients and do various tasks in the clinic. You might standby to help during an exam or surgery or discuss issues with pet owners. According to Indeed, the average base pay for a vet tech is $18.97 an hour*. However, you can make more depending on experience and skill level and if you pursue higher education. You can check out potential courses on American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) website.
4. Dog Walker
Here’s an excellent job for someone looking for some flexibility. It also can be a great side hustle if that’s more your plan. Dog walkers can earn $15 to $17 an hour, depending on their location and the number of hours they work.
$17 an hour sounds great, but what if you only walk dogs for about three hours a day? Of course, you could also walk several dogs at one time. There are many ways to make a pretty penny if you organize your time well.
You can choose to work with a company that offers dog walking services or own a dog walking business. It doesn’t require any formal training, and all you need are some waste bags and strong leashes to get started. You could bump up your price by offering extras. For example, maybe you include a 15-minute play session at the local dog park as part of your walk.
5. Pet Sitter
Pet sitting offers lots of flexibility, with an average pay of $11 to $14 per hour. You can still go about most of your regular routine when pet sitting. For example, maybe you combine pet and house sitting. So, when someone goes out of town, you stay in their home while caring for their pets.
Or, you might choose to watch their pets in the comfort of your own home. If you want to make a full-fledged career out of pet sitting, consider starting your own doggy daycare that offers pet-sitting services.
6. Animal Control Worker
With the proper training, you can become an animal control worker, helping to humanely rescue strays and other animals. You could make about $35,000 a year on average. It's also good training to become an animal cruelty investigator. Of course, this means that you will often see animals in deplorable conditions. However, you get the opportunity to help them and bring justice to the people that harmed them.
You could also work with an animal rescue or animal shelter to help strays and find homes for animals. You might work with rehabilitating animals to make them adoptable. Or, you could work with outreach efforts or take care of the animals in the shelter.
7. Search-and-Rescue Worker
Search-and-rescue workers and similar positions, like K-9 officers, team up with dogs to help others. Dogs play a significant role in performing these jobs. You’ll need to undergo various special training, plus develop a trusting and close relationship with your doggy partner. Pay in this area varies greatly depending on location, type of work, and experience. For example, a K-9 officer could make anywhere from $32,000 to $85,000 a year.
8. Dog Show Handler
If you’ve watched dog shows on television or in person, it might appear that the dog handlers have it pretty easy. But, this is a non-stop job of grooming, training, and teaching dogs all sorts of poses and beyond.
You need to know everything about dog breeds inside and out. Plus, you need to travel a lot, so it may not be the best choice for someone with a family. The average salary for a dog show handler is about $28,000.
9. Pet Groomer
Professional pet grooming offers plenty of options since you can join an existing pet salon or start your own. You could even consider something like a mobile grooming service. Groomers can make between $8 and $20+ an hour, but you need to have the skills to back you up. Plus, not every pet likes getting pampered, so you’ll need to know how to deal with tough customers (both the animal and human ones).
10. Pet Product Developer
Do you have a special talent like baking or sewing? You could create your own line of gourmet dog treats or tasty cat bites. Or, maybe you design a fashionable line of kitty couture or puppy ponchos. These items could become a successful side hustle or a blossoming business with the right footing and business-savvy.
11. Pet Photographer
If you’re a camera junkie and have sharp photography skills, consider being a pet photographer. Just keep in mind, that it takes patience to capture the perfect pet moments on film.
Photographers can make between $26,000 and $42,000 a year, but it depends on how often they work and where. You could choose to do pet portraits only or family photos that happily include the family furball. Maybe you specialize in holiday pet portraits with fun props and extras.
12. Pet Blogger
Blogging often comes across as a glamorous job that enables people to make thousands. However, to be a successful blogger takes a lot of time and effort, meaning you’ll constantly be creating new content and revamping your blog. But, if you’re a pet lover, then starting a pet blog could be a fantastic possibility if you have the discipline for it.
What you make can vary significantly. Pairing your pet blog with another income source could help. For example, maybe you’re a pet photographer who runs a blog or makes crazy-delicious doggy desserts that you showcase on your blog.
Where Do I Find Jobs for Pet Lovers?
Do these jobs sound like the cat’s meow? If you want to spend your days working with animals while earning your keep, these jobs can be just the ticket. You can find jobs for pet lovers just like you would other jobs.
Search sites like indeed.com and Linkedin, or check out your local area for help wanted signs. You could also ask your vet or groomer if they know of any opportunities. If you plan to start your own gig, utilize social media to help you spread the word and ask if you can put business cards or flyers out at local vets, clinics, grooming salons, etc.
For more helpful tips and resources, check out the rest of our blog. We’re all about ensuring you have what you need to make the most of your time with your faithful, furry friend.
*All salaries are as of 5/27/22; salaries are updated regularly and may vary.