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Animal Caretaker Job Description, Career as an Animal Caretaker, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

income caretakers animals shelters clinics

Education and Training: Typically high school and on-the-job training

Salary: Median—$8.39 per hour

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Animal caretakers tend to the everyday needs of animals in a variety of settings, including kennels, clinics, and shelters. Animal caretakers may also be called animal attendants, animal keepers, or animal-care technicians. They feed and groom the animals, clean their cages, and examine the animals to make sure that they are well. They may also play with the animals, provide companionship, and observe behavior.

In kennels, shelters, or veterinary clinics, animal caretakers often assist in obedience training and breeding or administer vaccinations and other tests. In zoos and circuses they make sure animals are ready to be exhibited to the public. Animal caretakers often repair cages and fences, exercise the animals, and give information to the public about the animals.

In all their tasks animal caretakers are usually supervised by a head keeper or trainer. In clinics they are supervised by a veterinarian. This supervisor is also in charge of training new caretakers.

Education and Training Requirements

A high school education is usually required to become an animal caretaker, and most of the training needed can be learned on the job. However, some zookeeping and animal training jobs may require a bachelor's degree. Interested individuals can gain experience working with animals by getting a job with a local veterinarian or by volunteering to work at a local animal shelter operated by the Humane Society or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Getting the Job

Prospective animal caretakers should apply directly to pet hospitals, pet shops, kennels, animal shelters, and stables for experience in working with animals. Sometimes state employment services can help candidates find jobs related to animal care. Occasionally, jobs for animal caretakers are listed in want ads in local newspapers.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Animal caretakers with years of experience may advance to the position of head keeper. They may also be promoted to animal nurses. Some special training may be required. Caretakers in clinics can further their education to become veterinary technicians or veterinarians.

The outlook for animal caretakers is good, with employment expected to grow faster than the average through the year 2014. The continuing popularity of pets Animal caretakers who work at zoos are responsible for feeding and cleaning the animals, cleaning the animals' cages, and examining the animals to make sure they are healthy. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images.) and the increasing use of pet services will spur employment in kennels and clinics. Also, with the growing public awareness of animal rights and animal abuse, more jobs will become available as more shelters are funded by caring communities and individuals.

Working Conditions

Animal caretakers have to do a great deal of walking, lifting, carrying, and stooping. They may have to carry heavy animals, so they need at least average strength. Caretakers must also have patience and be willing to endure inevitable bites and scratches from the animals.

Animal odors and the smell of cleaning fluids may be disagreeable to some people. Witnessing abused animals or having to put to death old or sick animals can be emotionally stressful. However, most people who enter the profession love animals and receive great satisfaction from helping and working with them.

Animal caretakers usually work a five-day, forty-hour week. Some caretakers work on weekends. In some places caretakers wear uniforms. Employers may provide the uniforms or an allowance for their purchase and cleaning.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association of Zoo Keepers
3601 SW 29th St., Ste. 133
Topeka, KS 66614-2054
(800) 242-4519
http://www.aazk.org/

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
494 E. 92nd St.
New York, NY 10128
(212) 876-7700
http://www.aspca.org/

American Zoo and Aquarium Association
8403 Colesville Rd., Ste. 710
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3314
(301) 562-0777
http://www.aza.org/

Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 452-1100
http://www.hsus.org/

Earnings and Benefits

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal caretakers earned a median income of $8.39 per hour in 2004. Those with experience in grooming animals in commercial enterprises, especially in metropolan areas, earned more than those working for nonprofit animal shelters. Many employers provide their caretakers with health insurance and vacations.

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about 8 years ago

local animal shelters allow u to volunteer at 16 , there are retirement plans, and this job is right for animal lovers

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almost 8 years ago

Is this job right for someone who loves animals, but can't afford to keep one long?

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almost 6 years ago

hey,i m an arts student.....bt i have gr8 love towards any kind of animals.....i m willing 2 work at animal hospitals.....so wt would u suggest me in this case.....?

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almost 8 years ago

hey, I was wondering what kind of classes to take as a senior in high school in order to become an animal caretaker??..

Can you please help.

thank you!

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almost 4 years ago

i can't believe it... i really love animals to death. i think i get it from my mother, because she really loves animals and so do i. i just can't stand it, on thoes commercials how it shows those sad animals with the very sad eyes....

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about 8 years ago

Is there a place like this in Georgia, and how old do you have to be to volenteen at a place like this because i'm 16 years old and I really want to work with anmials and in these other place you like have to be 18 to volenteer there and I just really want to know if I can find a job in Georgia that requires to work with animals in my area????



Im a really good and great animal love I really Love dogs any kind of them and cats not so much but, they are ok....So I just really want to work with animals in any sort of way....Im also doing a report on how animals are really great and how Animal Caretakers can help them in many ways...so please let me know if you can help me with this...



thanx!

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about 8 years ago

What skills do you have to have to get this job?

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over 8 years ago

How old do you have to be to get this kind of a job

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over 7 years ago

So if you want to work at a zoo you have to have you bachlors degree? And if you don't work there i am somewhat confused how old do you have to be for places like in kennels and such?

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almost 5 years ago

such an amazin job for any one who loves animals :)

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over 4 years ago

I love taking care of animals because ever sence my aunt had horses, dogs, fish, cats, or a cat, a bird its well what im trying to say is that i want to help take care of animals because they are awesome i've loved them basically all of my life and i hope i keep chasing my dream that when i get older and graguate high school and get a deploma and go to callage and get my veternarians degree i want to move on with what i love doing so im 15 years old, my birthday is October 15, 1996 and i am just letting you know that i love animals with all my heart and i look forward to take care of them.



THANK YOU

Sencerlly,

Trudy Vaughn

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over 7 years ago

How long do you need to be training?

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over 8 years ago

is this job right for animal lovers

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about 9 years ago

is there retirement plans?

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almost 4 years ago

hi um what are the career clusters for animal caretaker????????????????????????????????????

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almost 4 years ago

Wonderful post. I am searching awesome news and idea. What I have found from your site, it is actually highly content. You have spent long time for this post. It's a very useful and interesting site. Thanks!

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over 5 years ago

i am indian and i was an arts student but i love to work with animals related job.

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over 4 years ago

i really love dogs and cats even though i have a slight allergic reaction to cat dander but it is a small allergy.

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over 8 years ago

what eles is needed to do this job

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over 6 years ago

i dont think this job is FAIR i love animals but maitnence people at a retirement home make more money than this job and this job requires education
im asking if you know what other job i can achieve for regarding animals..... im still doing what i love and im making more money than the average person who shoves off his dream and becomes something he didnt want to be and still making more money than someone who wants to follow his passion its not fair.

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almost 7 years ago

hey, i want to know about the places where these classes are held in bangalo9re

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about 6 years ago

DO NOT DREW THE LINE BETWEEN THE MAN AND ANIMAL WE ALL ARE THE CHILDREN OF EARTH!THE LOVE TOWARDS ALL UNHAPPINESS IS THE GREAT MEDICINE!THE DEATH IS FIX ON THE EARTH WHY THE EVIL SPOILED THERE HOLY HANDS BECAUSE THE EVIL IS NOTHING BUT OUR BAD THOUGHT TO KILL SOME ONE ON THE EARRTH!

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about 4 years ago

I love Animals and I hope one day Ill be a vet<3 But I appsolutly HATE to see animals die,btw yes I DONT no how to spell alota words becuase im like 10(:

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over 4 years ago

I voulenteer at my local animal shelter but i know it is an amazing feeling getting dogs in taking care of them and keeping them off of the streets, It is an even more amazing feeling watching the animals get adopted to get homes and see how excited they are to be getting a new home. I myself prefer a no kill animal shelter thankfully thats how my animal shelter is.

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almost 4 years ago

heeeeeey

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about 2 years ago

i would love to be a animal caregive and keeper i love animals and cant wait to get into collage

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over 4 years ago

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almost 5 years ago

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over 4 years ago

hate website!!!!!!!!!!!!! delete it nobody likes it



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about 5 years ago

am fat like a muther fucker

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about 4 years ago

hihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi

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about 2 years ago

why do you need a college credit if you got high school credit

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almost 5 years ago

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over 4 years ago

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over 4 years ago

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about 5 years ago

female

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almost 6 years ago

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almost 6 years ago

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about 1 year ago

Can u plz put in how much you get paid each year?