Animal Care & Service Worker

Caitlyn Russell


Short-term Goal: Get settled in college

I will graduate from high school with an advanced diploma, find a suitable college to attend, and then find a job(s) to help pay for tuition.

Mid-range Goal: Prepare for career

I will take the necessary classes for my chosen career and find a temporary place to live while I work towards graduation with the diploma I need.

Long-range Goal: Finish schooling and become financially secure

I will get the additional training that may be required and then apply for my career before figuring out a permanent residence in which to live.

~Career Description~

Animal care & service workers typically provide care for animals such as feeding, watering, grooming, training, and exercising them. They may also clean living spaces and monitor and record animal behavior/diet. Though there are other special occupations for this career, such as horse trainers and zookeepers, the most common are dog trainers , animal shelter caretakers, and pet-sitters, so here I'll give them more attention.

~Skill Requirements~

Plenty of patience is crucial, too!

Some skills necessary to be an animal service worker are: compassion when working with animals, physical stamina (for carrying bags of food, litter, pet crates and supplies, exercising animals, etc.), and customer service skills in order to communicate and understand what special care an owner wants for their animal. Most animal service workers must be detail-oriented and possess problem-solving skills in the event that an animal is behaving oddly or is hurt. Job tasks may vary by position and place of work.

~Educational Requirements~

Most positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, but others may require more extensive training. Many animal service workers learn on the job, though other positions require prior experience with animals. There are several organizations that offer training for therapy, competition, or service dogs. Both the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International offer home-study certification programs for pet sitters.

~Work Schedule & Environment~

Facilities such as kennels, zoos, shelters, and stables operate 24 hours a day. However, caretakers often work irregular hours including weekends, evenings, and holidays. About 25% of animal workers are self-employed, and therefore can set their own schedules.

As for environment, those employed in kennels, zoos, stables, shelters, animal clinics, and aquariums should expect an almost constant level of noise when working. However, pet sitters and other occupations work in customers' homes, which may be considerably quieter. The pace set in the formerly mentioned places may be hectic depending on the hours being worked, but self-employed animal care and service workers can set their own pace. All occupations require communication with customers and other workers.


Animal care and service workers can earn around $19,970 annually. Animal trainers earn around $25, 270.

~Employment Outlook~

Job outlook for animal care and service workers is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022., which is faster than average for all occupations. Employment growth and high job turnover are expected to result in many openings for caretakers, pet sitters, groomers, dog trainers, kennel attendants, and groomers. There are no possibilities for advancement or promotion.

~Related Occupations~

Related careers include veterinarians, agricultural workers, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

~Works Cited~

"About Us." K9 Connection Therapy Dogs. N.p., 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"Animal Care and Service Workers." Jobs and Job Outlook. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"Puppy Training Basics." Howdini, 2014. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

"Summary (Animal Care & Service Worker)." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

"Therapy Dog Information." Therapy Dog Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"What Animal Care and Service Workers Do." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

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