If You Want to Work With Animals, These Unusual Jobs Will Give You the Best Job Satisfaction You’ve Ever Had
Do you love animals? Is it time for a career change? You don’t have to settle for just any “normal” job — and there are plenty of options out there for animal lovers of all skill levels. These unique jobs let you work or on behalf of the animals you want to have the best, happiest lives possible — and you can be happy while doing your job, too. Number 15 on the list is a dream job for many kids.
1. Wildlife rehabilitator
- Average annual salary: $21,000
Wildlife rehabilitation involves caring for and treating wild animals who have been displaced, orphaned, or injured. The ultimate goal is to eventually release these animals back into the wild. If that isn’t possible, they’re often used for educational purposes while kept in a safe and suitable environment.
Next: Passionate about animal rights? This could be the career for you,
2. Animal welfare lawyer
- Average annual salary: $115,000
Want to get involved with the legal side of animal welfare? Animal welfare or animal rights lawyers build cases in defense of animal cruelty, veterinary malpractice, and many other forms of organizational or individual mistreatment of animals.
Next: Training these animals takes some extra patience and skill.
3. Guide dog trainer
- Average annual salary: $25,000
Guide dog trainers are responsible for teaching a puppy everything it needs to know to become a working guide dog for people living with vision loss. Once the dog is fully trained, trainers then assist new guide dog owners, training the two to work in tandem.
Next: Don’t apply for this job if you hate the ocean.
- Average annual salary: $20,000
The exact responsibilities of an aquarist might depend on the size or location of the aquarium. Most juggle a variety of daily tasks, from maintaining tank cleanliness and temperature to feeding animals to giving educational presentations to visitors.
Next: If you’re looking for a potentially dangerous job, this one might do.
5. Snake venom milker
- Average annual salary: $30,000
It’s a real job — and a pretty important one. Zoos and serpentariums often employ professionals to extract venom from poisonous snakes. This is the only way to create anti-venom, which can save the lives of anyone bitten by a rattlesnake, viper, or other dangerous serpent.
Next: Like art? Like animals? You’re in luck.
6. Animal colorist
- Average annual salary: $50,000
Some artist put their skills to adorable use — by dyeing horses or adding specific designs to dogs’ faces or bodies. Professionals sometimes use non-toxic dyes in filmmaking, for example, when a script calls for a dog of a certain color that can’t be found naturally — like an actor coloring his hair to fit a role.
Next: Animals have to eat — and these professionals know what, and how much.
7. Animal nutritionist
- Average annual salary: $60,000
Animals have to eat just like us — and animal nutritionists can help organizations figure out what or how much to feed them. It requires some extensive knowledge of both nutrition and animal behavior, so you typically have to get your doctorate before you can get a job.
Next: You don’t usually take your pet to one of these, but you might have to.
8. Animal dentist
- Average annual salary: $83,000
Veterinary dentists do exactly what you think: clean and operate on animals’ mouths. They might work with larger animals, like those in captivity in zoos, or smaller animals like cats or dogs who need some extra hygiene help.
Next: This position lets you teach other people about their favorite animals.
9. Zoo interpreter
- Average annual salary: $50,000
A zoo interpreter position offers you the chance to educate zoo guests about the animals and exhibits they are visiting and/or interacting with. Depending on the facility, some zoo interpreters might also assist with cleaning and feeding exhibits and their inhabitants.
Next: You have to love being outdoors if you want to work with these animals.
10. Wolf biologist
- Average annual salary: $59,600
Some wolf biologists study the behaviors and migration patterns of wolves in their natural habitats, which means they spend a lot of time outdoors. Others work with wolves in captivity, or work to relocate wolves to new natural habitats.
Next: It’s like being a vet, but slightly cooler.
11. Exotic animal vetetinarian
- Average annual salary: $87,000
Exotic or wild animal veterinarians often work with wildlife rehabilitators to care for and treat wild animals. This can include sedating animals before surgeries, giving them vaccines, treating wounds, and cleaning teeth.
Next: These pros make sure shelter animals find good homes.
12. Pet adoption counselor
- Average annual salary: $23,000
Pet adoption counselors typically work in shelters and help prospective owners find suitable pets in need of loving homes. They might also take on additional administrative duties as an animal shelter employee, like finalizing adoptions, walking dogs, or answering phones.
Next: Want to spend most of your time with puppies? Sign up now.
13. Dog breeder
- Average annual salary: $38,000
Dog breeders have a superior knowledge of specific breeds, and are trained to select the best candidates for breeding purposes. They’re responsible for the health and care of their dogs and litters, but must also be able to manage tasks like registering dogs with the AKC, working with veterinarians, and more.
Next: If you loved riding horses as a kid, you might be a great fit for this career.
14. Exercise rider
- Average annual salary: $27,000
An exercise rider works with racehorses, riding and controlling them during their workouts. Exercise riders are trained to sense how fast a horse is traveling, since a trainer will typically expect them to work the horse at a certain speed.
Next: Those fascinated by the ocean and everything that lives in it might adore this job.
15. Marine biologist
- Average annual salary: $62,000
Marine biologists study the behaviors, habitats, and the diseases that often impact ocean wildlife. Many of them also keep tabs on how humans interact with and impact those habitats.
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