If you have not worked with animals before, consider starting as a volunteer. A good starting point is to volunteer for an animal welfare charity – most are entirely reliant on the assistance they receive from volunteers. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain hands on experience and a better understanding of the many different career options open to those wishing to work with animals.
Here are a few other animal careers – most of these involve being your own boss and running your own business.
The Pet Shop Industry: There are approximately 4,000 pet shops and 600 aquatic centres in the UK, employing over 20,000 people between them. Careers in this line of work involve the option of working for an established pet shop, or of setting up your own business. Customer care forms a big part of the work and having a detailed knowledge about products sold by the pet shop business is important. Equally, candidates must have a good knowledge about specific care requirements for a variety of animals as in many cases, customers rely heavily on pet shops for a variety of pet care advice. The Pet Shop Manager Diploma course is relevant for a career running or working in a pet shop.
Animal Assisted Therapist: This can be one of the highly rewarding animal careers as an animal assisted therapy can bring real benefits to people who are ill or disabled. The Animal Assisted Therapy Course has been specifically developed for this career.
Animal Photographer: This is an excellent career choice for those who wish to combine their photographic skills with an animal related career. There are several animal photographer career opportunities, such as setting up an animal portrait business, creating a photo library, wildlife/safari photography and running photography courses. It would be preferable to have some sort of previous hands-on animal care experience (if working in the companion animal photography sector), and be prepared to work flexible hours in order to be successful.
Pet Taxi Driver: This, along with other general pet care services such as pet sitting, grooming and walking, is a growing industry and can make an excellent career choice as in many areas, demand for this type of service outweighs supply. The work involves being responsible for the safe transport of companion animals. You will be required to have a valid driving licence and previous driving experience, as well as thorough local road and area knowledge. In addition, you will need to have animal handling experience and a course such as the Companion Animal Transport Certificate course will be of benefit for this career..
Farm Manager: This is career involves having responsibility for the planning and management of a farm. Depending on the size of the farm, it may include having direct contact with a variety of animals. The Farm Animal Care course will be of benefit to this career as well as for roles working in city farms and small holdings.
Animal Behaviour Careers: Studying animal behaviour gives students a thorough understanding of how and why animals behave in the ways they do and how this knowledge can be applied. The Companion Animal Behaviour Certificate course is of relevance to a variety of careers working with companion animals.