What does a Animal Care Worker do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
Animal care workers provide care for animals at veterinary clinics, zoos, kennels, pet stores, stables, or animal shelters (just to name a few). They may bath, groom, feed, and exercise animals. Some specialize in an area of interest such as marine mammals, horses, reptiles, or even behavioral training.
How to Become an Animal Care Worker
The level of education for animal care workers varies and depends on the requirements for the job you are seeking. For example caring for animals at kennels, pet stores, animal shelters, or pet sitting does not require more than a high school diploma and on-the-job training.In general most employers want you to have some experience working with animals. An excellent way to gain this is starting as a volunteer or interning at a zoos, animal parks, animal shelters, animal sanctuaries, or an aquarium.
If you hope to secure a better paying job working with animals, you generally must earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science or a similar field. You can do this at a state college or university. For those interested in professional grooming there are several schools available for certification. Dog and horse trainers also take courses at community colleges, private schools, or vocational schools.
Job Description of a Animal Care Worker
An animal care worker primary goal is to provide quality care for animals. They exercise, feed, bathe and/or groom them. If an animal is caged, the animal care worker disinfects and cleans it to keep the animal safe and healthy.
They interact with animals, play with them, and observe their behavior. They may record any information needed on the animals overall health. For example they look for noticeable illness, depression, or other symptoms that may require further care. Animal care workers also train animals to respond to certain commands. Some animal care workers even specialize in training animals for the disabled or security.
Some animal care workers receive training in vaccinations of animals or euthanize them under supervision when necessary. Veterinary clinics and pet supply stores also employ pet groomers.
At zoos animal care workers may be called keepers. They care for animals and duties may include the planning special diet requirements, cleaning and disinfecting cages/living environment, and monitoring the animal’s behavior or health. This particular area of animal care may require working with more than one type of animal or even interacting with the public. You may be answering questions and teaching people about the animals needs, habitats, behaviors, and importance of the protection of certain animals to prevent extinction.
Some animal care workers travel to animal competition shows. As you can see there are many areas of animal care workers to explore. One should be in good physical condition as the job is both physically and mentally challenging. You will work irregular hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays because animals need care 24/7.Employment growth coupled with high turnover should result in a very good job opportunity for candidates for most positions in this industry.