Career Advice on How to Become A Non-Farm Animal Caretaker

General Career Information

If you have been dreaming of a non-farm animal caretaker, well today is your lucky day.  You’ve had come to the right place for taking that first step in fulfilling this dream.  The job of a non-farm animal caretaker covers a variety of occupations.  Kennel attendants, groomers, animal caretakers at animal shelters and keepers who work at zoos, are a few of the jobs that are non-farm animal caretaker can hold.

Career Facts:

Kennel attendants care for pets, usually cats and dogs, while their normal caregivers are either out of town or otherwise preoccupied.  This usually includes feeding and watering the animals, changing liter boxes and taking dogs for walks.  Other activities might take place as well, such as bathing or grooming. However, this is usually left to other non-farm animal caretakers such as groomers.

Groomers specialize in bathing and grooming pets, normally cats and dogs.  Although there is a rumor of a specialist lizard bather in Memphis, again this is just a rumor. Animal groomers spend their days giving dogs baths and cutting their nails.  Of course, this process can become extremely ridiculous with people who are using their dogs as surrogate children.  Many groomers will often get stuck with the very challenging and dangerous task of giving a cat a bath.  Yes, there are people who force their cats to get baths. (Yes it is sad, as a wet cat is surprisingly small and puny looking.)

Some non-farm animal caretakers also have to work irregular hours, which is common with those who are working with boarded animals.  The reason being that they have to work later or early shifts to make sure that the animals are well cared for and healthy.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Good:

The overall job growth for non-farm animal caregivers is good, with a growth rate of about eighteen percent.  As of 2006, there were about 157,000 non-farm animal caretakers working in the United States and this number is expected to rise to about 185,000 by 2016.
Job Outlook is Good

A Day in The Life:

There are many different types of jobs that non-farm animal caretakers can hold, ranging from groomer to kennel attendant, to working at an animal shelter.  While the jobs may vary, the attention to the details of giving animals quality care should not.  Kennel attendants often work irregular hours. Groomers have to worry about being bitten by dogs that understandably do not wish to have their bottoms blown dry and their hair puffed up with a comb.  A delicious treat is only worth so much humiliation.

Average Salary:

Definitely factor into your job search plans that unfortunately, the average pay for a non-farm animal caretaker is low.  The average hourly wage is only about $8.70 per hour.

Career Training and Qualifications:

Most of the training for the various non-farm animal caretaker positions occurs on the job, yet for your career planning please note that there are exceptions.  It is possible, for example, to obtain certification from the National Dog Groomers Association of America and become a “master dog groomer.”
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