, the coolest jobs on earth

Jobs for Animal Lovers

Volume VIII, Issue #55

Are you an animal lover? Does coming home to your dog or cat at the end of a long day instantly make you feel better? Why wait all day long to interact with man's best friends? Working with animals is a great way to follow your heart and earn a good living at the same time. This week's feature article features four of the coolest animal jobs around.

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1) Career Advisor: Research: Not too much, not too little
2) Spotlight: 4 Cool Animal Jobs
3) Around the Monkey: Veterinary Education
4) Job Boards: Animals Jobs


CAREER ADVISOR: Researching Prospective Employers

by Amy Lindgren

Doing research "just right" is challenging for many job seekers. They tend to either search for every possible fact about something, or they just wing it at job interviews and other critical situations. These two approaches come from two personality types but they have something in common: Both of these job seekers are missing the boat when it comes to using research as an effective tool for job search success.

Here's a plan to help you keep from making the same mistakes.

1. Identify the information you want before you start to research. This will keep you focused on finding what you need, rather than on the distracting process of chasing down endless bits of trivia. It will also keep your skepticism honed, particularly when it comes to dredging company sites for information.

2. Keep notes on the information you gather, so you can go back later for more data if you need it.

3. Go offline. The Internet will be a good source of general information, but it will fall short in terms of real-time data. Remember that much of what you see online was written months or even years ago, so you can't be certain that it's still valid until you talk with real people.

4. Connect the dots. When you read that a certain company has just acquired another one, what does that mean for people who do the work you do? If you can't surmise this by yourself, bring the question to one of your real-time people in Step 3.

5. Stop when you have answered your main questions. It's time to use your knowledge, so go out and talk to some employers.

SPOTLIGHT: Great Animal Jobs for You

If you are an animal lover, working with animals can be a dream come. If you have thought about pursuing this path, you have surely considered becoming a veterinarian. But maybe eight years of school and tens (perhaps hundreds) thousands of dollars in tuition isn't for you. In that case, here are four great options to consider:

1. Dog Walker Jobs

Do you like to exercise? Do you enjoy the fresh air? Are you a dog lover? A professional career as dog walker/runner might be an ideal fit for you. The basic requirements of a dog walker are physical fitness, basic business skills, and the ability to withstand sometimes unpleasant weather conditions. You can test you ability to handle the job by volunteering to walk dogs at a local animal rescue center. Of course, getting along with the dogs is only half the job. The other half is your ability to relate to the dogs' owners, many of whom may have a long list of "do's and don't's" for taking care of their dog.

Hours: While many dog walking services keep their walkers busy full-time, you can work as much -- or as little -- as you would like. Most jobs tend to concentrate around peak times -- such as midday and early evening.

Salary: Most dog walkers charge an hourly rate, which will vary depending on the area in which you live. You might also be able to expand your income streams by offering additional services, such as basic grooming, feeding, and long-term pet sitting. When calculating your target hourly rate, be sure to calculate in your own transportation time.

2. Zookeeper Jobs

Are wild animals more your speed? Zookeepers are responsible for caring for and feeding wild animals at zoos and animal centers. Zookeepers also often charged with educating audiences, including children, about wild animals. Unlike dog walking, zoo keeping requires years of education and research, so getting an early start is preferable. Interested college students should pursue a schedule of biology, zoology, ecology, environmental studies, and animal husbandry.

Hours: Zookeepers work around the clock, often in shifts, to provide 24-7 care for the animals in their charge.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median zoo keeper salary in 2006 was $10.75 per hour.

3. Wildlife Rehabilitator Jobs

Wildlife rehabilitators work with injured or captivated animals to help them prepare for living independently in the wild. Wildlife rehabilitators reproduce natural environments for the animals, feed and care for animals, provide emergency medical support when necessary, capture and transport injured animals, and educate the public about endangered species. Working in wildlife rehabilitation -- which does require state licensing -- is a hands-on, rewarding career choice for animal lovers.

Hours: Rehabilitators typically work on-call to rescue injured or abandoned animals, while those employed by animal rehabilitation centers work set hours.

Salary: Salaries for animal rehabilitators are typically on the lower end, starting at minimum wage.

4. Animal Physical Therapist Jobs

Just like humans sometimes need physical therapy to recover from injury, so do animals -- particularly dogs, cats and horses. Animal physical therapists assist in surgery and recuperation, plus aid animals suffering from chronic pain and arthritis. Animal physical therapists must be trained and licensed to work in the field. Education typically includes a MA in physical therapy, with an emphasis on animals. Physical therapy assistants must earn an Associates Degree and also be licensed by the state.

Hours: Most animal physical therapists and assistants work regular office hours, 8-6. Some are on call for off-hour emergencies.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an animal physical therapist with one to four years of experience is $36,000. Animal therapist assistant earn an average starting salary of $25,000 to $28,000.

AROUND THE MONKEY: Veterinary Education

To learn more about exciting job opportunities with animals, come visit the JobMonkey blog. We post frequently on the topic of working with animals, and the education and training required to pursue you animal dream job. Check out posts such as:

>> Spotlight on: Veterinary Jobs
>> Veterinary Education

JOB BOARDS: Animal Job Listings

If you are interested in working with animals, come check out our new Animal Job Board. Right now there are dozens of great job leads all over the US and beyond.




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