Are you trying to choose a career path that accurately suits you and that also fits what you are interested in? Do you enjoy working with animals, but you don't really feel that becoming a veterinarian is the right occupational choice for you? Are you attempting to narrow down the viable choices, so that you can make the most informed and most appropriate decision that will benefit you far into your future? If you have been nodding your head in agreement to each of these questions because they seem to accurately fit you, then you will definitely want to continue reading so that you will know just what to expect in your prospective career path.
As an animal care technician you will spend the majority of your time caring for a particular animal in a one on one situation. While your expertise does not have to be limited to a research laboratory setting or an animal hospital, these are definitely the most common employment options for individuals who have animal care training. While your specific job duties may vary depending upon your place of employment, you can likely expect to clean and change an animal's cage and to provide fresh food and water. You may also be expected to receive new animals as they come into the facility that you represent, to sterilize equipment that is used to care for the animals, to prepare laboratory samples for testing, to make notes and record pertinent information in an animal's file, and to administer medications or injections.
A natural love of animals will surely help you be more successful in this line of work; it will also help you to work through the challenges that can be a daily part of this type of work. For instance, it is common for an animal care technician to be in situations that can be physically demanding, and at times, even risky. At times, you may even find yourself in situations that will take a toll on you in an emotional manner. Although you will probably not find an employer who specifically states physical attributes that they will want you to meet, it will likely work in your favor if you are at least somewhat physically fit. Keep in mind, there are many animal care facilities that primarily work with small animals; however, there are also facilities that are available for large animals. It will likely be a good idea for you to choose a particular type of animal to work with that best suit your interests and your ability level.
While it is not required, you may find that your ability to obtain employment will be greatly increased if you have specific skill training. For instance, if you have completed some level of training in a grooming program, then you may be likely to be hired over a job candidate who does not have any training on their resume. Therefore, obtaining specific skills related to animal care may prove to be beneficial to you in your job search.
If you want to start your career training as an animal trainer then earn your Associates degree in animal training from any of the accredited schools listed. Some programs can be specialized to a particular animal but most are generic which will allow you to work for any company that does animal training. Some of the courses you’ll take will cover the following topics.
- Animal Behavior
- Animal Care
- Animal Terminology
- Record Keeping
- Training Techniques
Once you graduate you’ll be able to apply for entry level positons in the following careers.
- Zoo Trainer
- Animal Daycare
- Pet Groomer
- Self Employed
As long as you graduated from high school with a diploma or GED you’ll qualify for acceptance into an animal training program. Some of the programs offer low cost tuition and can be completed in under 2 years.
- Earn your associates degree
- Take an internship
- Apply for jobs