Growing up, we all had a vision of who we want to become. Some want to become president, a princess, an astronaut, a doctor. But there are some who grew up around animals and were taught to treat them well—those are the ones who envisioned themselves as a veterinarian when they grow up.
But as we get older, we realize that pursuing some dreams isn’t easy. Some cost way too much money to the point that they seem unreachable, while some require a lot of work that some people start to get discouraged.
With becoming a veterinarian one of the young animal lover’s first aspirations in life, some people get stuck as they get older when they find out becoming one isn’t cheap and easy. But there are ones who actually went for it and got a good career going for them.
If you’re one of the people who was discouraged about being a veterinarian because of the price tag and long hours of study it comes with, here’s a list of other career options for you:
Got a penchant for makeovers and a heart for animals? What better way to look for a career in grooming animals? A lot of pet owners bring their pets in for a cleaning and trimming to make them look at their most adorable. Not only you can hang around a lot of pets of different breeds, but you also get to give them makeovers.
The highest-paid animal groomers earn more than $33,382 in the U.S. The best-paid ones work in the areas of Rhode Island, California, and Hawaii.
Pet groomers are also considered animal caretakers and animal caretakers require at least a high school diploma to practice. The credentials would weigh heavily on training, grooming schools, and of course, experience with grooming animals.
- Pet sitter and dog walker
Caring for animals is a fun thing to do, but some pet owners just don’t have all the time in the world to do it. Some rely on pet sitters while they’re away. Dog walkers provide the same service. Walking a dog would require at least an hour a day and not everyone has the time.
Most pet sitters and dog walkers are paid an hourly wage. The average salary for pet sitters is $11.26 per hour and dog walkers make approximately $14.39 hourly.
Becoming either of the two requires one to have a high school diploma. Most skills are learned while on the job and some through taking classes.
- Veterinary assistant
Still want to go after the veterinarian dream? Well, you can. You can do this by working alongside veterinarians and assisting them in animal clinics and hospitals. You’ll be helping them with routine tasks and during crucial ones.
Maybe this could give you more insight on becoming a veterinarian yourself and you can still go for it.
Veterinary assistants get paid a median salary of $31,157 in the U.S. The best-paid ones work in states such as Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
A job as a veterinary assistant would require you to have a high school diploma and a heart for animals. Most skills are learned alongside veterinarians as you progress.
Do you have fun teaching animals to do things? Well, a job as an animal trainer is perfect for you. You could be a professional dog trainer, horse trainer, or any animal trainer, based on your preferences.
Animals are taught a lot of things, such as riding, performing tricks, obeying rules, and assisting people who are disabled. The average animal trainer salary in the U.S. is around $30,430 annually. The ones who earn the most work in California, New York, and Minnesota.
No formal education is required to be able to professionally train animals. The ones who choose to pursue a career in this field are given training while doing the job. There are also people who receive education through animal organizations.
- Laboratory animal caretaker
Having a heart for animals and science can come hand-in-hand. By being a laboratory animal caretaker, you can work alongside animal scientists, veterinarians, and biologists as they study animals.
Your primary tasks would be to care for, feed, and monitor the health of lab animals. You can earn as high as $36,590 annually working inside laboratories and caring for animals. This job is best paid in Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Like all previous jobs we’ve looked at, laboratory animal caretakers are also required to have a high school diploma. Most skills and knowledge are earned from training while on-the-job. Certifications aren’t always required but would serve you nicely when some employers look for them.