There’s no two ways about it: animals are amazing. Cute, cuddly and givers of unconditional love, there’s a reason why almost six in ten households in the UK own at least one pet. Quite simply, we don’t know what we’d do without them. It’s therefore no surprise that careers involving our furry (or not so furry) friends are popular, giving animal lovers the opportunity to work with beautiful creatures day in, day out, while getting paid for the privilege! Here are three awesome jobs you can take to do just this.
A pet sitter
Perhaps the easiest way of working with animals is to take up a pet sitting post. This involves being responsible for all of a pet’s basic animal care while their owners are away. It typically doesn’t require any formal training, though prospective pet sitters should be familiar with the various aspects involved with animal care and behaviour. This includes how to give animal CPR and other types of medical care.
How to become a pet sitter
Becoming a pet sitter is as easy as signing up to a pet sitting website and searching for jobs,
and if you were to take on enough jobs you could almost certainly make a living out of doing so. The average pet sitting job pays anywhere between £10 to £25 an hour depending on the type you take on. For example, you’ll get more money for looking after pets overnight than simply walking them.
As well as thinking about how much you could earn, another essential financial consideration is insurance. Just one bad incident under your watch could see you being sued by a member of the public, and unlike with other animal-related professions, you won’t be covered by an employer.
As Tradesman Saver explains: “If the pet you’re looking after injures someone else or damages something (as a result of your negligence), that person could make a claim against you. By having the right insurance policy you won’t need to worry about footing the bill, relieving any potential financial strain.”
Becoming a vet gives you the opportunity to serve the healthcare needs of a range of animals, helping to keep them safe and sound. With almost 30,000 vets in the UK, it’s an incredibly popular career path and one that’s incredibly rewarding too. Among the main duties include treating illness and injuries, carrying out surgical/medical procedures and dental work, and vaccinating animals against diseases.
How to become a vet
It’s naturally a lot harder to become a vet than it is to become a pet sitter. This is because you require significant medical knowledge and experience, which entails a lot of training and qualifications. All vets in the UK need to be a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), something that requires completing a five-year degree at one of the following universities: The Royal Veterinary College, London, Bristol, Cambridge (six years), Surrey, Liverpool, Nottingham, Edinburgh or Glasgow. Competition for these places is strong, with minimum A-Level grades of AAB expected.
The rewards of going through this process are not limited to just job satisfaction though, with newly qualified vets earning between £30,500 to £35,500 on average. With further training and experience, you can earn all the way up to £92,500.
A zoologist is a biological scientist specialising in the study of animals in fields such as physiology, social behaviour, conservation and drug development. Zoologists observe animals up close (either in captivity or the wild), which can see them travelling all over the globe to see them in their natural environments. Consequently, zoology can be a great career path for those who love to see the world while working. There are a few different types of zoologist, including ecologists, conservationists and marine biologists.
How to become a zoologist
Becoming a zoologist isn’t easy, but the rewards are well worth the graft. You’ll typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific subject such as zoology, biology, environmental biology or animal behaviour. However, it’s also recommended to gain work experience in your chosen field and even potentially looking at postgraduate study owing to the high competition for zoologist jobs. This is actually a prerequisite for certain career paths, with academic zoologist roles often requiring a PhD.
Starting salaries are typically in the region of £18,000 to £25,000, rising to between £25,000 and £30,000 with a few years of experience. Senior zoologists can expect to earn up to £45,000+.