Are you an animal lover? Most of us are, if you take into account all the household pets we care for. We all love our animal companions, but some people get more of an emotional reward than others when surrounded by animals. Those of you that do should seriously consider working in some branch of animal welfare. You may already have a profession, trade or career in something else, but do you like it as much as being around animals? Does your present job satisfy you the way working with or just being around animals does? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to think about switching your occupation. Let’s face it, doing what you love is better than getting out of bed every day just for the money. So, what are your options?
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A Job in Animal Welfare
Surprisingly enough, when you look into it, there are quite a few occupations that come under the heading of animal welfare. When talking on the subject, everyone immediately thinks of veterinarians. A worthy aspiration, but it involves many years of study and is very expensive. Most people are looking for a more immediate or faster entry into the animal care field. Many animal lovers volunteer to lend a hand in various kinds of animal organisations and probably get their first inclination of a job or career change while working for them. These organisations, whether state or privately funded are grateful to receive that help, but finding formal employment with them is another matter. To get on the first rung of the ladder you have to show some academic study or formal training in the field you choose. That’s why the first step in a career in animal welfare starts with the appropriate animal care training course.
What are the Job Prospects?
The job prospects within the animal care industry are quite good, as it covers a wide range of different types of work. Some people gravitate towards the wildlife protection services and others are equally happy with the care of domestic pets. It depends on your own interest. Work within this sector is expected to rise. This is due to the increase in population, which means more pets, climate change and increased human activity, all of which has an impact on the animal kingdom in one way or another. Before taking any decision on which branch or course to take, it is advisable to do some voluntary work to show some experience. This will not only help you sort out a clear career path to follow but will also show prospective employers that you have empathy with animals.
Like any industry, salaries depend on your type of work and qualifications. A dog groomer is probably on the lowest end of the pay scale, while a veterinary surgeon will be at the top. Fortunately, those that consider animal welfare as a career field are more interested in the welfare of the animals under their care than monetary rewards. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a static occupation. There are many branches that are covered by the term animal welfare. Other areas of interest can be entered through studying for the correct qualifications. Pet grooming may lead to rescue or Seeing Eye dog training, which in turn may lead to wildlife protection or zookeeping. The prospects are there; you just have to decide on which direction to choose.
Free and Paid Courses
There are many free courses that you can take on different aspects of animal care. Some are online and will teach you the basics of such fields as dog training for example. Dog training can be learned online. It is fine if you wish to set up a backyard business, but not so good if you wish to get a job as a dog trainer because there are no recognised qualifications at the end of it. On the other hand, a veterinary nursing qualification can only be obtained by a paid course that offers a recognised certificate of competence. Of course, this depends on personal choice and how far into animal welfare that you are willing to go.
Career changes happen for many different reasons. Sometimes because of external events that you have no control over, some because of your dissatisfaction with your present path. Overall, those who love and have empathy for animals may well find a rewarding career in animal welfare.