|Quick Facts: Animal Care and Service Workers|
|2012 Median Pay||$19,970 per year|
$9.60 per hour
|Entry-Level Education||See How to Become One|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||See How to Become One|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||232,100|
|Job Outlook, 2012-22||15% (Faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2012-22||35,400|
What Animal Care and Service Workers Do
Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.
Animal care and service workers are employed in a variety of settings, including kennels, zoos, stables, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and aquariums. Some of the work may be physically or emotionally demanding, and the number of work-related injuries and illnesses is higher than the national average.
How to Become an Animal Care and Service Worker
Most animal care and service workers learn on the job. Still, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have experience working with animals. Some positions require formal education.
In May 2012, the median annual wage for nonfarm animal caretakers was $19,690. The median annual wage for animal trainers was $25,270.
Employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth coupled with high job turnover should result in very good job opportunities for candidates for most positions.