Animal Behaviorist

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.

Work Environment

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.

Job Outlook

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.


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