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Animals are awesome. Seriously, who doesn't enjoy animals? Whether it's reading about them, caring for them, or even just watching them on TV, everyone can get a little enjoyment about experiencing animals in some way, shape, or form.
When it comes to pets, this truth is exacerbated to a massive degree. Pet ownership is one of those things that can and will change your life for the better. To a point, pets are a lifestyle thing.
Much like with any other form of lifestyle change, economic opportunities have opened up to those who are passionate about pet care. These awesome jobs for pet lovers are proof that you can enjoy your time around pets, and get paid for it too!
We can't talk about the most popular jobs for pet lovers out there without mentioning veterinarians and veterinary assistants. This career track involves a lot of studying, and will also require certifications that can only be achieved by going to a specialized medical school for animals.
The salaries can be very high, though. Many veterinarians earn upwards of $150,000 per year. Vet assistants regularly get as much as $15 to $17 per hour, making it a great career option that requires only a community college degree.
The downside with this career track is that it can be emotionally taxing to do, particularly when you can't save your patient. If you aren't sure you can handle that kind of pain, you might want to try another career.
This is one of the most common jobs for pet lovers under 21 years of age, and also happens to be one of the most fun. Pet sitters don't need to have education or certification; just a deep love of animals and a willingness to clean up messes.
The cool thing about pet sitting is that you can make it work with your schedule, and that getting a job as a pet sitter is easier than ever. Just going on PetSitter.com will get you plenty of gigs, and also help you learn about your local community.
A typical pet sitter can earn around $12 to $20 per hour, depending on whether you're walking a dog and the number of pets involved in your care.
Pet Boutique Sales Staff
If you love pets, but aren't quite ready to go "all in" on pet care, then why not try helping out at a pet store? Plenty of high-end pet boutiques are looking for people who are willing to help sell adorable pet accessories to dog owners that only want the best for Fido.
This is one of the better part-time jobs for pet lovers, simply because the skills you get can easily translate into better career options in the long run—if you so choose. Most boutique clerks can expect to earn anywhere from $9 to $15 per hour.
Animal caretakers are a little bit different from pet sitters. While pet sitters are people who take care of pets that live in peoples' homes, animal caretakers typically work with animals that are in shelters, veterinary offices, or kennels.
Most pet sitters can become caretakers, as long as they are okay with doing additional tasks that sitters may not be used to doing. Caretakers are expected to sterilize kennels, pick up litter, and possibly even train animals that are being put up for adoption.
Animal Cruelty Investigator
This is not a job for the faint of heart, but it's a job that's perfect for people who see animal welfare as their calling. People who do this as a career are tasked with uncovering and investigating cases where animals are being mistreated and neglected.
It may be one of the most difficult jobs for pet lovers out there, but you can go home knowing you're helping pets in need every day. This job is open to high school grads who have a big heart, and can pay up to $57,000 a year.
Admittedly, this is one of the tougher jobs to do—simply because the wages aren't high and the grooming skills you need can be rough. Professional dog groomers are not paid well compared to hairstylists, and often will deal with unruly pups as part of the industry.
If you have the patience and love the idea of helping puppers clean up, you are in luck. There are plenty of openings around the country, you often only need a high school diploma, and you'll never be out of work.
Most animal groomers will make anywhere from $17,000 per year to about $34,000, depending on where you live.
Fido may be adorable, but he'll be a nightmare to his owners if he's not taught how to behave. That's where pet trainers come in! If you watched Cesar Millan in The Dog Whisperer, you already know what pet trainers do.
Not much aside from patience, a disbelief in dog training myths, dog walking capabilities, and an understanding of animals is needed in order to be an animal trainer. Some might have apprenticeships, especially if they're looking to become a trainer to a famous pet actor or a media star.
Either way, animal trainers get big bucks. They can expect to receive anywhere from about $20,000 per year to upwards of $50,000 per year. More specialized trainers may get as much as $150,000 or more.
A lot of the better jobs for pet lovers tend to involve domesticated animals, but not all do. If you're willing to (literally) take a walk on the wild side, then you might as well do it and get paid for it.
Though this field is hyper-competitive, there are still groups that need zoologists on staff. If the idea of working with lions, wildebeests, and bears appeals to you, then this might be a good track for you to consider.
Unlike other jobs on this list, you will need a bare minimum of a Bachelor's degree to work in this field. Most, though, typically won't find work without a Master's degree or higher.
You will be one of the few people who can see the good and bad side of zoos. And, you might also get to hang out with your favorite animals.
That being said, the rewards are many—especially on the financial side. If you're able to find a job in this field, you can potentially earn more than $100,000 per year.
Horseback Riding Teacher
Horses are pets, too! If you're one of the many people who have yearned for a pony as a pet, you may be in luck. There's always a demand for experienced horseback riding teachers in country clubs, resorts, and farms.
The biggest qualifier here is experience. If you can ride a horse very well, or better, train a horse, you will probably be able to be hired. This position can pay anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 per year depending on where you're hired.
Pet photographers are some of the luckiest people out there because they have one of the most epic jobs for pet lovers out there. These talented people are paid to take photos of pets!
You will need to have a good portfolio of pups and cats in order to get started as a pet photographer. Also, an eye for marketing can help you get clients.
Those who become pet photographers can expect to make around $40,000 a year. The best pet photographers on Instagram, though, easily exceed that number from calendar sales alone.