What job can I get working with animals without a degree?
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Those are powerful words to live by, and perhaps one of the most true statements ever made. Anyone who truly loves their job, is often quite happy. So, what if your dream is to work with animals, but you don’t have a college degree? Well, that certainly limit your options, but it doesn’t eliminate them completely. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best jobs working with animals you can get without a degree.
More specifically, we’ll tell you the what are top jobs working with dogs. These jobs won’t require a college degree to get started. However, address which jobs working with animals without a degree can be parlayed into a degree.
Working in Veterinarian’s Office
In order to become a veterinarian, it takes about eight years of college coursework and a substantial financial investment. Even a veterinary technician requires a two-year associate’s degree. The good news is that there are other jobs working with animals that you can do in a vets office. The best news is that your experience can translate as college credits toward one of those degrees. If the experience doesn’t translate to credits, it will at least give you some familiarity with coursework and may lead to better grades.
If you plan to work in a Veterinarian’s office, and you’re looking for the jobs with animals without a degree, start as a veterinary assistant or kennel manager. Vet assistants often double as receptionists, but that’s not always the case. As an assistant you’ll be responsible for the care of animals that your vet specializes in. Responsibilities include moving animals from kennels to examination rooms, weighing pets, feeding, walking, and more. Some states may require a certificate to be an assistant, while others may allow on-the-job training. As a veterinary assistant with a certificate, your credits should be accepted if you decide to pursue a higher veterinary education.
Another great choice for jobs working with dogs is a kennel manager. Most veterinarians offer boarding for pets when their owners are out of town. If you consider yourself an animal whisperer, this could be the perfect position for you. As a kennel manager you will have to tend to cleaning out cages and dog runs, but on the flip-side your real job is to comfort and play with animals all day.
Working for an animal shelter
One of the most rewarding jobs working with animals is working for an animal shelter or rescue. Working in a shelter is similar to working as a kennel manager. You’ll be responsible for cleaning up after and caring for animals. In addition to the satisfying feeling of helping unwanted and neglected animals, you can also learn a great deal about pet care, which may help you to pursue an animal science degree. If a degree is not one of your goals, you can take pride in helping to rehabilitate animals and assisting to find them new forever homes.
In addition, many shelters offer more official positions such as animal control officer. Animal control officers often do not require advanced degrees, but you’ll need to check with your state and county to be sure. Officers conduct wellness checks on reported abuses, lost or stray animals, and investigate animal related disturbances.
Training Service or Therapy Dogs
Sometimes it’s not the dogs that need help, it our fellow humans. Training and service dogs can range from seeing eye dogs to PTSD therapy dogs. If you’re set on a job working with dogs, then becoming a trainer might be the best career path.
Most trainers start at their local obedience school and, depending on the certification and specialty of the dog, transition to an apprenticeship. Assistance Dogs International, a resource for programs to train and place service dogs, says it takes about 2-3 years to become a service dog trainer. It does not require a formal degree to become a trainer, but you will need to apply to your local assistance dog trainer to become an apprentice.
Some dogs have style and some need a little help, but all dogs get dirty; and that’s where you come in. If a job working with dogs that can transition into your own business is an idea that excites you, then becoming a dog groomer should be your goal. Groomers often start out in pet stores, vets, or shelters where they work to hone their skills.
After you’ve mastered the craft, you might consider opening your own pet spa, or a mobile grooming business. Additionally, there are niches for specific dog breeds and for dog shows groomers. The potential is limitless, and there’s no formal education or degree required. Though, if you plan to open your own business, some entrepreneurship courses may be a good idea.
Working in a Pet Store or Breeding Puppies
We might be a little biased, but working for a pet store or becoming a breeder is our favorite of the jobs working with dogs on this list. Getting a job in a local pet store is a great way to learn about the intricacies of caring for puppies and the unique personality of different breeds. Sure, it’s hard to not bring home every puppy you meet, but if you fall head-over-heels in love with a specific breed, your newly acquired skills could be put to use as a breeder.
A good quality breeder, like the ones we source our puppies from at Broadway Puppies, will apply all the skills from this list. You’ll want to become an expert in your desired dog breed, learn about your local kennel registration fees and regulations, and possibly learn about some of the vet care for puppies and pregnant pooches. Of course, you can pursue this career path with any animal, we’re just partial to puppies.
Jobs with animals without a degree.
Any career path that brings joy to your life is the right choice. This was just a shirt list of jobs working with animals that you can get without a degree. It is by no means exhaustive. The military and police forces offer jobs working with dogs, zoos have wonderful programs, and aquariums are exciting places to work. Find your passion and pursue it. If you’re in the San Diego area and searching for a job learning about puppies, contact us to see what positions we have available. We’re always looking for passionate people who love puppies as much as we do.