The most common job that comes to mind when thinking of working with animals is that of a veterinarian. A fair amount of schooling and a passion for animal welfare are required for this job, though there are other animal-related jobs that require less formal education. To work as an animal groomer, for example, on-the-job training may be sufficient, and only a high school diploma will be required. Other jobs, such as zookeepers and conservationists, will necessitate a higher level of education.
A veterinarian is a professional who diagnoses and treats injuries and illnesses in a wide range of animals. A veterinarian will spend much of his or her day working with animals, but he or she will also need to collaborate with other members of the team as well as pet owners. If the animal doctor works in a clinic, he or she is more likely to work with domesticated animals like cats, dogs, birds, and even reptiles, rather than wild animals. Some veterinarians work for zoos or other conservation organizations, in which case they may be in charge of larger animals in captivity. Working with animals in such a setting can be dangerous, so the veterinarian will require additional training.
Marine biologists study aquatic animals, which necessitates formal education in the form of a bachelor’s degree or higher to work in this field. Marine biologists may work with animals directly or conduct research without coming into direct contact with them. Other biologists may study land animals rather than aquatic life and perform similar tasks on dry land rather than in the water.
One of the most challenging aspects of working with animals is avoiding direct contact with them in the first place. Park rangers and attendants are frequently called upon to educate visitors about proper animal treatment and to explain how animals live and why they should be left alone in their natural habitats. Some park rangers are also in charge of repairing or preserving habitats, ensuring the safety and well-being of a specific animal or group of animals. Conservationists often do the same things, though they may be more involved in forming laws that protect wildlife and habitats.