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Jobs that deal with helping Animals

So I just finished my sophmore year of Highschool and I'm trying to figure out what I'm passionate about. Something that I've thought about is rescuing/healing animals. I don't know many jobs that's deal with that cause I'm pretty clueless when it comes to all that right now but I wanted to ask what are some positives and negatives of becoming a vet and what are other jobs that deal with helping animals that pay well? job veterinarian animals veterinary veterinary-medicine higschool help vet

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Amy’s Answer

Hi Samira,
It's great to explore your dreams early on, and you have already received a lot of good advice! I just want to add a complementary option: take some related classes at your local Community College while still in high school. In my state (Washington) this is called "Running Start", but every US state has a version of this program. High school students can take college classes for free!

Some community colleges offer Veterinary Assistant programs - usually one, sometimes 2 years. You might be able to complete one of these programs during high school and get an internship at a vet clinic in the summer. That would be great hands on experience, including direct insight into several of the jobs in the field. Depending on where you live, you might even get to experience large (farm), exotic or zoo animal vet work. You could also volunteer at a shelter or wildlife rehab center.

Another college-in-high-school option would be to focus on core Science classes like Biology and Chemistry, as well as Math. Any 4-year college program in the animal field will have a core sequence, and you might be able to complete some of that before you even get to college! If you'd rather stay close to home, you can also complete a 2-year Associates Transfer degree at your local community college then TRANSFER to a 4-year college as a Junior. That's a great way to save money.

Good luck to you!

Oh wow, I actually never knew any of this thank you. Highly Appreciate it !! Samira N.

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Megan’s Answer

Have you ever considered Marine Biology? The pay rate average from $63K to $201K. You would have an opportunity to work with a large range of aquatic animals. Some typical jobs held by Marine Biologists are Marine Mammal Trainer, Fish or Game Warden, Aquarist, Wildlife Veterinarian, Offshore Observer. Typically, University Research Laboratories, Private Companies, Government Research Laboratories such as NOAA, and Non-Profit Environmental Advocacy Organizations hire for these various roles. I would highly recommend a position with the Federal Government as they tend to pay the best, offer the best benefits, and offer the best retirement capability.

I actually haven't but now that you've told me all this I'll definitely be considering it, thank you! Samira N.

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Neha’s Answer

Based on your love for animals, there are several roles/jobs you can consider -
- Veterinarian
- Zoologist
- Marine Biologist
- Conservation officer/biologist
- Wildlife biologist
- Park Rangers

Specifically for helping animals, you can consider -
- Marine Rescue Officer
- Wildlife Rehabilitator
- Animal Shelter Technician
- Animal Shelter Managers

Thank you !!! I appreciate it Samira N.

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Suzanne’s Answer

Samira, it's great that you're starting to think about what you're passionate about. (And, of course, other interests may show up for you down the road as you get a chance to explore more!).

For now, if you're thinking you'd like to work with animals there are a few different pathways you might like to explore. The one most people think of first is veterinary medicine (becoming an animal doctor). Veterinary medicine is four years following college and trains you to care for both typical small animal pets as well as large domestic animals (cows, horses, sheep, pigs, etc.). There is less training on exotic animals but it is possible to do that too and then care for animals in zoos, for instance. Some vets do additional years of training after vet school to specialize further.

If that much schooling is not what you're looking for, there are also veterinary nurses (also called "vet techs") who assist the veterinarians in their practices.

Another possibility if you are more interested in helping with injured wild animals is to become certified in wildlife rehabilitation. These people generally take training courses in wildlife rehab centers and community colleges and then need to pass a certifying exam. They are then licensed to care for injured or orphaned rescued wild animals.

Suzanne recommends the following next steps:

Here's some info for high school students from Cornell University's vet school:
Here's info on vet nursing/vet techs:
Here's info on wildlife rehab:
Once you have had your covid vaccination, see if you can spend some time in a vet clinic. Be sure this is what you are looking for. If not, don't be discouraged...there are lots of interesting careers out there.

THANK YOU SO MUCH !!! I really really needed this answer and you opened my eyes to the possible jobs i could really have in animal care. I'll definitely be checking out the links and everything, thank you again Samira N.

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Gonzalo’s Answer

Hi Samira - Here is an excellent resource that lists out 20+ amazing career opportunities that involve animals, and also pay well:

Thank you so much! I Appreciate it Samira N.

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Skip’s Answer

My sister was a Vet and she always hired high school students to work in the clinics, so you should try to get a Job and let the Vets and Vet Tech's mentor you on your passion... Many Vets are hired by these same clinics they worked at from high school and college summer breaks. Granter - you may be cleaning kennels at 1st, but it's a start. A&M in Texas has a Great program, too...

Thank you, ill definitely check that out! Samira N.