Nonfarm Animal Caretakers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Animal Caretakers feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise care for pets and other nonfarm animals, such as dogs, cats, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

  • Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.
  • Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.
  • Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.
Read more about what does an Animal Caretaker really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$25890 per year

Average hourly wage
$12 per hour

Animal Caretakers with little to no experience tend to make between $18160 and $20400 while the more experienced ones can earn over $28780 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $17 $35,520
AK $15 $31,040
MA $15 $30,930
WA $14 $30,130
CA $14 $29,830

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Animal Caretaker is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Animal Caretakers are DC, AK, MA, WA and CA.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Animal Caretaker is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Animal Caretakers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by an Associate’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Dog/Pet/Animal Grooming
Read more about how to become an Animal Caretaker and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Animal Caretaker.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is very easy to get into this career. Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

67% of Animal Caretakers said they were satisfied with their job and 70% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Animal Caretakers

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Related career information

Animal Caretakers job description, Animal Caretakers salary, Animal Caretakers information, what is the job of an Animal Caretaker like, pros and cons about Animal Caretakers, colleges and universities for Animal Caretakers, is Animal Caretakers the right career for me, careers in Personal Care and Service

Similar careers

Animal Care Giver (ACG), Animal Care Service Worker, Animal Care Taker, Animal Care Technician, Animal Caregiver, Animal Caretaker, Animal Control Officer, Animal Daycare Provider, Animal Feeder, Animal Groomer

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