Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.
Animal care and service workers are employed in a variety of settings, including kennels, zoos, stables, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and aquariums. Some of the work may be physically or emotionally demanding, and the rate of work-related injuries and illnesses is higher than the national average.
How to Become an Animal Care and Service Worker
Most animal care and service workers have a high school diploma and learn the occupation on the job. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have experience working with animals.
Employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth coupled with high job turnover should result in very good job opportunities for jobseekers.
This occupation supported 232,200 jobs in 2012 and 241,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 4.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 15.2% in 2022 to 267,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 239,200, compared with an observed value of 241,600, 1.0% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.1% in 2024 to 267,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 274,500 jobs for 2024, 2.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.