Juggling Cats

Animal Care Worker Job Outlook

Overall employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth coupled with high job turnover should result in very good job opportunities for candidates for most positions.

Animal care and service workers will continue to be needed as the variety and number of pet services increases. Employment in kennels, grooming shops, and pet stores is projected to increase to keep up with the growing demand for animal care. Demand for zookeepers, marine mammal trainers, and horse trainers is projected to grow slow. Many trainers work at zoos and amusement and recreation establishments, none of which is expected to add as many positions as other traditional pet care facilities. Furthermore, the cost of owning and riding horses is too high for many people, so employment of horse trainers is not expected to grow as fast as employment of those who train companion pets, such as dogs

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Job opportunities should be very good for most positions. Employment growth and high job turnover are expected to result in many openings for dog trainers, groomers, pet sitters, kennel attendants, and caretakers in shelters and rescue leagues.

As the number of pet services increase, more workers will be needed. In addition, entry requirements are low for most animal care occupations, so positions should continue to be available for workers looking to enter the field. However, candidates will face very strong competition for positions as marine mammal trainers, horse trainers, and zookeepers. The relatively few positions and the popularity of the occupations should result in far more applicants than available positions.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition

for State specific information, visit Job Outlook by State

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