Career Attributes

  • $24,708
  • 241,500
  • 3.8
  • 24.2%
  • No education
  • Animal Sciences
More Attributes


Most animal caretakers learn on the job. Still, many employers prefer to hire people who have experience with animals. Zookeeper and marine mammal trainer positions require formal education. Most animal care and service worker positions do not require formal education, but many animal care facilities require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Although pet groomers typically learn by working under the guidance of an experienced groomer, they can also attend a licensed grooming school. The length of each program varies with the school and the number of advanced skills taught.

Most zoos require keepers to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, or a related field. Animal trainers usually need a high school diploma or the equivalent, although some positions may require a bachelor’s degree. For example, marine mammal trainers usually need a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, animal science, biology, or a related field.

Most animal caretakers learn through short-term on-the-job training. They begin by doing basic tasks and work up to positions that require more responsibility and experience. Some animal caretakers may receive training before they enter their position. Pet groomers often learn their trade by completing an informal apprenticeship, usually lasting 12 to 20 weeks, under the guidance of an experienced groomer.

All workers must be compassionate when dealing with animals and their owners. They should like animals and must treat them with kindness. They should understand pet owners’ needs so they can provide services that leave the owners satisfied. Some animal caretakers may need to deal with distraught pet owners; for example, caretakers working in animal shelters may need to reassure owners looking for a lost pet.

Many animal caretakers and all animal trainers need to be patient when teaching or dealing with animals that do not respond to commands. Animal trainers must have problem-solving skills when teaching an animal obedience and other behaviors. They must assess whether the animals are responding to the trainer’s teaching methods and identify which methods are most successful. Stamina is important for animal trainers because their work often involves kneeling, crawling, bending, and occasionally lifting heavy supplies, such as bags of food.

What are Animal Caretakers like?


Based on our pool of users, Animal Caretakers tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Animal Caretakers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 712 Sokanu users

Are Animal Caretakers happy?


Animal Caretakers rank among the happiest careers. Overall they rank in the 86th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Animal Caretaker Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Animal Caretakers

The most common degree held by Animal Caretakers is Biology. 20% of Animal Caretakers had a degree in Biology before becoming Animal Caretakers. That is over 5 times the average across all careers. Animal Sciences graduates are the second most common among Animal Caretakers, representing 12% of Animal Caretakers in the Sokanu user base, which is 30.8 times the average.

Animal Caretaker Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Animal Caretaker, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Animal Caretakers % of population Multiple
Biology 19.7% 3.6% 5.5×
Animal Sciences 11.8% 0.4% 30.8×
Psychology 7.9% 6.9% 1.1×
Zoology 6.2% 0.2% 32.0×
English Literature 4.5% 4.9% 0.9×
Fine Arts 3.9% 2.0% 2.0×
Environmental Science 3.9% 1.1% 3.7×
Communications 3.9% 3.4% 1.2×
Liberal Arts 3.4% 1.9% 1.8×
Anthropology And Archeology 3.4% 1.2% 2.7×
Social Work 2.8% 0.5% 5.9×
Accounting 2.2% 1.7% 1.3×
Business Management And Administration 2.2% 6.5% 0.3×
Sociology 2.2% 2.1% 1.1×
Journalism 1.7% 1.2% 1.5×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 1.7% 1.6% 1.1×
History 1.7% 2.2% 0.8×
Social Sciences 1.7% 0.5% 3.4×
Geography 1.7% 0.6% 2.8×
Culinary Arts 1.7% 0.5% 3.5×

Animal Caretaker Education Levels

34% of Animal Caretakers have a no education. 24% of Animal Caretakers have a high school diploma.

No education 34%
High school diploma 24%
Associate's degree 22%
Bachelor's degree 18%
Master's degree 3%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become an Animal Caretaker

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good animal caretaker? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Jobs in your area
    • Loading jobs...
    View all jobs →

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good animal caretaker? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
Take the free career test

Career Attributes

  • $24,708
  • 241,500
  • 3.8
  • 24.2%
  • No education
  • Animal Sciences
More Attributes