$21k $21k
204k 204k
10.6% 10.6%
4.0/5 4.0/5
H.S. High School

Animal Caretaker Job Outlook

There are currently an estimated 204,800 Animal Caretakers in the United States. The Animal Caretaker job market is expected to grow by 10.6% between 2014 and 2024.

Animal Caretaker Employability Rating

B- Sokanu rates Animal Caretakers with a B- employability rating, meaning this career should provide good employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 63,800 Animal Caretakers. That number is based on 21,600 additional Animal Caretakers, and the retirement of 42,200 existing Animal Caretakers.

Demand for Animal Caretakers

Because many workers leave this occupation each year, job opportunities are expected to be significant for most positions. Openings are predicted to be available across most sectors of the industry, including boarding kennels, animal shelters, stables, grooming shops, pet stores, animal hospitals, veterinary offices, humane societies, dog and horse racetrack operators, zoos, and theme parks. In short, there is no lack of employment options for aspiring animal caretakers. As the companion pet population grows and pet owners spend more money on caring for their pets, demand for many related services, such as pet-sitting and mobile grooming, is expected to increase, as are employment prospects in the field. Animal shelters may produce additional jobs as communities commit increased funds to protect animals and prevent their abuse.

Many caretakers require little or no training and have flexible work schedules. This makes the job particularly suitable for people seeking a first job or for temporary or part-time work. Despite the minimal formal requirements, animal caretaker jobs can be physically and emotionally straining, calling upon candidates who genuinely love animals, and have some hands-on animal experience. Aspiring animal caretakers who wish to enhance their employability can do so through apprenticeship programs, or by enrolling in a pet grooming or animal care training program. These programs, which can take up to a year to complete, generally include courses in canine and feline nutrition, small animal welfare, and clinical pet grooming techniques.

A National Certified Master Groomer certification is considered another valuable credential for pet caretakers. To earn this, candidates must pass written and practical examinations that test pet grooming skills. Caretakers wishing to work with mammals or as specialists at zoos will be in more demand if they have a college degree in animal behaviour, anatomy, or another related discipline. Overall, there should be plenty of jobs available for anyone interested in animal care, regardless of whether or not they choose to pursue formal education in the field.

Supply of Animal Caretakers

The Animal Caretaker industry is not particularly concentrated in any state.

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

Should I be an Animal Caretaker?

Think you might be interested in becoming an Animal Caretaker? Here are your next steps.

  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. Get the Education

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
    • Loading jobs...
    View all jobs →