Animal care technicians work with a wide variety of nonprofits, museums, and other organizations, including dog kennels, pet shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers. This entry-level position is one where there is a lot of work that some may consider less desirable, though true animal lovers will thrive as animal technicians. There is a lot of hands-on work with an animal technician job and you will have many opportunities to learn through experience. Many in animal technician jobs advance to higher supervisor positions, go on to earn a four-year science degree, and/or attend veterinary technology schools.
Animal Care Technician Job Duties
Duties included in the job description of an animal technician vary widely and include but are not limited to:
- Provide animal care including daily cleaning and feeding of every animal and its enclosure
- Keeping records of care and animal behavior
- Maintain structures and machinery in animal habitats
- Supervise and train volunteers and manage their time accordingly
- Informal interactions with guests of the facility
Working conditions vary from working in and around animal habitats and enclosures for underwater creatures to habitats for animals that live in arctic climates and climates that are more temperate. Most work outdoors year round, although there may be some office work involved. Job hours will include weekends and sometimes nights. These is also a highly physically demanding job. In this position, you may have a job working with wildlife, pets, or both.
Animal Care Technician Salary
According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal car technicians average $20,000 per year. This is an entry-level position where the highest paid within the field make a maximum of $40,000 per year.
Education and Experience Requirements
Typically, these entry-level positions provide on the job animal technician training and do not require a completed degree in biological or environmental fields, however some college education is typically requried. This is an ideal type of job if you are pursuing your degrees in these fields and would like to work within the area while getting your education.
The ability to work outdoors and in various other animal habitat scenarios is one of the most desirable skills. Another desirable skill is a certain level of comfort working within large tanks, which house fish and other aquatic animals.
Where to Find Animal Care Technician Jobs
Animal technician jobs are found in both the private and public sector. Zoos, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, fish hatcheries, animal preserves, nature museums, and wildlife rehabilitation centers are common places to find these types of jobs in wildlife.