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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone suggest some jobs that deal with working with or around animals? I am going to look into Vet Tech and into the Zoo careers but I don't really know what other options are out there besides those. If you have any good links, advice or experience please share.

I am currently majoring in Business Administration but I really don’t think this is the right path for me. I enjoy learning business and it comes easy to me but I am not so sure that is what I want to do the rest of my life. I really enjoy working with and being around animals.

Do you think I should stick with the business degree and use that to get an animal related job?


Ugh... Decisions, Decisions
 

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You will earn more money in business than with animals!

All I can think that might have some connection is to work at admin in a large animal industry such as a large ranch/stables/vets.
 

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I have marched around the zoo field. I would say if you are serious about zoo animals find a place to volunteer. This place should be AZA certified. The AZA (American Zoo Association) has a website and job posting. They usually hire from people who have awesome references from people they know or people who have been volunteering at the zoo for at least 1-2 years. A degree means less than who you know in the zoo world.

In general, yes you will earn more money in business than with animals. Unless you decide to work with research animals in a care/tech setting. The species will dictate how much you make there along with the type of institution.

I would volunteer at a veterinary practice before you decide to pursue a new degree. I have seen a number of people who have not worked in the field get burned out or not finish school because they did not understand the job.

If you want to work with zoo animals keep the administration job and volunteer to get your animal fill. If you want to work with domestic species volunteer/shadow/work part time at a business before you look at going back to school.
 

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I'd say finish up your business degree. The practice administrator at the doctors office I work in makes a 6 figure salary. I bet it would be mighty hard to get a job as a zoo keeper. Really, who doesn't want to get up every morning and "play" with the animal? I certainly wouldn't mind a job doing that. I think that have a good job that will allow you to live comfortably and have animals is the best solution. Personally I'm going for nursing. I'll start at $70-80000 a year. Enough that I will finally be able to afford a horse without stressing over making my car payment or credit card bills. If I choose to stick with the path in on (horseback riding instructor, barn managing, etc) I would have a hell of a time just making my bills. There would be little room for extra. Then when I get done with my 8-10 hour day 6 days a week and I going to really want to spend another 1-2 hours riding my personal horse? No. On my one day off when I don't have to be at a barn? No. I'm going to be thinking about warmth, dinner and relaxation so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
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I am a Vet Tech major and I absolutely LOVE IT. If you can find a good program it is really worth doing trust me! I know many people who transferred into the program and were very happy that they did! you can be a vet tech for small large or even exotic animals!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I forgot to add that I have completed my Associates in Business Administration degree (2 year degree). I was just planning on going 2 more years to get a Bachelor Degree.

To be honest telling people what to do is not my strongest skill, it is something I am working on.
 

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I'd also agree that you would make a lot more money in business.. But if you don't think it's right for you then go for a career like you were describing. Money isn't everything :). I know it isn't for me ,I make below minimum wage as a stablehand/ future horse trainer, and I LOVE it. I get to be around horses all day. It's wonderful working with animals all day :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have marched around the zoo field. I would say if you are serious about zoo animals find a place to volunteer. This place should be AZA certified. The AZA (American Zoo Association) has a website and job posting. They usually hire from people who have awesome references from people they know or people who have been volunteering at the zoo for at least 1-2 years. A degree means less than who you know in the zoo world.

In general, yes you will earn more money in business than with animals. Unless you decide to work with research animals in a care/tech setting. The species will dictate how much you make there along with the type of institution.

I would volunteer at a veterinary practice before you decide to pursue a new degree. I have seen a number of people who have not worked in the field get burned out or not finish school because they did not understand the job.

If you want to work with zoo animals keep the administration job and volunteer to get your animal fill. If you want to work with domestic species volunteer/shadow/work part time at a business before you look at going back to school.
Thanks for the advice! It is something I need to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have marched around the zoo field. I would say if you are serious about zoo animals find a place to volunteer. This place should be AZA certified. The AZA (American Zoo Association) has a website and job posting. They usually hire from people who have awesome references from people they know or people who have been volunteering at the zoo for at least 1-2 years. A degree means less than who you know in the zoo world.

In general, yes you will earn more money in business than with animals. Unless you decide to work with research animals in a care/tech setting. The species will dictate how much you make there along with the type of institution.

I would volunteer at a veterinary practice before you decide to pursue a new degree. I have seen a number of people who have not worked in the field get burned out or not finish school because they did not understand the job.

If you want to work with zoo animals keep the administration job and volunteer to get your animal fill. If you want to work with domestic species volunteer/shadow/work part time at a business before you look at going back to school.
Thanks for the advice! It is something I need to think about. I decided to take one semester off to kind of explore different options (volunteer, etc...) before I do too much more schooling. I have my 2 year degree in business completed and have a part time job working in retail.
 

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I'd say finish up your business degree. The practice administrator at the doctors office I work in makes a 6 figure salary. I bet it would be mighty hard to get a job as a zoo keeper. Really, who doesn't want to get up every morning and "play" with the animal? I certainly wouldn't mind a job doing that. I think that have a good job that will allow you to live comfortably and have animals is the best solution. Personally I'm going for nursing. I'll start at $70-80000 a year. Enough that I will finally be able to afford a horse without stressing over making my car payment or credit card bills. If I choose to stick with the path in on (horseback riding instructor, barn managing, etc) I would have a hell of a time just making my bills. There would be little room for extra. Then when I get done with my 8-10 hour day 6 days a week and I going to really want to spend another 1-2 hours riding my personal horse? No. On my one day off when I don't have to be at a barn? No. I'm going to be thinking about warmth, dinner and relaxation so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
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The starting salary over here is between $40-50k. The joys of living in a state with low income and ridiculously high cost of living. :sad:
 

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Is that just a base rate though? I assume you guys in the US get penalty rates for shift work too.
As a cop over here you get about 20% on top of your base wage for shift work.
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Also, don't go in expecting to earn zillions straight off the bat. You need to work your way up and yes that generally does mean a low starting wage.
If you're looking at careers with animals, you'll be surviving off a much lower wage than 40-50k for a long time.
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