Top Animal Careers

 By Staff Author, The Balance Careers

From veterinarians to zookeepers to animal nutritionists, there are a wide variety of fulfilling careers where you can earn a really good living while caring for animals. Some require more training than others, and in some cases, you may need special certification or licensing, but chances are if you love animals, there's a career path out there for you.

Check out this list of animal-related careers and see if there's one that piques your interest.



Veterinarians provide health care to a variety of animal species. Vets can operate as small animal, large animal, equine, exotic, or mixed practice providers.

Board certified specialists can earn much higher salaries, but veterinarians can earn a six-figure salary within a few years of graduating from veterinary school.


Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Veterinary pharmaceutical sales reps market a variety of animal health products to veterinarians and veterinary clinics. There are both inside sales (office based) and outside sales (travel) career paths in this field.

The salary for pharmaceutical sales reps usually includes a combination of base salary, commission, company car, and benefits. Total compensation varies based on sales volume and years of experience.


Fish and Game Warden

Fish and game wardens are authorized to enforce rules and regulations related to wildlife in their patrol area. Wardens may arrest violators, seize weapons or game, assist with research, and investigate the damage caused by wildlife.


Animal Nutritionist

Animal nutritionists create and balance animal rations to ensure dietary requirements are met. Positions in this field can be found with a wide variety of employers such as zoos, colleges, research labs, farms, pharmaceutical companies, and feed development companies.


Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife biologists manage and study populations of animals in the wild. Duties may involve animal census studies, trapping and tagging animals, and developing habitat management plans. Wildlife biologists may work in education, research, or for the state or federal government.



Zoologists are biologists that study a variety of animal species; most upper-level positions require a Ph.D. degree. They may be involved in research, management, and education. Zoologists frequently work at zoos, aquariums, and in positions for the state or federal government.


Marine Biologist

Marine biologists study a wide variety of aquatic life, though many choose to specialize in working with a specific species or group of animals. Marine biologists may work in research, education, or private industry.


Livestock Feed Sales Representative

Livestock feed sales reps market feed products to dealers and livestock production farms. Most positions are field based.

The salary for a livestock feed sales rep often includes a combination of base salary, commission, company car, and bonuses. The median wage can vary widely based on sales volume.


Pet Product Sales Representative

Pet product sales reps (also known as manufacturers’ reps) market a variety of pet products such as food, treats, toys, accessories, and crates. There are both inside sales (office based) and outside sales (travel) career paths in this field.



Farriers (sometimes referred to as blacksmiths) provide comprehensive equine foot care services. Duties generally involve routine trimming, modifying and applying shoes, and evaluating potential causes of lameness.

A farrier’s salary depends on how many horses he can service per day.