Companion Animal Biology and Humane Education

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Animal Caretaker

o   Brief Description:  An animal caretaker cares for animals within the animal shelter.  This may be known by several different names (animal caretaker, animal care technician, kennel technician, etc.).  There are also management level positions available to oversee other animal caretakers.  The main purpose of this job is to sanitize living areas for the animals in the care of the shelter and to provide food, water, socialization, and sometimes medical care to these animals. 

o   Approximate Annual Salary:  Salary range will vary depending on the size of the shelter along with its location in the country.  Shelters on the east and west coasts tend to pay higher salaries, along with shelters in metropolitan areas.  Management level positions will pay higher than entry level animal caretaker salaries which may be minimum wage.  An animal care technician may have an average salary of $22,000 per year, while an animal care manager may be paid an average of $33,000 per year.

o   Education Requirements:  Entry level jobs likely only require a high school diploma, but management level positions may require a Bachelor’s degree. 

o   Course Suggestions: ANSC 307 (Companion Animal Management) and ANSC 407 (Animal Shelter Management)

o   Internship/Volunteer Opportunities:  Volunteer and internship opportunities exist at many animal shelters around the country.  Find multiple volunteer and/or internship opportunities if possible as shelters are all managed in different ways.  There is also an animal care internship available at the Champaign County Humane Society each semester.

o   Additional Resources:

§  http://humanesocietyuniversity.org/careers/about/jobs/care_worker.aspx