Best Careers with animals

Dolphin Tale AP Remember when you were a kid, and somebody asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? You probably said an astronaut, or the president, or something similarly ambitious and highly selective. But what if, now that you're an adult, someone asked you the same question? Would you say the same thing, or would you simply point to the dog sitting quietly at your feet and say, "I want to work with him."

Animal jobs-vets, trainers, technicians-may have a high cute factor, but the reality is that they're as demanding as any job behind a desk. Nevertheless, they're incredibly rewarding for the true animal lover-the kind that doesn't mind staring down a crazed chihuahua every now and then. Let's take a look at some of the finest, fluffiest animal jobs you can get.

Being a behavior trainer is one of those seemingly cuddly jobs that goes to show that simply loving animals isn't enough. It requires long and atypical hours, since people usually have time for pet issues on nights or weekends, and a session spent dealing with frayed human-pet dynamics can verge on group therapy. Still, it's one of the most rewarding jobs in the world-including the ones that don't involve border collies named Flossy.

Whether you're a dog lover or fish fan, the pet industry, which grosses more than $45 billion annually, is rife with opportunity for creative job hunters. It's a business that welcomes innovation-groomers who set up in your driveway are the latest craze-and the earning opportunities are almost infinite. All you need is a love of animals and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit. Retail experience doesn't hurt, either.

Orlando's Peabody Hotel began its tradition of having ducks march through the lobby in 1932. Today they're still going strong with the help of the hotel's in-house duck master, who trains them to walk the red carpet in style. What, you thought they just did that on their own? The duck master is a showman who knows how to hook an audience, and develops a tight bond with his animals. "The ducks really love their master, " says managing director Alan Villaverde. "You feed and care for them. They look at you as a parent." The hotel occasionally hires new duck masters, so get quackin'!

If you live in New York City, hiring a dog-walker is risky business. What if they short you on time, or fob your pooch off on one of their friends? Enter the dog detective, who checks up on shady activity via surveillance camera (or simply trailing the walker under suspicion). So far, it's an industry of one-New Yorker Brock Schwartz serves as the city's sole pooch P.I.-but it serves as an intriguing sidebar of animal issues, a fast-growing legal specialty concerning pet custody and estate planning.

It's Interesting

  • Grover Simcox (1867–1966) was well-known illustrator, naturalist and polymath in Philadelphia, PA.
    Born in Allentown, PA, Simcox moved to Philadelphia in 1901. Previously, he had worked in a variety of unremarkable careers in various fields. In Philadelphia, he studied the sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. While his coursework was...

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