Career Paths in Animal Care and Welfare

Career Paths in Animal Care and Welfare

While a career in animal care and welfare provides the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of animals, it also provides the chance to develop a range of transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, and animal handling. With a variety of roles available on a wide range of scales, there are numerous career paths for those looking to pursue a career in animal care and welfare.

Veterinary Science

One of the most well-known career paths in animal care and welfare is Veterinary Science. Veterinarians diagnose and treat illnesses in a variety of animals, including companion pets, livestock, and wildlife. As well as providing medical care, they are also involved in research and public health campaigns. To become a veterinarian requires a university degree in veterinary science, as well as registering with a regulatory body.

Animal Care and Welfare Technicians

Animal Care and Welfare Technicians are responsible for the day-to-day care and upkeep of animals. Their job may involve cleaning enclosures, providing food, administering medication, and carrying out general healthcare and veterinary examinations. This role often requires a college or university qualification such as a diploma or a degree in animal care. Skills and attributes such as empathy, attention to detail, and animal handling are also important.

Zoo Keepers

Zoo keepers have a wide range of duties related to the day-to-day running of a zoo. Their work involves designing, assessing, monitoring, and implementing animal husbandry plans; caring for animals and their habitats; and providing enrichment and training to the animals. To become a zoo keeper, a relevant qualification such as a diploma or degree in zoology, animal science, or similar will be required, in addition to on the job experience.

Animal Behaviorists

Animal behaviorists specialize in the study of animal behavior and often play an important role in animal welfare. They often use scientific methods to observe, analyze, and modify behavior in animals. This can help animals better adapt to their environment, reduce stress, and improve welfare. To become an animal behaviorist, a degree in animal behavior or psychology is generally required, along with additional training and experience in the field.

Conservation Scientists

Conservation Scientists work to protect wildlife and their habitats. They use scientific methods to research and monitor animal populations, analyze habitats, identify environmental changes, and help develop policies and measures to protect animals and reduce human impact on their environment. To become a conservation scientist, a relevant university degree and experience in a related field, such as ecology, is typically required.

Animal Rights and Welfare Advocates

Animal rights and welfare advocates work to improve the lives of animals through legal, political, and ethical means. They are often involved in campaigns to improve animal welfare, raising awareness of animal rights issues, lobbying for new legislation, and challenging existing laws. To become an animal rights or welfare advocate, a degree in law, ethics, or a related field is often required. Qualifications in animal care or welfare may also be beneficial.

Animal Acupuncturist

An increasingly popular career path in Animal Care and Welfare is that of an animal acupuncturist. Animal acupuncturists use traditional Chinese methods to diagnose and treat illnesses in animals. They may also provide advice for preventative care. To become an animal acupuncturist, a qualification in veterinary science, Chinese medicine, animal care or similar is usually required, as well as additional training in the discipline.


There are a wide range of career paths available in animal care and welfare, each of which require a different set of skills, qualifications and experiences. For those looking to pursue a career in this field, it is important to research the options available and find the one that best suits their individual needs and interests.

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