Career Profile: Animal Control Worker
It’s a job that’s not for the faint of heart. When the wild things come into contact with regular city and suburban life, you might need a little help to get that little critter out of the house or workplace. But being an animal control worker is not just about being a creature wrangler, they handle many jobs from unruly household pets out of control to wildlife, small and large, who stray too close to civilization. Very often, they also help to recuperate abused animals and help them to recover from a pained life, including impounding animals, interviewing others who may have witnessed any wrongdoing, etc. To start off in this job, you need a high school diploma, but in certain jurisdictions, you will also need on-the-job training and certification that says you are fit to handle with potentially dangerous animals. As an animal control worker, you will have to respond to calls made throughout the city and put yourself in potentially dangerous situations to maintain the peace.
What are the perks of the job?
Some of the perks of the jobs include a median annual wage of roughly $36,000, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics and in Canada, the most commonly reported wages are $23.82 per hour. A few of the benefits that come with being an animal control worker is the fact that you do not need a college degree for this position (freeing you of student debt as soon as you start your job), the prospects are looking good with a growth of about 15% between 2012 and 2022, you work directly with animals and the humane treatment of our furry friends, and a largely independent working lifestyle where a boss isn’t watching you 24/7.
What are some of the setbacks?
Unfortunately, every job has a few setbacks, and some of the issues associated with being an animal control worker include having to euthanize an animal which can take its toll on a person emotionally. Also, handling animals (especially rabid animals) can be very dangerous and as animal control, you may come into contact with a few unsavory individuals who abuse animals and have a hostile attitude towards you. The other potential issue is that you will be expected to be on call for evenings, weekends, and possibly even holidays
How can I grow with this career?
There isn’t too much room for promotion in the animal control worker line of work aside from either working in social advocacy groups or excelling in different levels of government. For example, an animal control worker who is employed at a state level would earn a higher income than a worker who is employed by their local government. To enter into the job, you must be trained for the profession and learn what to expect when dealing with aggressive animals.
That’s all great, but could I be hired for other careers?
A thorough knowledge of a government job could prime an animal control worker for other forms of work within the government, provided they have the proper training. With a boots-on-the-ground skillset, the animal control worker profession could possibly help an employee find work in another hands-on field like construction and other trades jobs after the licenses are earned.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: “33-9011 Animal Control Workers”
Indeed: “Animal Control Officer Salaries in Canada”
Learning Path: “Pros and Cons of a Career as an Animal Control Officer”
Study.com: “Animal Control Worker: Job Description, Duties and Outlook”