Animal Caretaker

Watch over the animals at zoos and shelters.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $32,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Animal Caretakers do?

An Animal Caretaker is like a Nanny, but instead of watching a small child, you keep an eye on a different kind of creature. Animals of all kinds have Caretakers, so Animal Caretakers can work with anything from dogs to horses to tigers. No matter what animal you’re in charge of, though, your basic job responsibilities are the same: You bathe, feed, groom, and play with the animal, while keeping its cage clean and watching for a change in its health.

Kennels, zoos, circuses, veterinary clinics, and animal shelters are some of the places that employ Animal Caretakers. Your day-to-day responsibilities and the types of animals you’ll be in charge of vary depending on where you work. For example, playing with a dog at a shelter is completely different from taking care of a tiger at a zoo.

In places like clinics where the animals are smaller and don’t require specialized veterinary training, you can, with supervision, give medicines or test for different diseases. Circuses and zoos probably won’t let you help with the health of exotic animals. However, you do get to act as a Tour Guide by giving facts and information to visitors who come to see them. Anyway, you’re probably already an expert on these animals since you’re involved in most of their day-to-day activities.

Just like people, animals get bored too. So it’s important that you play with and exercise the animals in your care. Exercise keeps animals healthy and allows them to live long and happy lives. And a long and happy life for your animal is ultimately why you do this job.

Should I be an Animal Caretaker?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Animal Care Giver, Animal Care Taker, Cat and Dog Bather, Children's Zoo Caretaker, Menagerie Caretaker See More

    How to become an Animal Caretaker

    Animal Caretakers often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9udtda&chl=no+college+%2858%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2818%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,58,58
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