Animal Caretakers


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+22.9% (much faster than the average)

Most Common Level of Education

High school diploma or equivalent


What Animal Caretakers Do

Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise provide care to promote and maintain the well-being of pets and other animals that are not raised for consumption, such as dogs, cats, race horses, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

Other Job Titles Animal Caretakers May Have

Animal Care Giver (ACG), Aquarist, Dog Bather, Dog Groomer, Groomer, Kennel Attendant, Kennel Technician (Kennel Tech), Pet Groomer, Pet Stylist, Zookeeper

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Animal Caregiver & Social Media Contributor ,

San Diego Humane Society

As an animal caregiver, my daily tasks including cleaning the kennels and the animals as needed. Taking the dogs on walks and socializing them. Checking for any medical or behavioral issues. I also assist in making sure that the animals are fostered and adopted to good homes. As a social media contributor, I'm in charge of creating engaging and insightful content on Instagram that highlights the inner-workings of the animal shelter and highlighting pets so they can be adopted.

Curator of Animal Behavior & Welfare ,

Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden

Basically, my job is to watch animals and let them tell me what they need. The best parts of my day are when I feel like I am making a difference and making sure that the animals have a quality life here. Whether it is helping a keeper make a breakthrough or just watching animals doing what they do. My tasks can vary from observing training sessions, observing the animals behavior in their habitats, teaching classes for keepers, meeting with leadership to pursue conservation projects, and more.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.
  • Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.
  • Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.
  • Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.