This past summer, the Career Center hosted a seminar on careers in animal science. The presenter of this seminar was Jennifer Godfrey from the LSU School of Veterinary Science. In case you missed it, here are some of the main takeaways:
What Type of Jobs are there?
Veterinarian: provide medical treatment to animals as large as an elephant or as small as a snake. Requires a four-year veterinary medical degree in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Getting into veterinary school is fiercely competitive – LSU’s Vet school is one of only 30 schools in the United States with this program. One must have a very strong math and science background and strive for the highest grades possible to be considered for admission. It is best to have at least have a 3.5 GPA. Once you finish vet school, you can expect to earn starting off at $80,000 a year. You can find out more information at the LSU vet school website.
Veterinarian Tech/ Assistant: help veterinarians provide medical and health care for animals. This is a great alternative for people who want to work in this field without dealing with the cost and amount of education that a Veterinarian would require. You would need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam to become licensed as a vet tech. Although technically only a high school education is required, most vet techs go through certificate or associate degree programs that prepare them for the licensing exam. BRCC offers an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology, based on the requirements of the American Veterinary Medical Association. You can find out more information here at the BRCC vet tech website.
Animal Groomer: help pets look their best by cleaning them and trimming fur. You must have at least a high school diploma. Most training takes place on the job, but some choose to study at a grooming school. The median salary is around $21,260 annually, while those who make the highest salary earn more than $34,000 a year.
Kennel Attendant, Pet Sitter, and Dog Walkers: care for pets in the absent of their owners. Usually requires a minimum of a high school diploma. You can learn additional skills while on the job. Those who work in kennels or shelters can learn more about the job by taking classes through the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association. Pet sitters can obtain additional education through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
If you are a person who loves animals and providing them care, there are many opportunities to make a living from it. Being a veterinarian isn’t the only way to work with animals. You should always research and see what you feel what would be best for you. As a start, it would be an excellent idea to volunteer at a shelter or even work at a pet store like Petsmart or Petco. The opportunities are out there waiting to be discovered and experienced.
Written by Alvin Coleman