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Jobs working with animals

You can turn your love of animals into a career. There are many rewarding jobs that allow you to work with animals. The list is a lot longer than you might expect, including anything from field guide to veterinarian. At Bushwise, our students are by nature passionate about wildlife and animals. Conservation and care for animals goes hand in hand.


Most Bushwise graduates go on to work with and around animals in the wild. But there are many careers working with domestic animals as well. Either way, starting your career with a field guide training course is a great way to learn more about wildlife and explore your interests. It’s also an excellent way to launch your wildlife career.



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Do I need a degree to work with animals?

There are many ways to work with animals that don’t require a degree. Some may require training or certification, others may allow you to learn on the job. It’s important to note that while most of these jobs don’t require a degree, some variations around the world may expect additional training or education. Jobs that don’t require a degree may include:

- field guide/safari guide
- wildlife researcher
- naturalist
- park ranger
- game ranger
- wildlife tour guide
- animal shelter staff
- animal caretaker
- animal rescue technician
- pet sitter
- conservationist
- animal care officer

Some jobs working with animals will require a degree – even an advanced degree. For example, if your dream is to become a wildlife veterinarian or biologist, you will need to have a related degree. These are examples of professions requiring specific technical skills and scientific knowledge. Careers with animals that require a degree include:

- animal behaviour/training specialist
- research scientist
- biologist
- veterinarian
- habitat specialist
- veterinary nurses and technicians
- zookeeper
- zoologist
- wildlife rehabilitator
Another great way to gain experience and build your career with animals is to start by volunteering. While you might be required to have a degree to work in some of these positions, you can often assist or support the qualified professionals by volunteering your time. There may also be support roles in these offices, which will allow you to work around animals and close to animal care professionals.

Is working with animals dangerous?

Caution and experience is essential when working with animals, no matter whether they’re wild or domesticated. As with any other job development, you’ll typically start by apprenticing or working with more experienced staff. These individuals will train you on how to identify animal behaviour, what warning signs look like, and how to avoid unnecessary confrontations with animals. Respecting an animal’s personal space is extremely important, whether the animal is trained or totally wild.

At Bushwise, we always advocate limited interaction with animals and conflict avoidance. Animals must be respected first and foremost. This is all part of becoming an ethical field guide, and is ingrained into every step of our training courses.

How can Bushwise help me start a career working with animals?

At Bushwise, our favourite way to connect with animals is by sharing our knowledge of the natural world. As a field guide, you’re committed to constantly learning about animals, their environments, how different species interact, and how it all fits together in a functioning ecosystem. We believe that a field guide (or safari guide) career is one of the best jobs that involves working around animals. 

Being a field guide means taking guests on a guided experience, in a national park or protected area, and sharing your knowledge with them while observing animals in their natural habitats. To become a qualified field guide, you need to pass some essential exams (both written and practical) and become certified in your geographical area of guiding. 

Bushwise is a world-class training provider of field guides. One of the best things about becoming a field guide is that you don’t need any prior experience or training to join a field guide course. You can learn all about the application process here, or by contacting our friendly team. Once you’ve joined a Bushwise course, it’s a matter of training and education to get your qualifications. 

Join us for a 60-day Safari Guide course or our 6-months or  1- year Professional Field Guide course. Start your career journey working with and around animals, with Bushwise!

What jobs can you get that involve animals?

When you think of working with animals as a career option, what kinds of jobs come to mind? You might initially think of zoos, veterinary clinics, farms or animal shelters. These are certainly some of the more common and popular jobs involving animals, but the list is much larger than this! Depending on your education, interests, skills and willingness to learn, there are tons of career paths for you to work with animals. The first thing is to decide the kind of work you would like to do. Are you interested in conservation, wildlife care, animal rehabilitation, biology, agriculture, animal husbandry or something else? Identifying your specific interests will go a long way in helping you narrow down the wide range of jobs available to work with animals.

What is the best job for someone who loves animals?

It depends on what you’re interested in doing! Whether you want to be inside or outside, around wild or domestic animals, doing rehabilitation or training, or anything in between. There are endless possibilities for careers working with animals. It all depends on your interests, experience, location and passion.

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