Volunteer-- Locate an animal shelter, wildlife rehabilitation center, veterinary practice, or other animal care and welfare organization that can benefit from your assistance. Most shelters receive little to no public funding and depend on volunteer support to maintain their facilities. Plus, the best way to learn is through experience! Most organizations have minimum age requirements for their volunteers; to volunteer at the MSPCA you must be sixteen years old. Click here for more information on volunteering at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.
Educate yourself-- Learn as much as you can about important animal welfare issues and animal care. There are a lot of people with animal related careers who don't necessarily treat animals well or make the world a better place for them. The more you learn about animals and their special needs, the more you can guarantee that you make positive change for them when you're in your chosen career.
Visit places where animal professionals work-- Check out different shelters/adoption centers, local businesses, veterinary practices, farms, and educational facilities. Ask the people working there about their jobs: their responsibilities, their educational experience, their most and least favorite parts of the job. A great way to learn about careers with animals is to talk to the people who are in those positions.
Check out our interviews with animal professionals-- Click here to read "12 Questions for...", our monthly interview with an animal professional. We also recommend using some of these questions to conduct your own interview with animal professionals in a career you're interested in pursuing.
Careers for Animal Lovers and Other Zoological Types by Louise Miller
Careers with Animals by Willow Ann Sirch
So, You Love Animals by Zoe Weil
Working With Wildlife: A Guide to Careers in the Animal World by Thane Maynard and Jane Goodall
To learn more about careers working with animals, visit the "Humane Careers Toolbox" here.
To visit the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) "Humane Teen Careers Page" page, click here.
To visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) "Animal Careers" page, click here.
To learn more about the current trends of animal-related careers, including salary, growth versus decline, and other factors, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics here.