Communications and Arts Careers

Relative Skills and Interests: Great communication skills, a love for working with animals and the people in their lives, patience, organizational skills, desire to liaison with companies and organizations within the community, (in some cases) artistic talent

Position: Volunteer Coordinator

Job Description: Most animal care and adoption centers rely on a large volunteer base to assist with tasks ranging from washing dishes and walking dogs to helping with office tasks and staffing community events.  Volunteer coordinators recruit and train volunteers, and schedule coverage of volunteer duties.

Opportunities: Most volunteer coordinators in this setting work within an animal care and adoption center (animal shelter), at a humane organization, or another animal welfare non-profit society.

Education and Training Needed: Volunteer coordinators may or may not have a secondary degree, though it is helpful to have experience working with animals in a shelter environment.  Additional experience or coursework in the communications field is helpful, as volunteer coordinators may have to manage a large number of people and spend a significant amount of time communicating though phone and email.


Position: Fundraising Coordinator

Job Description: For non-profit organizations, the fundraising coordinator has a huge responsibility to raise the funds necessary to continue the organization’s important work.  This includes planning and implementing fundraising events like walk-a-thons and auctions, as well as soliciting sponsorship and donations for these events.  In many cases, the fundraising coordinator also works with local media to advertise and facilitate community support for special events.

Opportunities: Humane organizations, rescue societies, animal care and adoption centers, other non-profit groups.

Education and Training Needed: Though a secondary degree may not be mandatory, having several years experience working in public relations is important in this position.  Courses or additional experience in grant writing, media relations, and event planning are all very helpful.


Position: Pet Loss Services Staff

Job Description: The staff members who offer pet loss services can have a variety or different jobs: maintaining the grounds at an animal cemetery, performing burials, participating in cremation services, communicating with members of the public who have lost their pet, facilitating grief counseling services, or offering a combination of these.

Education and Training Needed: The education and training needed for this type of job depends on the responsibilities of the position.  Often, having experience with property management and administrative training is important in positions focused on scheduling services.  A secondary degree in human psychology may be required for a position as a grief counselor.


Position: Animal Careers in the Arts

Job Description: Some artists use their preferred medium to raise awareness about important animal welfare issues in the form of photojournalism.  Others may specialize in commissioned work for pet owners, focusing more on the aesthetic of the final product.  This career field is very broad, and can also include careers in writing, such as creative writing, poetry, and journalism.

Opportunities: Opportunities are vast, and may include the media (magazines, online journals, newspapers) as well as non-profit animal protection organizations. Individuals most often work as independent contractors, hired by companies, organizations, or individuals for specific jobs.

Education and Training Needed: This depends on the specific job, but many professionals in the arts have a degree or have completed coursework in the visual arts, journalism, and/or communications.  It is also helpful to have a portfolio of work that shows experience from past hires or independent projects, as this is a very competitive field where the available hires outweigh the number of positions available.

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