Most people think of jobs in the field of veterinary technician when they consider pursuing a degree in animal health. Working as a vet tech is a rewarding career choice, but experienced animal health recruiters will tell you there are more options available than working in a traditional veterinary office. If you’re thinking about turning your love of animals into a career, it’s helpful to know some of the paths you can pursue with an animal science degree.
Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Both outside sales (traveling) and inside sales (office-based) positions are available in the vet pharmaceutical field. Positions pay well and include commissions, performance bonuses, and paid travel expenses. A job in this highly competitive job market is a good fit for people who want to help animals but don’t want to work with them directly.
If you’re the type of person who thrives on variety in their workday, working as a zoo vet tech may be the perfect job. Veterinary technicians assist the veterinarian by taking samples, preparing animals for surgery, giving fluids and injections, and running laboratory tests. Vet techs get to work with an interesting variety of animals every day. The specialized job experience they gain makes them highly desirable candidates for animal health recruiters.
Jobs for animal-health graduates are available at local, state, and federal government levels. Recruiters need to fill positions in the following departments:
- Environmental protection
- Food and drug safety
- Public information
- Regulatory affairs
Responsibilities could include inspecting livestock operations, researching animal nutrition, disease control, or educating students.
Animal Massage Therapist
The therapeutic benefits of massage are just as helpful for animals as they are for people. Animal massage therapists use their knowledge of physiology and anatomy to assist injured animals in their recovery. Some specialize in specific animal species such as equine or canine massage.
Farming and Agriculture
Producers of livestock (cattle, poultry, and pigs) need animal health graduates to handle many aspects of their operation. Some of the farming and agriculture opportunities include:
- Quality control
- Customer service
- Food distribution
To get a head start on their careers, students should consider applying to summer internships in the field of agribusiness. Classes that help develop customer service and communication skills will also give them an advantage when it’s time to find a job.
Animal behaviorists study the way animals interact with other animals, with humans, and within the environment. Behaviorists conduct scientific research, work in the academic world, and train animals to modify their behavior.
A degree in animal health may qualify you to work as an animal nutritionist. Companies that hire animal nutritionists include:
- Zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
- Livestock feed companies
- Pet food companies
- Federal government offices
- Corporate research
- Development facilities
- Veterinary pharmaceutical companies
Animal nutritionists might specialize in specific animal groups such as exotic wildlife, livestock, or companion animals. They assess the nutritional requirements and other factors and use their findings to adjust the animal’s diet. As an animal nutritionist, you will work with other animal professionals such as zookeepers, broodmare managers, and veterinarians.
Pet Insurance Agent
Many people probably don’t realize pet insurance even exists, but it does/ Pet insurance representatives sell insurance policies to pet owners. Insurance coverage options include surgical and preventative care and end-of-life costs. Highly prized breeding animals might also be insured against theft or loss.
Insurance sales is typically an inside sales position, calling potential customers on the phone or communicating electronically. Agents must be licensed to sell casualty and property insurance in their state to qualify as pet insurance agents.
In addition to a degree in animal sciences, wildlife rehabilitators must also obtain a license from the state or federal government. Rehabilitators provide care for abandoned, orphaned, or injured animals with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.
Emergency Veterinary Technician
Working as a critical care vet tech is ideal for someone who enjoys working hands-on with animals and performs well in high-stress situations. Emergency techs assist veterinarians with emergency surgeries and treatments. They need to respond quickly and remain calm in life-threatening situations. With enough hours of experience, emergency technicians may be eligible to achieve specialty certification. Critical care vet techs with specialty certification are highly sought after in zoos, wildlife rescue organizations, and large veterinary clinics.
The Role of Animal Health Recruiters
There are many career options available to individuals who care for animals and want to make their lives better. If you are thinking of a career in the animal health field but are uncertain which path to take, speak with an animal health recruiter. The recruiters at Boaz Partners can offer advice on the fastest-growing jobs in the animal health field. Speaking with an expert may open up career possibilities that you never even dreamed were available. There are few recruiters that specialize in animal health. Our team includes people from the industry that are educated in animal sciences, helping us navigate the animal health industry through hands on knowledge and experience.