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Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Career

Career Description

Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise care for pets and other nonfarm animals, such as dogs, cats, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

What Job Titles Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Might Have

  • Animal Care Giver (ACG)
  • Aquarist
  • Dog Bather
  • Dog Groomer
  • Groomer
  • Kennel Attendant
  • Kennel Technician (Kennel Tech)
  • Pet Groomer
  • Pet Stylist
  • Zookeeper

What Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Do

  • Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.
  • Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.
  • Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.
  • Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.
  • Exercise animals to maintain their physical and mental health.
  • Collect and record animal information, such as weight, size, physical condition, treatments received, medications given, and food intake.
  • Respond to questions from patrons, and provide information about animals, such as behavior, habitat, breeding habits, or facility activities.
  • Answer telephones and schedule appointments.
  • Advise pet owners on how to care for their pets' health.
  • Perform animal grooming duties, such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.
  • Observe and caution children petting and feeding animals in designated areas to ensure the safety of humans and animals.
  • Clean and disinfect surgical equipment.
  • Find homes for stray or unwanted animals.
  • Discuss with clients their pets' grooming needs.
  • Transfer animals between enclosures to facilitate breeding, birthing, shipping, or rearrangement of exhibits.
  • Adjust controls to regulate specified temperature and humidity of animal quarters, nurseries, or exhibit areas.
  • Anesthetize and inoculate animals, according to instructions.
  • Install, maintain, and repair animal care facility equipment, such as infrared lights, feeding devices, and cages.
  • Train animals to perform certain tasks.
  • Order, unload, and store feed and supplies.

What Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

What Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Should Be Interested In

  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $23,760

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.