Number of People Employed
Numbers of people in each profession are as varied as the professions themselves. For instance, there are more than 86,000 veterinarians actively practicing in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. On the other end of the spectrum there are just thirty-five safety representatives who work for American Humane on movie sets and television studios. Whether it's taking care of a family dog or cat or making sure that the lion in a blockbuster movie is kept free from harm, the prospects for finding work are excellent.
Should you be discouraged from applying for a job with just thirty-five slots — especially when twenty-five are part time? “Definitely not,” says Jone Bouman, head of communications for American Humane's Film & Television Unit. “Working on a movie set with Johnny Depp in
Having a specialty gives you a leg up in getting your foot in the door. While 75 percent of all veterinarians in the United States are in private practice, many veterinarians specialize in a wide range of fields. That means extra schooling, and more opportunities. Veterinarians can work in nonprofit organizations, in government, at universities, on farms, and even in space.
Who was the first veterinarian to participate in an outer space mission?
It was Dr. Martin Fettman, who in 1993 was part of the space shuttle Columbia. He studied the effects of zero gravity on animals and people. The space crew's research proved beneficial to the health and safety of astronauts on later space missions.
Another growth field within veterinary medicine is veterinary technologists. They are like a nurse to a medical doctor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60,000 veterinary technologists and technicians work in the United States. Of that number, most work in private practice alongside a veterinarian. Others work at kennels, animal shelters, stables, grooming salons, and zoos, as well as at local, state, and federal agencies.
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians work in all sorts of places — even on farms, where they work closely with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers, who themselves also work with animals. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers held nearly 1.3 million jobs in the past two years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that number, 83 percent were self-employed. Most of these workers oversee crop production activities and manage livestock and dairy production. A large majority of farmers and ranchers work part-time running small farms.
During the same time period, a large number of animal care workers held jobs at animal shelters and humane associations, pet supply stores, stables and boarding kennels, and research labs. Many worked as animal trainers. Those figures total about 172,000 animal caretakers nationally. About 27 percent are self-employed.
Other jobs with fewer people still draw a great amount of interest. The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, dedicated to the scientific study of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, has 2,400 members. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has more than 200 institutions and thousands of individual members.
According to data from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one out of every three nonfarm animal caretakers is self-employed. This includes animal trainers, where three out of every five are self-employed.
Job numbers vary depending on the position, and those job figures change from year to year. All expect upward growth.