When it comes to animals and charity, most people think of turtle conservation, gap-year students and volunteer work. In truth, there’s much more out there than that, and animal-lovers will be pleased to know that charity jobs can actually be quite lucrative.
Here are five great jobs that allow you to work for, or with, animals:
1. Animal caretaker
More often than not, charities will enlist volunteers to groom, feed and exercise the animals in their care. However, some places do offer full- and part-time positions to individuals dedicated to providing love and companionship to animals in between homes. This might not be appropriate for a career — the pay isn’t fantastic — but if you’re looking for a job to tide you over for a year or two, being an animal caretaker would be fun and rewarding.
Many large charities have an on-site veterinary surgeon who works with a team of specialists to treat sick animals and nurse them back to health. Depending on your experience and qualifications, this can be extremely lucrative. Even young or assistant vets can earn a decent wage by caring for animals at a charity shelter. Some charities will pay as well as standard veterinary surgeries, but salaries do vary quite dramatically — anything from £20,000 to £50,000.
3. Campaign officer
Campaign officers generally spend less time around animals and more time raising money and gathering support. The job entails coming up with inventive new strategies, implementing them, and managing them. Some people will find this very rewarding, as spreading awareness and gathering donations can make a difference on a large scale — but, if working with individual animals is what makes you happy, you may want to give this one a miss. A typical salary is around £25,000, but you could find yourself earning up to £45,000 after you’ve gained some experience in the field.
4. Animal cruelty inspector
This role is perhaps more physically and psychologically demanding than any other on this list, but directly saving animals’ lives is incredibly rewarding. All animal cruelty inspectors will agree with just how emotionally draining the job can be, as there aren’t always happy endings — but nearly all will tell you that the good outweighs the bad, and knowing that you’re doing your bit (and even putting yourself in danger on occasion) to rescue animals in need is a feeling that’s virtually unbeatable. Salaries start at £22,000 and can rise to £27,000 for experienced, qualified inspectors.
5. Events manager
An events manager plans, organises, and runs charity fundraisers. There are usually animals present at these events, so events managers tend to get the best of both worlds — a great salary, a stimulating job, and the opportunity to spend time around the animals now and then. Salaries range from £30,000 to £35,000 per year, so this is definitely a job worthy of a career. The skills required to be an events manager aren’t too difficult to come by, either — unlike many animal care professions which require intensive training and specialist knowledge.
By Sam Wright
Sam Wright is a freelance writer and animal-lover working for Third Sector.