It might come as a surprise that some of the high-paying jobs with animals can earn you up to $200,000 a year or even more.
Animal-related jobs are mostly ideal for animal lovers, people who find a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from taking care of animals.
While most of these jobs might not be as lucrative compared to the best-paying medical jobs in the United States, most of them can still earn you a decent income.
Highest-paying animal jobs in 2023
Highest-paying animal jobs include veterinarians, animal scientists, marine biologists, zoologists and wildlife biologists, animal nutritionists, farriers, sales representatives, veterinary assistants, and animal trainers.
Veterinarians do research, diagnosis, and treatment of animal diseases and injuries. Some veterinarians do research and development of animal drugs, inspect livestock, and care for pets and other companion animals.
Veterinarians earn between $58,080 and $160,780 per year, which puts in among the top three animal jobs that pay above $150K a year. The mean hourly wage is $50.39 and the mean annual wage is $104,820.
Here is a comprehensive list of veterinary specialties that pay well in the United States.
2. Animal Scientists
Animal scientists carry out research on the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal scientists earn between $38,260 and $111,740. The mean hourly wage is $32.96 while the mean annual wage is $68,570.
3. Sales Representatives
Sales representatives dealing with veterinary pharmaceuticals, pet products, and livestock feeds are among the highest-paid professionals working in the animal industry.
According to PayScale, veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives earn between $59,122 to $119,826 a year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that pet products and animal feed sales representatives earn a mean annual salary of $79,680.
Being a farrier is not only a high-paying animal job but also one of the few unique jobs that pay really well. Farriers provide a wide range of equine foot care services, including trimming, modifying and applying shoes, and evaluating potential causes of lameness.
Experienced full-time farriers earn an average salary of $92,650, while a farrier who works with thoroughbred racehorses can earn more than $200,000 a year.
5. Marine Biologists
Being a marine biologist is also one of the highest-paying animal jobs, with the top-paid experts earning more than $100K a year.
Marine biologists specialize in the study of aquatic life. Some specialize in the study of a specific species or animal group. Marine biologists can work in different industries, including research, education, and the private sector.
They earn between $40,350 and $109,730 a year depending on experience and industry. They earn a mean annual salary of $69,730.
6. Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists specialize in the study of the origins, behavior, diseases, and genetics of animals and wildlife. Zoologists study animals and how they interact with ecosystems while wildlife biologists study the biology, behavior, and habitats of different animals in the wild.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists and wildlife biologists earn between $38,880 and $101,780 a year, making it one of the highest-paying animal jobs in the U.S. The mean annual salary of zoologists and wildlife biologists is $67,200.
7. Animal Nutritionists
Being an animal nutritionist is one of the high-paying jobs for animal lovers. Animal nutritionists calculate and balance animal rations to ensure dietary requirements are met.
Animal nutritionists can be employed in research labs, zoos, and pharmaceutical companies among other related firms. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates their mean annual salary to be $64,980.
8. Fish & Game Wardens
Fish and game wardens are tasked with ensuring Fish and Wildlife Codes are adhered to and enforcing state fishing, boating, and hunting laws and other federal laws pertaining to similar activities. They can arrest violators, seize weapons or games, as well as assist with research.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fish and game wardens earn between $33,930 and $80,540 a year, while their mean hourly and annual wages are $27.73 and $57,690 respectively.
9. Animal Breeders
Animal breeders select and breed animals based on their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. The job may require knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and keeping records on heat and birth intervals among other important details.
Animal breeders earn between $26,030 and $69,550 a year. The mean hourly wage is $22.32 and the mean annual wage is $46,420.
10. Animal Control Workers
Animal control workers are tasked with handling animals for different purposes such as investigations of mistreatment and control of unattended or abandoned animals.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that animal control workers earn between $24,280 and $59,610 a year with the mean hourly and annual salaries being $19.09 and $39,710 respectively.
11. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Veterinary technologists and technicians do medical tests in labs for use in the diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases. They prepare vaccines and serums for disease prevention, take blood samples, and execute tests such as urinalysis and blood counts.
It is one of the highest-paying animal jobs as veterinary technologists and technicians earn between $24,530 and $51,230 a year. The mean hourly and annual wages are $17.63 and $36,670 respectively.
12. Animal Trainers
Among the responsibilities that animal trainers do include training animals for riding, security, performance, obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. They accustom the animals to human voice and contact and will condition them to respond to commands.
Animal trainers earn between $20,810 and $59,110 a year, with their mean hourly and annual wages being $17.43 and $36,240 respectively.
13. Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
These veterinary experts feed and water pets and other nonfarm animals, and also examine them for signs of illness, disease, or injury. They also clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and clean and sterilize surgical and laboratory equipment.
They can provide routine post-operative care, prepare samples for lab examination, and administer medication orally or topically. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers earn a mean hourly salary of $14.28 and a mean annual salary of $29,690.
They earn between $20,790 and $39,800 a year, which makes it one of the highest-paying animal jobs ideal for those without a bachelor’s degree.
14. Kennel Attendants/Pet Walkers
Kennel attendants and dog walkers care for pets when their owners are away. Their mean salary is $21,260, and earn between $17,160 and $34,780. However, there are some states, such as California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island that pay way better than the other states.
15. Pet Groomers
Pet groomers clean pets and trim their fur, helping them look their best. Salaries for pet groomers range between $17,160 and $34,780 a year, with their mean annual salary being $21,260.
We have highlighted just a few animal jobs that pay well in the United States. Although they might not be as lucrative as other jobs, you can still make a decent income, especially if you have extensive experience.
Watch this video about the highest-paying animal jobs (Credit – Epic Wildlife).