Post # 1
I am thinking about a career change in the next few years. I really want to work with animals. I was going to go to school for marine biology when I graduated, but, life happened. I am thankful for the career I have now, I really feel like I am ready for a change. I was thinking about possibly dog grooming. Even if I do nothing with it other than donate my time to shelter dogs, I think I’d enjoy it.
Please tell me about your jobs working with animals. I’d also be interested in hearing about jobs in ecology, forestry, etc. What kind of schooling do you have? What is your job description like? Do you feel like it is a satisfying career? Would it be a practical midlife career change?
Thank you in advance for responding.
Post # 4
@Bridey77: I was an animal trainer at Six Flags for an animal show. We had domestic animals- cats, dogs, mini horse, pot belly pig, tropical birds, ducks, pigeons and rats.
Working with the animals was fun. But the people were nuts– like co-worker took meth on the weekends, other co-worker was trying to find his stripper wife so he could divorce her and the boss wanted to have meetings in his hot tub. And the pay was horrible!!! And it was not fun working 7 days a week sometimes (have to feed and clean everyday), especially when it was super cold outside.
But I learned a lot about how to work with animals and motivate them. Surprisingly, I’ve used a lot of what I learned there in dealing with kids (I was MS teacher for awhile) and with Darling Husband.
Post # 5
@KoiKove: Thank you so much for responding! Did you have any special training to have the job you had? It doesn’t sound like it was the most professional atmosphere though :/ I wouldn’t trust a meth head around my pet rock, never mind show animals. I’m tryng to picture staff meetings at my current job in a hot tub, LOL.
Post # 6
I worked as a grooming assistant for a while and I HATED it. It was awful for me, but it really depends on your personality. “
I am a perfectionist. I couldn’t get the dogs 100% dry and the dogs were not cooperative, so overall I didn’t feel successful at work. I was frustrated to the point of tears a lot. It really just was not a good job for me. That said, I know a girl who did grooming for petco, and she LOVED it. I think that if you have a personality where you can do what you can do and then let it go, you might enjoy grooming.
I don’t mean to be discouraging, but from what I’ve gathered from groomers i;ve spoken to, it might be better to keep it a hobby rather than a full-time job. It gets monotonous– the same breeds come in for the same haircuts every six weeks. It’s not like human hairstyling, where you get people asking for new/interesting things often.
Post # 7
@Bridey77: Saw an ad in the newspaper, no special training needed. But the pay was horrible. The guy promised me $1000/month. But ended up paying me only $900. (In today’s dollars that would be about $1300 which works out to be about $8/hour if it was only a 40 hour/week job) You have to get there super early to feed and clean the animals, then you are there all day doing shows. Then you have to put all the animals back. So it ended up being 11-12 hour days. I was so over the crazy hours, low pay and seriously crazy co-workers.