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2020 Animal Services Degree Guide

If you are an animal lover, a major in Animal Services might be perfect for you.

Agricultural and Domestic Animal Services is a rapidly growing field that allows you to work with and train different types of animals. Since there are many career possibilities within this major, a school will require you to choose an area of concentration. There are a variety of specialties including dog/pet/animal grooming, animal training, equestrian/equine studies, or taxidermy.

Animal Services Degrees Decreasing

#244 Most Popular Major
1.2k Degrees Awarded
-14.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, animal services was the 244th most popular major nationwide with 1,166 degrees awarded. This represents a 14.9% reduction in animal services degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -1,340.

There are 35 schools offering degrees in animal services in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom animal services rankings further below.

Animal Services Degree Requirements

The field of Animal Services includes more than just training animals; also included within this is grooming, husbandry, monitoring, exercising, and examining for illness. Since this is a broad major, there are many different careers available to graduates. However, patience and a love for animals are two important traits that cover all concentrations. You must also be detail oriented and have strong problem solving skills. Sometimes training animals can be difficult, so as a trainer, you must have the necessary skills to assess which methods will be most successful on certain animals.

While studying Agricultural and Domestic Animal Services, you will take classes in animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and biology. You will become acquainted with everything there is to know about the animals you are working with so you can properly care for and train them.

Many jobs in training animals require experience. You will start out with basic jobs until you work your way up to positions with responsibility. To gain the necessary experience, begin by volunteering at an animal shelter or with someone who works closely with animals. Nearly all employers require candidates to have previous experience with animals.

Animal Services Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional animal services certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Animal Services Degree

There are many different animal services degrees levels. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in animal services to the highest animal services degree, a bachelor's. Animal Services programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to animal services, with approximately 36.0% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to animal services tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 41.2%
Doctoral Degree 13.3%
Less than a High School Diploma 12.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.5%

About 53.3% of workers in careers related to animal services obtain at least award taking 1 to 2 years. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in animal services have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which animal services career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Animal Services Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$19.7k Average Starting Salary
21% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Some possible careers within this field include animal trainers, non-farm animal caretakers, groomers, and taxidermists. You may also decide to go into zoology or become an animal keeper.

High Growth Projected for Animal Services Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your animal services degree? Animal Services careers are expected to grow 21.2% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to animal services.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Animal Caretakers 300,000 24.2%
Animal Trainers 61,000 11.1%
Agricultural Sciences Professors 13,600 7.9%

How Much Money Do Animal Services Grads Make?

Animal Services graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $19,660 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $13,600 to as high as $27,100. As you might expect, salaries for animal services graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Animal Services Careers

Salaries for animal services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers animal services grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Animal Trainers $35,260
Animal Caretakers $25,890

Getting Your Animal Services Degree

With over 140 different animal services degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased animal services school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Animal Services

Animal Services is one of 13 different types of Agriculture & Agriculture Operations programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,521
Animal Science 7,549
Horticulture 4,175
General Agriculture 3,457
Plant Sciences 3,327

View All Animal Services Related Majors >


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