2022 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.

A Spike in Animal Services Degrees

#263 Most Popular Major
1.1k Degrees Awarded
40.6% Increase in Graduates

Animal Services was the 263rd most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 1,058 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 40.6% increase in animal services degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 628.

Approximately 66 colleges in the U.S. offer a animal services degree of some kind. Our 2022 Best Animal Services Schools ranking analyzes 18 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for animal services students. Explore this or one of our many other custom animal services rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Animal Services

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.

Prior Education for an Animal Services Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most animal services degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific animal services careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Animal Services Degrees

Animal Services degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in animal services to the highest animal services degree, a . How long it takes to complete some common animal services degree levels is shown below.

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 doctor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to animal services, with approximately 18.4% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for animal services workers below.

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%

See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in animal services have received.


The education level required is different depending on the animal services career you are seeking.

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?

Recently graduated animal services students earned an average of $19,660 in 2017-2018. 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.


High Paying Careers for Animal Services Majors

Salaries for animal services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 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 143 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.

One of 16 majors within the Agriculture & Agriculture Operations area of study, Animal Services has other similar majors worth exploring.

Animal Services Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Equine Studies 701
Dog/Pet/Animal Grooming 220
Animal Training 84
Agricultural & Domestic Animal Services 49

View All Animal Services Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,504
Veterinary/Animal Health Technologies/Technicians 8,311
Animal Science 8,086
Horticulture 4,051
Agricultural Production 3,610

View All Animal Services Related Majors >


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