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Career Profile: Animal Control Workers

Handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 11,800 people employed as animal control workers in the United States. The median annual salary is $38,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $25,050 per year and senior employees earn approximately $61,270 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Investigate reports of animal attacks or animal cruelty, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and writing reports.
  • Capture and remove stray, uncontrolled, or abused animals from undesirable conditions, using nets, nooses, or tranquilizer darts as necessary.
  • Contact animal owners to inform them that their pets are at animal holding facilities.
  • Educate the public about animal welfare, and animal control laws and regulations.
  • Clean facilities and equipment such as dog pens and animal control trucks.
  • Remove captured animals from animal-control service vehicles and place animals in shelter cages or other enclosures.
  • Issue warnings or citations in connection with animal-related offenses, or contact police to report violations and request arrests.
  • Examine animal licenses, and inspect establishments housing animals for compliance with laws.
  • Euthanize rabid, unclaimed, or severely injured animals.
  • Answer inquiries from the public concerning animal control operations.
  • Organize the adoption of unclaimed animals.
  • Train police officers in dog handling and training techniques for tracking, crowd control, and narcotics and bomb detection.
  • Supply animals with food, water, and personal care.
  • Write reports of activities, and maintain files of impoundments and dispositions of animals.
  • Prepare for prosecutions related to animal treatment, and give evidence in court.
  • Examine animals for injuries or malnutrition, and arrange for any necessary medical treatment.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
11,800
Annual Openings:
1,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
11%
Annual Salary Range:
$25,050 - $61,270
Education Requirements:
High school diploma