Animal Cops, also known as Animal Control Officers, take on different duties related to animal welfare and the enforcement of city/state animal protection laws. They provide help to stray animals, investigate cases of animal abuse/maltreatment and sometimes deal with uninvited creatures in people’s houses.

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As of 2021, there are more than 430 animal control workers employed in the Sunshine State. Based on the encouraging job outlook by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people will surely enter the field in the future. If you are planning to do so as well, then go through this piece to understand how to become an Animal Cop in Florida.

Should I Become an Animal Cop in Florida?

  • Education
  • Area of Study
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) – National
  • Job Outlook (2021-2031) – National
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) – Florida
  • Job Outlook (2020-2030) – Florida
  • High School Diploma/GED (General Educational Development) Certificate
    *Higher education (Certificate/Diploma or Associate’s/Bachelor’s Degree) can be useful but is not compulsory.
  • Law Enforcement, Animal Care
  • Required
  • Required
  • Active Listening, Service Orientation, Creative and Critical Thinking, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning, Problem Sensitivity.
  • $42,620 (Animal Control Workers)
  • 29% (Animal Care and Service Workers)
  • $40,180 (Animal Control Workers)
  • 44% (Animal Caretakers)

Sources: O*NET OnLine and US Bureau of Labor Statistics

As an animal cop, you have to perform duties in the field and maintain paperwork (case reports, investigations, etc.) in the office. There are also some physical and health risks involved when dealing with sick, stray and injured animals. They may scratch, bite or kick. So, you must take the necessary precautions in this regard.

Career Outlook

According to O*Net OnLine, jobs for Animal Care and Service Workers will increase by 29% from 2021 to 2031. As for Florida, O*Net OnLine predicts an excellent 44% growth in employment opportunities for Nonfarm Animal Caretakers between 2020 and 2030. This is much faster than the rise expected in most other professions. It will be driven by the growing demand for animal care services for pets at home as well as those in animal shops, zoos, grooming shops and kennels, etc.

Steps to Become an Animal Cop in Florida

Follow this process to become an Animal Cop in Florida.

Attain the Needed Education

To become an animal cop, the only binding educational requirement is a High School Diploma. The equivalent GED (General Educational Development) Certificate is acceptable too. However, earning a specialized degree or a certificate in the field can help you in your career.
In this regard, you can opt for a short-term (6 months to 1 year) certificate or diploma programs in animal care. You may also go for an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in animal science or a related subject. The Associate degree is 2 years long while the Bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to finish.

Complete Training

After completing your education, it is time to take the Animal Control Officer Certification course offered by the Florida Animal Control Association (FACA). This is mandatory for aspiring animal cops in the Sunshine State. It includes a minimum of 40 hours of training in animal care and control.

Earn theNational Certification (Optional)

Getting certified as an animal cop by the National Animal Control Association (NACA) is not mandatory because Florida has its own training standards as mentioned in the previous step. However, earning the NACA certification can help you improve your skills and grow as a professional.

Look for Work

Once your training and education are completed, it is time to look for a job.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Animal Cop in Florida?

If you enter the field straight after high school, then you just have to complete training which lasts for a few weeks. However, if you go for post-secondary education first, then it can take a few months (certificate and diploma programs), 2 years (Associate degree), or 4 years (Bachelor’s degree).

What Are the Requirements for Becoming an Animal Cop in Florida?

To become an Animal Cop in Florida, you need to fulfill the requirements listed below.

  • Attain a High School Diploma or GED Certificate.
  • Complete the FACA (Florida Animal Control Association) Animal Control Officer Certification course (minimum 40 hours of training in various facets of animal care and control).

How Much Can I Make After Becoming an Animal Cop in Florida?

As per the latest records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), Florida’s Animal Control Workers are being compensated to the tune of $40,180 in annual mean salary.

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