Animal Cops, or Animal Control Officers, perform different animal welfare activities and enforce animal treatment laws within New York. They investigate cases of abuse, take care of stray animals and help get uninvited creatures out of people’s homes.

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 800 animal control workers in the Empire State in 2019. Do you want to join their ranks in the near future? Read this step-by-step guide on how to become an Animal Cop in New York.

Should I Become an Animal Cop in New York?

  • Education
  • Area of Study
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook(2018-2028)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-New York
  • High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED) Certificate
    *Higher educational credentials (Certificate/Diploma or Associate/Bachelor’s Degree) are not needed to work in the field but will set you apart from your peers.
  • Law Enforcement, Zoology, Animal Care, etc.
  • Required
  • Required
  • Critical Thinking, Service Orientation, Public Safety and Security.
  • $39,710 (Animal Control Workers)
  • 16% (Animal Care and Service Workers)
  • $40,040 (Animal Control Workers)

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

The job of an animal cop consists of fieldwork as well as office activities to maintain the necessary paperwork and files (investigations, case reports, etc.). Moreover, there are health and physical risks when handling stray, injured or sick animals. To counter them, safety protocols are in place and they must be adhered to at all times.

Career Outlook

Between 2018 and 2028, employment opportunities for Animal Care and Service Workers will grow by 16% (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is a considerably large jump compared to other professions. The main driver behind it will be the constantly growing demand for animal care services for home pets as well as those in zoos, kennels, pet shops, etc.

Steps to Become an Animal Cop in New York

Following are the steps to become an Animal Cop in New York.

Attain the Needed Education

The only mandatory education requirement for aspiring animal cops in New York is getting a High School Diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. However, getting specialized higher education in the field can boost your skills and employability.
To that end, you can pursue a certificate or a diploma program in animal care. These last for a few months or 1 year at most. There are also Associate (2 years) and Bachelor’s (4 years) degrees available in animal science, zoology, etc.

Undergo Training

When your degree is completed, you have to undergo animal care and control training at the Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Furthermore, you need to earn the New York State Peace Officer credential to be eligible to work as an animal cop in the Empire State.

National Certification (Optional)

Attaining the National Animal Control Association (NACA) certification is not compulsory for licensed New York State Peace Officers. However, getting it can help you grow as a professional and gain advantage over your peers.

Find Employment

Following the completion of training and education, it is time to start working as an animal cop.

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

In case you decide to apply for employment with the ASPCA right after high school, then you just have to successfully complete training and earn the New York State Peace Officer certification. However, if you enroll in an education program first, then you will need a few months (diploma or certificate program), 2 years (Associate degree) or 4 years (undergraduate degree) to become an Animal Cop in New York.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming an Animal Cop in New York?

Aspiring animal cops in New York must fulfill the requirements mentioned in this section.

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Complete animal care and control training.
  • Earn the New York State Peace Officer certification.

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

According to the latest information made available by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Control Workers in New York pocketed $41,120 in annual mean wage in 2020.

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