Animal cops perform various duties related to enforcing city and state animal welfare regulations. They probe reports of abuse, help stray animals and remove unwanted animals from people’s houses and neighborhoods. These professionals are also known as animal control officers.

Should I Become an Animal Cop?

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)
  • Job Outlook(2018-2028)
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Law enforcement or animal science related field
  • Required by some states
  • Required
  • Communication Skills, Writing Skills, Decision-making Skills, Ability to Work with Animals.
  • $39,710 (Animal Control Workers)
  • 16% (Animal Care and Service Workers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Becoming an animal cop is a job which requires taking action against multiple hazards. These hazards may involve physical risks in the process of investigation or health-risk from an injured or a sick animal. These professionals have to work in the field, maintain paperwork and write reports as well.

Career Outlook

As reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for animal care and service workers are expected to grow 16% from 2018-2028. A large number of families in the US own a pet of some sort, which has contributed to the increasing demand of animal care and service workers. Since people love their pets and consider them as part of their families, they are willing to pay animal care and service workers a good amount.

Steps to Become an Animal Cop

Complete Your Education

The first step to become an animal cop is to get the required education. Becoming an animal cop generally requires a high school diploma or GED; however, some candidates choose to pursue post high-school education. These students obtain an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in animal management, animal science, etc. During these programs, students study courses like nutrition, biology and physiology. Some programs also allow students to choose a concentrated area, like wild animals, horses and aquatic animals, etc.
Some candidates opt for an administration of justice degree as it proves to be useful in understanding a crime scene and gathering evidences.

Gain Certification

Many states require animal cops to be certified. Each state has its own requirement; however, National Animal Control Association (NACA) is mostly the main source of certification. It offers two different training courses which last for one week each. Animal welfare laws, animal cruelty, ethics, exotic or wild animals are some of the courses taught during these courses. Even though it is not necessary, some people also choose to get advanced training and certification provided by NACA.

Gain Experience

Candidates are required to have professional experience before they can apply for the position of an animal cop. Animal shelters, rescue agencies, zoos and pet stores, etc. are some of the work options. Aspiring animal cops can also gain experience through volunteer work. Working with different pets can help these professionals understand various situations and how to deal with them effectively.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Animal Cop?

Aspiring animal cops have to obtain an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree to begin the process. They are required to obtain a certificate and gain professional experience before they can apply for an animal control position.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming an Animal Cop?

Following are the requirements to become an animal cop:

  • Obtain an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree
  • Gain certification
  • Get professional experience

How Much Can I Make After Becoming an Animal Cop?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Control Workers were earning an annual mean salary of $39,710 in 2019.