The median annual wage of nonfarm animal caretakers was $19,550 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,050, and the top 10 percent earned more than $31,880.
The median annual wage of animal trainers was $26,580 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,240, and the top 10 percent earned more than $53,580.
Animals need care around the clock; many facilities, such as kennels, animal shelters, and stables, must be staffed 24 hours a day. Therefore, animal caretakers often work irregular hours and night, weekend, and holiday shifts. About 35 percent of nonfarm animal caretakers work part time.
About 28 percent of animal care and service workers were self-employed in 2010. Many of these workers can set their own schedule.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition