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Animal Caretakers - 39-2021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise provide care to promote and maintain the well-being of pets and other animals that are not raised for consumption, such as dogs, cats, race horses, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Animal Care Giver (ACG)
  • Aquarist
  • Dog Bather
  • Dog Groomer
  • Groomer
  • Kennel Attendant
  • Kennel Technician (Kennel Tech)
  • Pet Groomer
  • Pet Stylist
  • Zookeeper

SOC Occupation Groups

39-0000 Personal Care and Service Occupations
39-2000 Animal Care and Service Workers
39-2020 Animal Caretakers
39-2021.00 Animal Caretakers

Related Occupations


  • Adjust controls to regulate specified temperature and humidity of animal quarters, nurseries, or exhibit areas.
  • Advise pet owners on how to care for their pets' health.
  • Anesthetize and inoculate animals, according to instructions.
  • Answer telephones and schedule appointments.
  • Clean and disinfect surgical equipment.
  • Collect and record animal information, such as weight, size, physical condition, treatments received, medications given, and food intake.
  • Discuss with clients their pets' grooming needs.
  • Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.
  • Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Exercise animals to maintain their physical and mental health.
  • Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.
  • Find homes for stray or unwanted animals.
  • Install, maintain, and repair animal care facility equipment, such as infrared lights, feeding devices, and cages.
  • Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.
  • Observe and caution children petting and feeding animals in designated areas to ensure the safety of humans and animals.
  • Order, unload, and store feed and supplies.
  • Perform animal grooming duties, such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.
  • Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.
  • Respond to questions from patrons, and provide information about animals, such as behavior, habitat, breeding habits, or facility activities.
  • Sell pet food and supplies.
  • Train animals to perform certain tasks.
  • Transfer animals between enclosures to facilitate breeding, birthing, shipping, or rearrangement of exhibits.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Care for animals.
  • Clean facilities or work areas.
  • Clean tools or equipment.
  • Confer with clients to discuss treatment plans or progress.
  • Discuss service options or needs with clients.
  • Document client health or progress.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • Maintain facilities.
  • Maintain supply or equipment inventories.
  • Monitor health or behavior of people or animals.
  • Monitor patron activities to identify problems or potential problems.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Perform administrative or clerical tasks.
  • Perform housekeeping duties.
  • Prepare foods or meals.
  • Provide care for animals.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Respond to customer inquiries.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Sell products or services.
  • Train animals.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Animal Care Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Dog Handler (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Field Veterinary Service (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Food Safety Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Kennel Master (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Marine Mammal Systems Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Military Working Dog Handler (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Manager (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Veterinary Corps Officer (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Pathology (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Working Dog Handler (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Horseshoer

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Animal Caretaker
  • Animal Keeper
  • Animal-Nursery Worker
  • Aquarist
  • Dog Bather
  • Dog Groomer
  • Exerciser, Horse
  • Horseshoer
  • Lead Pony Rider
  • Stable Attendant