Animal adoption counselors assist people who want to adopt unwanted or abandoned animals in shelters or other animal care facilities. They interview applicants and check on new pet owners after the adoption has been completed. Oftentimes, animal adoption counselors carry out other animal care tasks at their places of employment. This includes feeding, medicating and vaccinating animals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a federal department that maintains salary data, categorizes animal adoption counselors as nonfarm animal caretakers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wages of nonfarm animal care workers are relatively low. The median annual salary of nonfarm animal caretakers was $19,360 in May 2008. The median brought home between $16,720 and $24,300. The lowest-earning tenth earned less than $15,140 and the best-compensated 10 percent earned more than $31,590. Those working in the social advocacy organization industry, which is where many animal adoption counselors are employed, earn $18,640 per year on average.
Some adoption counselors work on an hourly basis. The average hourly wage for nonfarm animal care workers was $10.36, according to a May 2008 salary report by the bureau. The median hourly wage was $9.31. The bottom 10 percent of nonfarm animal care workers earned less than $7.28 per hour. The highest-earning tenth made upward of $15.19.
The longer a nonfarm animal care worker has been on the job, the higher her salary will be. According to a March 2010 salary report by Payscale.com, the median hourly wage range for nonfarm animal care workers was $8.18 through $12.56. Nonfarm animal care workers with between five and nine years of work experience can expect to earn between $10.08 and $13.12, according to the report.
Another factor that can impact the earnings of an animal adoption counselor is location. In general, nonfarm animal caretakers who work in urban areas earn more than their counterparts in rural parts of the state. This can be attributed to the relatively higher cost of living in metropolitan areas. Average salaries for the occupation also differ from state to state. The highest paid nonfarm animal caretakers live in Hawaii, according to a May 2008 customized salary report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earn $28,890 per year on average. With average salaries of $25,700 and $24,860, those living in Rhode Island and Massachusetts also are comparatively well-compensated. On the other end of the earnings spectrum are nonfarm animal caretakers living in Nebraska, North Dakota and Arkansas, who earn less than $19,000 each year.
According to a report by the bureau, the employment of animal caretakers is projected to grow at a rate of 21 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the national average. Growth will be driven by the growing popularity of pets among the public. Moreover, according to the bureau, the American public is increasingly recognizing the cruelty of animal abuse and is committing private funds for animal shelters, where many animal adoption counselors work.
- Photo Credit Homeless dog in Kennel image by dinahr from Fotolia.com
How Much Does a Counselor Make Per Year?
Mental health counselors facilitate prevention programs with people struggling with mental health conditions, including substance abuse. Pay varies by education, experience, work...
Job Description of an Animal Shelter Volunteer
Animal shelters provide care, food, and water for abandoned or homeless pets. While animal shelters hire some paid employees, volunteers typically comprise...
The Average Salary of an Animal Control Officer
An animal control officers works for the rights of animals. As of 2010, an animal control officer earns an average of $49,000...
How to Become an Adoption Counselor
Adoption is a choice that many families make in order to have children. There are lots of ways that you can help...