Traveling Animal Careers


Civilization may have severed itself from the forests, but animals are still very much part of our daily lives. Because of this, there are several careers which involve working with animals, from pet store clerks to farmers to marine mammal trainers. Perhaps even more exciting, many jobs working with animals involve traveling around the country, and----in some cases----the world.

Film Animal Handlers

  • One of the most prestigious of animal-oriented careers that involve traveling is that of film animal handlers, who are used on sets all over the world. Often being called to on-location shoots, these handlers are responsible for ensuring the animals perform as required on the film set. While many film animal handlers work with dogs, cats or "beast of burden" animals such as horses or cows (like in most Western films); there are many films which require insects, snakes, rats and even dolphins to perform on command. In fact, when looking for work as an animal handler, it is better to have experience with a wide range of animals. According to Education Portal, "The more experience one has with different kinds of animals, the greater the chances of getting hired." (See Reference 1)


  • Those passionate about the study of animals may find a Zoology degree can take them around the world to study animals they are researching first hand. There are many grants available (e.g. the Templeton Award, the Grey Fund etc.) for the zoologist looking for a first hand glimpse at animal behavior. (See Reference 4) While research generally takes zoologists to a specific area where the subject is located; if the subject animal is one which spans the globe (e.g. ants) the challenge is to contrast behaviors of each species to better understand the whole. These scientists can spend months and years traveling to different spots to build a better understanding of a certain type of animal.

Wildlife Photographer

  • Wildlife photographers work with animals both up close and at a distance. While some photographers work strictly within the biodiversity of their own community, most have to travel in order to obtain pictures they want. These professionals will sit for days observing the natural behavior of an animal, waiting for just the right shot. While many wildlife photographers work for nature magazines, most are freelance and sell their photos to various publications.

Marine Mammal Trainer

  • Marine mammal trainers work in a highly specialized field and are often called to travel to where marine mammals are in need of training or rehabilitation. (See Reference 3) These professionals work in aquariums and water parks such as Sea World and train animals to work with others and perform tricks which are used as attractions for guests.

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