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Animal Handlers


Anybody who works directly with animals, from the caretaker of your local park's petting zoo to the wildlife biologist who reintroduces wild animals to national parks, is an animal handler. Animal handlers care for, train, and study animals in such places as zoos, parks, research laboratories, animal breeding facilities, rodeos, and museums. An animal handler's job involves feeding the animals, cleaning their living and sleeping areas, preparing medications, and other aspects of basic care. A handler may also be actively involved in an animal's training, and in presenting animals to the public in shows and parks. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are about 199,850 nonfarm animal caretakers in the United States.

Salary Range

Below $25,000 to $75,000

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma




Much Faster than the Average
Personality Traits


Hands On


Career Ladder
Zookeeper or Zoo Curator

Experienced Animal Handler

Entry-Level Animal Handler