Lesson Plan Ideas

Lesson Plan Image

Animal Care Careers


  1. Accurately identify people whose occupations meet the needs of pets.
  2. Learn new vocabulary words associated with careers with animals.
  3. Recognize how people in several occupations play important roles in a pet’s care.
  4. Collect information different animal-related careers by visiting websites that provide in-depth career information.
  5. Relate personal interests to animal care professions.
  6. Write about animal care professions.


Many students are excited about working with animals, but may not realize the wide variety of careers available.

Curriculum Connection: Alberta Education Program of Studies

Health and Life Skills

Grades 4-8: Life Roles and Career Development

Career and Life Management

Senior High: Career and Life Choices



Veterinarians are only one group who work with animals. Even within the veterinary profession, there are many different jobs (see poster). Have students brainstorm all possible animal care careers including work in law enforcement, research, retail and animal shelters. Some possible jobs in animal care include:

ZookeeperWildlife rehabilitation specialist
Animal control officerAnimal shelter animal care worker
Pet Groomer Kennel operator
Veterinary medicine professorAnimal health technician
Animal behavioristAnimal shelter adoption specialist
Equestrian trainerVeterinarian
Parks conservation officer/naturalistWildlife biologist/researcher
Pet therapy workerAnimal Trainer
Pet store owner/employeeCanine unit police officer
Farmer/rancherHumane educator


Younger students can complete the Activity Sheets on animal careers.

Career Search Grades 3-5 (ASPCA)
Matching job titles with definitions and circling words in a word search puzzle
Veterinary Career Word Scramble Grade 4 (AVMA)
Matching scrambled words with descriptions of vet work environments
Who does what? Grade 7
Matching job titles with definitions (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies)

Students can also read and discuss articles on being a vet or working in animal welfare.

ASPCA Animal Career Article
“I love animals, I think I’ll be a veterinarian when I grow up!” This is a two-page article on issues involved in choosing an animal care profession (secondary reading level).
Animal Sheltering.org article
“What advice would you give someone starting out in the animal welfare field?“ These are short descriptions from different employees about the challenges of working in animal welfare (secondary reading level).
Humane Society of the United States
“A day in the life of Shelter Workers” These short write-ups describe a typical day for animal shelter workers (Grade 5-6 reading level).


Ask students to choose one animal care profession and research it. Their research may involve reading books and websites, or interviewing someone in the profession. Students should be prepared to describe the basic functions of the job they choose as well as any special skills, training, or education the job requires. They should also be able to decide if this career is a good fit for them.

See web resources linked below.

You may wish to have students use the Alberta SPCA Cyber Search form to fill in information. There is also a “scavenger hunt” style questionnaire with solutions.


After completing research, you can initiate discussion with questions such as:

Writing and presenting

Students could: