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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Attendants in Irvine, California

Irvine, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for animal attendants. There are currently 1,700 working animal attendants in California; this should grow 24% to about 2,100 working animal attendants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for animal attendants are expected to grow by about 9.1%. Animal attendants generally handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.

Animal attendants earn about $21 per hour or $44,700 per year on average in California and about $14 per hour or $30,310 annually on average nationally. Animal attendants work in a variety of jobs, including: dog catcher, animal cruelty investigator, and dog control officer.

The Irvine area is home to 112 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Irvine where you can get a degree as an animal attendant. The most common level of education for animal attendants is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an animal attendant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Animal Attendant

Animal Attendant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, animal attendants handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.

Animal attendants write reports of efforts, and maintain files of impoundments and dispositions of animals. They also remove captured animals from animal-control service vehicles and place animals in shelter cages or other enclosures. Equally important, animal attendants have to answer inquiries from the public concerning animal control operations. They are often called upon to contact animal owners to inform them that their pets are at animal holding facilities. They are expected to educate the public about animal welfare, and animal control laws and rules. Finally, animal attendants get ready for prosecutions pertaining to animal treatment, and give evidence in court.

Every day, animal attendants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for animal attendants to euthanize rabid or severely injured animals. They are often called upon to supply animals with food and personal care. They also organize the adoption of unclaimed animals. They are sometimes expected to clean facilities and equipment such as dog pens and animal control trucks. Somewhat less frequently, animal attendants are also expected to train police officers in dog handling and training techniques for tracking and narcotics and bomb detection.

Animal attendants sometimes are asked to get ready for prosecutions pertaining to animal treatment, and give evidence in court. and issue warnings or citations in connection with animal-related offenses, or contact police to report violations and request arrests. And finally, they sometimes have to write reports of efforts, and maintain files of impoundments and dispositions of animals.

Like many other jobs, animal attendants must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Irvine include:

  • Casino Surveillance Officer. Act as oversight and security agent for management and customers. Observe casino or casino hotel operation for irregular activities such as cheating or theft by either employees or patrons. May utilize one-way mirrors above the casino floor, cashier's cage, and from desk. Use of audio/video equipment is also common to observe operation of the business. Usually required to provide verbal and written reports of all violations and suspicious behavior to supervisor.
  • Fish and Game Warden. Patrol assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Animal Attendant Training

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a master's degree program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated 156 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Irvine, California

Irvine, California
Irvine, California photo by SoCal L.A.

Irvine is situated in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 207,500, which has grown by 45.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Irvine, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Irvine are valued at $283,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-five new homes were built in Irvine, down from two hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irvine are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 58.4% of Irvine residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irvine is 7.3%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Irvine residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Irvine is home to the International Raceway and the Heritage Park Library as well as Heritage Park and Alderwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Heritage Plaza Shopping Center, Alton Square Shopping Center and Arbor Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Irvine can choose from Atrium Hotel At Orange County Airport and Amerilodge Electronics for temporary stays in the area.