Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Attendants in Columbia, Maryland

For those living in the Columbia, Maryland area, there are many career and education opportunities for animal attendants. There are currently 120 working animal attendants in Maryland; this should grow by 12% to about 130 working animal attendants in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for animal attendants, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. Animal attendants generally handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.

Animal attendants earn about $17 hourly or $36,220 annually on average in Maryland and about $14 hourly or $30,310 per year on average nationally. Jobs in this field include: animal park code enforcement officer, animal control officer, and humane officer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an animal attendant, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Animal attendants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Columbia include:

  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Animal Attendant Training

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties.

Everest College-Arlington - Arlington, VA

Everest College-Arlington, 801 N Quincy St-Ste 500, Arlington, VA 22203. Everest College-Arlington is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 285 students and an admission rate of 65%. Everest College-Arlington has a less than one year program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.