Take Flight With These 12 Bird Lover Career Ideas

Take flight - 12 career ideas for bird lovers

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Birds are in our backyards and cities, they live with us in our homes, and reside in sanctuaries and zoological parks. We love their beauty, intelligence, and diversity . . . ironically, it’s these same qualities that often put them in harm’s way. They enhance our lives, and so we have an obligation to protect them. One of the best ways to do this is with a bird-focused career or business.

If you’d like to work with or for birds, consider the following jobs and businesses. Whether you like science, writing, art, business, or providing hands-on care, there’s a way for you to contribute to avian welfare . . . while making a living.

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9 Publications That Pay You to Write About Animals

9 publications that pay you to write about animals

By Paula Fitzsimmons

If you write about animals, finding markets for your work doesn’t have to be daunting if you know where to look. To help with your search, I’ve created a list of animal-related magazines and websites that pay writers. It’s not a comprehensive list, and doesn’t take into account other markets, including trade journals, animal nonprofits, and consumer magazines with pet columns.

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Urban Coyote Ecology – an Emerging Field

Urban coyote ecology - careers with coyotes & urban wildlife

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Wild animal species once largely restricted to rural areas have become regular urban denizens. In my own mid-sized city, it’s no longer uncommon to see foxes, coyotes, and turkeys roaming freely in residential areas. Several months ago we even spotted what appeared to be a bobcat on the arm of a busy highway. These kinds of sightings were rare as recently as a decade ago.

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No Experience With Animals? These Skills are Transferable

No experience with animals necessary - these skills are transferable

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Are you a career-changer considering a switch to the animal care and welfare sector? If you’ve worked in fields like business, communications, or another nonprofit category, you may already have what you need to find a job working for animals.

Sure, veterinarians, humane law officers, and animal behaviorists, to name a few, need specialized skills and experience. But animal welfare organizations need people with other talents, too. One requirement that is non-negotiable? A love for animals and a desire to improve their lives.

The following is a look at several transferable careers . . .

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Shelter Medicine: An Emerging Veterinary Specialty That Offers Hope

Shelter Medicine - emerging veterinary specialty to help rescue animals

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Rescues are filled with animals who have suffered to some degree in their previous lives. Then there’s shelter life, rife with its own unique challenges – from the stress of being in a new environment, to increased vulnerability to outbreaks.

Balancing the needs of individual animals with that of the group’s isn’t a cake walk for shelter staff, either.

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Purrfect Work: Career & Business Ideas for Cat Lovers

Career & business ideas for cat lovers

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Have you ever thought about turning your passion for cats into paying work or a profitable business, but weren’t quite sure how to make that happen? You may be surprised at the variety of options available to you – and at the number of organizations seeking your passion and special skills.

I know, because opportunities working with cats and other animals regularly get posted on the Animal Jobs Digest jobs page.

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The Freedom of Flexibility: Customize Your Own Animal Welfare Career

Tree with butterflies - customize your own animal welfare career

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Like it or not, we’ve entered a new economy. Today’s workforce looks different than it did a decade ago – and remotely resembles the one-career-for-life model of the pre-1990s. An increasing number of workers are cobbling together part-time jobs, freelance gigs, and small business ventures in order to eke out a full-time living.

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A Career as a Conservation Canine Handler: Part 2, Do You Have What it Takes?

Dog in field - Interview with Jennifer Hartman of Conservation Canines CK9 dog handler

By Paula Fitzsimmons with Jennifer Hartman

Conservation canines and their handlers are playing a vital role in wildlife protection. Dogs have an unrivaled ability to detect scat from dozens of species – scientists use these samples to learn more about a wild population’s behaviors, movements, and feeding patterns.  This data is valuable not only in fighting wildlife crimes, but it can aid in forming effective and humane wildlife management policies.

The dogs, who primarily come from rescues, have to possess certain characteristics to make the cut – namely, a playful spirit, boundless energy, and the ability to work in the field for hours at a time.

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Wildlife Defenders: A Career as a Conservation Canine Handler (Part 1)

Wildlife defenders - career as conservation canine CK9 handler

By Paula Fitzsimmons with Jennifer Hartman

With wildlife poaching at epidemic levels and time the enemy, fighting these crimes has never been as critical. Conservationists fortunately have effective tools at their disposable, most of them technological in nature – DNA analyses, acoustic traps, and radio collars, to name a few. But one tool, which some conservationists claim is even more effective, turns out to be our four-legged canine friends.

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Should You Start Your Own Animal Welfare Nonprofit?

Nonprofit - Stray Cats

By Paula Fitzsimmons

If you’ve ever considered starting your own animal welfare nonprofit organization, you’re not alone. According to an article by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the number of animal welfare and environmental charities have grown by 82.5 percent in recent years.

If you’d like to join these ranks, I’m here to cheer you on  . . . but also to offer a cautionary tale: Starting and running a nonprofit is tough work and is something you need to research thoroughly – and then some – before diving in.

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