In celebration of the recent launch of ForceBrands’ specialized pet hiring division, PetForce, we’re diving deeper into the industry to explore what employment opportunities look like inside the burgeoning sector. As we previously reported, the pet care industry has become a hot prospect for jobs — and some of these roles may surprise you.

Mark Cushing is the founding partner and CEO of the Animal Policy Group and the author of upcoming book, “PET NATION: The Love Affair That Changed America.” In it, he notes that in 20 years the pet economy has grown from $23 billion to $95.7 billion, and at the current rate it will reach $120 billion by 2027 and pet-related employment will approach two million people.

So, what makes working in the pet industry appealing? “Pets for the most part are associated with the fun parts of life. For example, if you’re working with dogs they respond quickly. It tends to be instantly rewarding and fun,” explains Cushing. “With a lot of positions those two words you wouldn’t usually use to describe a job. That’s Number 1. Number 2 is that to the extent that you are engaged with the pet owner or pet parent in the type of work you do, they are so grateful. They give you instant feedback and gratitude. It’s nice to have a job where people say thank you. Number 3 is stirring the evolution of pet nation. It’s essentially a recession- and pandemic-proof job. Pets aren’t a fad anymore; they’re not accessories. The whole culture is burgeoning. All of the demographics and market forces for millennials and Generation Z — we’ve barely seen anything yet. You can be in this industry and be pretty comfortable that you are going to have a job for a long time, and you can move around and do other things. The nice thing about pets is that they are rural, urban, suburban. They’re east, west, north, south. They’re all over. These aren’t jobs tied to one location—and that’s some flexibility!”

While most people are familiar with a few jobs — veterinarian, groomer, cat sitter, dog walker, lion tamer, rancher, shepherd — that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “Historically, the animal-based employment opportunities were limited,” Cushing adds, but today “the list is longer and more colorful.” Below are eight pet industry jobs he mentions, open to animal lovers of all kinds.

Aside from the roles we help fill at consumer pet brands across sales, marketing, finance, operations, and HR, here are some additional jobs the industry serves:

1. Relocation expert
This is someone who moves dogs safely and efficiently from one place to another—from a shelter to a new country, from a city street to its natural habitat (as with a wild animal), from a breeder to a new home, or from an abusive environment to a safe one.

2, Animal rights lawyers
These legal eagles specialize in cases involving alleged animal cruelty, breeding restrictions, or the organizational mistreatment of animals.

3. Guide dog trainers
These are people who train dogs to help the blind, before adoption and upon introduction of the dog to its new owner.

4. Pet adoption counselors
These jobs are popular with millennials seeking their first dog or cat, as well as counselors, who work with shelters and prospective owners to find the perfect pet.

5. Talent agencies
This is a fast-growing field. These organizations represent dogs, cats, and exotics for traditional advertising, digital branding, and influencer work on social media. Some animals even earn in six figures—in dollars, not treats.

6. Veterinary acupuncturists
If there’s proof that people are investing in the health and wellbeing of their pets, this job is it. Veterinary acupuncturists are veterinary professionals who use acupuncture in their practice.

7. Pet trackers
These person-and-dog teams track lost or runaway pets, using scent and artifacts connected to the lost animal at distances of five to ten miles.

8. Pet psychics
Yes, you read that right! Sometimes called “pet communicators,” pet psychics help people and pets communicate, addressing problems that veterinarians cannot always solve. They help people understand what their pets are thinking, with some communicating telepathically with the animals.

For pet jobs at consumer brands in the fields of sales, marketing, finance, operations, and HR, visit our PetForce division.