The pet industry is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. Last year, owners spent over $60 billion on their animals. In Orlando, pet-focused businesses are booming. The pet-friendly neighborhoods, multiple parks and general atmosphere make companion-focused stores turn excellent profits. With many companies rushing to catch up to consumer demand, they are expanding their staff and hiring. In a search of jobs within 10 miles of downtown Orlando, there are over 200 positions available, ranging from dog groomers to kennel receptionists. Below are four of the most common roles and what to expect regarding requirements and pay:
Dog Daycare Handler
Dog daycare handlers can work on a full-time or part-time basis. There are more than 30 pet daycare facilities in the Orlando area, and many are continually looking for new staff. As part of your job, you will feed the animals, clean their sleeping areas and supervise them as they play. You must be comfortable separating dogs having a disagreement and walking gigantic dogs. Serving as a handler is a year-round job, not a seasonal gig. Customers value relationships with handlers; seeing the same people whenever they drop their dog off gives them peace of mind. Most positions pay between $10-15 an hour, and some daycare facilities do allow patrons to tip. You will need to have a high school diploma and experience with dogs.
There are dozens of grooming businesses in the city of Orlando, catering to discerning customers who want their pets to look happy and healthy. Unlike other jobs in the pet industry, groomers typically work on commission and need to provide their tools, including clippers and scissors. Those working in a salon owned by someone else usually make about $25 an hour; the average annual salary is $27,000. However, those who specialize in more challenging breed cuts, such as grooming Poodles, Samoyeds or other long-haired animals, can often charge higher premiums. After a few years working in a salon, many branch off on their own and can then make up to $50,000. While there are classes you can take on grooming, most groomers learn by serving as an assistant or bather at a salon and learning from the professional groomers on staff.
There are hundreds of dog trainers in Orlando, both part of a company and independent contractors. While some will have taken courses, others are independently trained and learned working with their own dogs. Whether you work for someone else’s company or for yourself affects how much you can earn; working for a chain might get you $10 an hour; working on your own, you can make up to $60,000 a year.
Pet Waste Technician
While not the most glamorous position, pet waste technicians, also referred to as “pooper scoopers,” may be the best paid of any professionals in the companion animal industry. Many make $45 an hour for private clients, while those who get contracts with apartment complexes or city parks can make even more. There are companies and franchises that have many staff members, as well as independently run small businesses. While formal training is not necessary, it is recommended you do some research on dog psychology so you can recognize a friendly dog and an aggressive one.
The pet industry is one of the fastest growing fields in Orlando. With so many people owning pets and wanting only the best for them, the demand for animal-focused services is expected to continue to climb. Whether you like to be hands on with dogs or prefer to be behind the scenes, there are many different positions available.