Careers in Human-Animal Interaction

Interested in a career in human-animal interaction, but not sure where to get started? Check out these resources! Learn about education related to human-animal interaction. This article includes a guide to relevant education and career opportunities. Learn about the centers and institutes focused on human-animal interaction in the United States. These are hubs for research and education. Finally, The Animals & Society Institute has an excellent page full of Resources for Students, including a list of possible jobs.

If you think a research-focused career is for you, consider applying for one of our available positions.

Human-Animal Interaction Careers. Would you like to make working with animals part of your career? Are you unsure what your options are or how to pursue that career? Use this guide to identify your interests, values, & skills that lead to careers & educational opportunities. Humans, animals, or both? Every career with animals also involves humans. Do you prefer to work more directly with humans, animals, or both? Animal-assisted therapists work more with humans. Veterinarians work with both. Wildlife managers work more with animals. What topics do you like? Careers with animals can emerge from many different topicssuch as biology, psychology, or animal science. Additionally, knowledge of law, business, marketing, and more can be valuable skills to this evolving industry. What do you want? Some careers have physical, emotional, mental, and moral challenges. For example, veterinarians work with animals in distress, perform euthanasia, and work long hours. Think about career challenges you may face, and which ones energize you? How do you work best? Certain workplaces are better suited for those who work independently, co-operatively, creatively, or with structure. Do you prefer to work inside vs. outside, city vs rural? Take a strengths assessment to determine the best environments for you.

Education.  Human-animal interaction education is offered in various levels such as certificates, college, or post-graduate. To find different programs visit the Animals & Society Institute or professional webpages such as International Society for Applied Ethology Education Page. Careers.  There are a variety of career options within human-animal interactions. Every career allows for a different amount of human and animal contact, required education or training, salary, working hours, advantages, and challenges. Consider your values in work and life. Gain experience in a few areas via internships or part-time work to help you make a satisfying career choice. Some careers include animal agriculture, wildlife & zoos, animal welfare, education or research, laboratory animal, animal health, animal-assisted therapy, administration, business, or marketing. Want to learn more?  Talk to your career advisor or someone in the human-animal interaction field. Read our paper in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin. Created by Megan LaFollette, Netzin Steklis, Lori Kogan, Dieter Steklis, Phyllis Erdman, and Monique Germone.

Infographic from: Erdman, P., LaFollette, M. R., Steklis, N. G., Steklis, D. H., Germane, M., & Kogan, L. R. (2018). Guide to Human-Animal Interaction Education. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6 (Special Issue), 37-46.

Human-Animal Interactions Programs
      Degrees   Courses
Year Founded University Center Doctoral Masters Bachelors   Campus Course Online Course Certificate Program
1977 University of Pennsylvania CIAS              
1981 University of Minnesota CENSHARE              
1982 Purdue University CHAB
X
X
   
X
   
1984 University of California, Davis CAS
X
X
X
 
X
   
1986 University of Tennessee HABIT  
X
   
X
   
1997 Tuskegee University CSHAIR              
2001 Virginia Commonwealth University CHAI        
X
   
2005 University of Denver IHAC  
X
   
X
X
X
2005 University of Missouri ReCHAI        
X
   
2007 Virginia Tech CENTAUR
X
X
         
2011 Canisius College AMP  
X
X
 
X
X
 
2012 University of Pennsylvania PVWDC            
X
2013 Oakland University OCHAI            
X
2014 University of Arizona HAIRI        
X
   
2015 Tufts University TIHAI  
X
   
X
   
2015 Washington State University CSAW
X
X
   
X
X
X

Table 7: Education- Human-animal interaction (HAI) opportunities from: O’Haire, M.E., Bibbo, J., Hoffman, C. L., Mueller, M. K., Ng, Z. N., & Buechner-Maxwell, V. A. (2018). Overview of Centers and Institutes for Human-Animal Interaction in the United States. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6 (Special Issue), 3-22. Note: Table includes only centers/institutes that responded to a survey and is not an exhaustive list.

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