The Average Salary of a Kennel Assistant

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The Average Salary of a Kennel Assistant
A kennel assistant may trim dogs' claws. (Dog of breed dachshund on a chain as a sentry dog image by Dzmitry Lameika from Fotolia.com)

Dogs are considered to be man's best friend. Kennel assistants are animal care workers who are dedicated to the welfare of our canine companions. Working at boarding kennels for pets, or facilities for stray animals, a kennel assistant feeds and grooms the dogs, exercises them, monitors their health and well-being and keeps their cage or crate clean. She will also interact with members of the public, providing them with information, and ensure health and safety standards are maintained throughout the facility. The salary reflects the low level of raining required by the role.

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Average Salary

In its 2009 survey of salaries across many occupations in the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated that the average annual pay for a kennel assistant--alongside other non-farm animal service workers--was £14,189. This is equivalent to a monthly income of £1,182 and £6.80 an hour. The BLS also reported that the average among those in the top 10 per cent of earners was £20,579, while those in the bottom 10 per cent received an average of £10,133.

Salary by Industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary for animal service workers like kennel assistants working within professional services, such as boarding kennels, as £13,182. The rate for workers within social advocacy organisations, such as charitable organisations housing stray dogs, was reported to be £13,318. A kennel assistant may also work for a hospital or medicine manufacturer where dogs are used for research. The wage levels for these industry sectors were listed as £21,476 and £19,870, respectively.

Salary by Geography

Wage comparison website SalaryExpert.com surveyed kennel assistant salaries in several major cities. It found that, across all industry sectors, Miami and Atlanta were among the best-paying locations--$28,626 and £17,892, respectively. Dallas was listed at just £15,912. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' survey listed Hawaii and Alaska as the states with the highest pay rates for kennel assistants--$31,240 and £17,673, respectively--while Kentucky offered £13,188. At the metropolitan level, the Honolulu was reported to offer the highest wages--$34,290--while the Weirton, Steubenville area of West Virginia was listed at £13,455.

Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for kennel assistants and other animal care workers will increase by about 21 per cent through 2018. This is considerably higher than the expected growth rate across all occupations, put at between 7 per cent and 13 per cent for the same time period. Pet ownership is predicted to increase with owners purchasing more animal care services, although the BLS cautions that spending on pet services is affected by the performance of the national economy. A high turnover in the industry means that individuals seeking work within it should not face keen competition for vacancies and salary levels are expected to remain competitive.

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