Wildlife Career - Removing Problem Animals

10.02.2005 - I am very happy to have a career as a nuisance wildlife removal specialist. Many people ask me for jobs. Perhaps 100 or so people per year, in fact, find my website and request employment. I operate alone, so I must tell all of them that I'm not hiring. To be honest, the majority of the requests are from guys that sound like uneducated rednecks, and they cite their wildlife experience as their love of snakes. That's about a third of the requests. Some of the others are just guys that are looking for a job, any job. Then another large chunk of job requests are from people that think they are contacting a city animal services agency, and they really wanted to work with dogs and cats at the local shelter, and got confused, and called or emailed me. But then a good percentage of the jobs are from people that are honestly interested in a career in nuisance wildlife removal. To them I have the following things to say:

First of all, nuisance wildlife removal is the best career in the world, and I can't imagine doing anything else. It's a lot of fun, it very rewarding, I love working outside with my hands, moving about, not sitting at a desk, and it's never boring. It takes a fair amount if thinking and problem solving. Plus, there's good potential for a high income. I really highly recommend a career in wildlife removal.

Second, I'm not hiring. I'm not a large company or government agency. I run my own sole-proprietorship, a little one-man business. You'd probably be better off doing the same. There are large franchise companies that hire technicians, but they will rip you off. You will do all the work, and they will keep 80-90% of the profit. As for government jobs, they are rare, hard to get, and pay poorly. You'd be far better off starting your own business.

Next, this isn't the best job if your reason is "because I love cute animals!" You are servicing people, not animals. The raccoon in the attic would be better off if you never messed with it. But in this line of work, you are forced to mess with wildlife. I don't kill anything, but I'm not really helping animals either. I do take pride in the fact that within this industry, I take the most care to protect animals and keep them out of harm's way.

Also, very little of the time is spent with actual animals. That's really only about 5% of the job. Honestly. Just because you've been dealing with critters all your life and love to keep snakes and all of that, it does not mean you will be good at this job. The entire job is mostly driving, scheduling, talking on the phone, making sales, filling out paperwork, doing home inspections and home repairs, and so on. Seriously only about 5% of the time is dealing with actual animal handling or trapping. So from that point of view, if you think you're going to have a fun time with animals all day, think again. The business aspects of this job far outweigh the animal aspects. I took my Dad on a drive-along one day, and he was amazed. "All you do is drive your truck and talk on the phone all day!". He was right.

You have to be good at business, and you have to be available 24-7. If you're a lazy piece of crap and you can't answer every phone call, don't bother. If you are unprofessional and can't talk to people with extreme courtesy and patience, don't bother. If you can't communicate clearly with people, and make business terms friendly but clear, it won't work. If you want weekends, or even Sunday nights, off, don't bother. If you need other people to give you direction and tell you what to do, you can't run your own business. If you can't keep very good track of things and schedule out a full day for a dozen different customers who live in all different parts of the city and can only meet at different specific times, and make it all work out smoothly and keep your appointments, it won't work for you. If you like to be done with your workday after 5:00 PM, take off your shoes, have a drink and watch TV and not think about work, DEFINITELY DON'T BOTHER. This is a 24-7-365 job.  You ARE the business, it is your life. You will catch animals on Sundays, and you'd damn well better go get them and relocate them and not leave them in a trap to suffer all day. If a customer calls with an animal that you've trapped, you'd better answer that phone at any hour and prepare to take responsibility for your job. If you are a drinker, partier, remotely lazy or irresponsible, this job simply will not work. End of lecture.

If you understand all of the above, you could well have the best job in the world tapping on your door, a career in wildlife removal. I seriously have a great time and make a great living, because I love what I do.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Squirrels page for tips and advice.
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