Animal Transport Jobs Hiring Now In The United States

Matt Matasci Matt Matasci · Updated October 3, 2023

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A woman stands next to a black horse, possibly in an animal transport job.

Now that you’ve done your research on animal transporting and feel like you have all the right equipment — you’re wondering to yourself, “What’s the next step?” While you can start applying for a position with traditional animal transportation companies, you may find yourself frustrated by how difficult it can be to break into these businesses. These days, non-traditional employment is increasingly popular. Why not give self-employment a try when you’re looking for animal transporter jobs and use a marketplace like CitizenShipper to find gigs?

Signing up as a driver or air nanny on a two-way, peer-to-peer marketplace like CitizenShipper is the easiest way to find animal transporter jobs. Instead of working for someone else, having your hours and routes dictated by a dispatcher or higher-up, you can be your own boss! Finding success as a pet transporter on CitizenShipper is an achievable goal — our platform is the home base for thousands of self-employed transportation workers. We’ll break down in detail how you can become a transporter, what kinds of jobs can be found on CitizenShipper and some tips on getting started.

Types of Animal Transport Jobs Available in Different Locations

The bulk of animal transport jobs on CitizenShipper involve dogs and cats. But did you know that there are plenty of opportunities to transport a wide variety of species. We recommend that animal transporters on CitizenShipper consider specializing in hard-to-move critters like large livestock or exotic species Why?

  • Specialization means you need specific permits and equipment, so you’ll be able to charge more per transport than you would with your average dog or cat transport.
  • There’s a lot of competition for dogs, cats and other popular domestic pets on CitizenShipper, but if you’re a specialist, you’ll find there’s significantly less competition — increasing the odds you win the job!
  • Once you’ve built a relationship with livestock owners or exotic species dealers, it’ll be easier to find repeat customers.

Ranches in Rural Areas Often Require Animal Transporters

If you live in a remote or rural area, you may find that most animal transport jobs on CitizenShipper require you to drive long distances just to reach the animal’s pick up point. If you live far away from any big (or even medium-size) cities, don’t despair! There are thousands of drivers on our platform just like you.

Rural drivers using CitizenShipper actually have one big benefit — access to ranchers that need to have livestock transported long-distance. Most ranches are located far from city centers, where there’s plenty of space for their animals to graze. Just a few of the most common types of animals that ranchers need transported include:

  • Cattle
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • And many more!

Livestock transportation is a rapidly-growing industry with many opportunities for drivers. According to the USDA, as of 2001, there were 50 million head of livestock that crossed state lines each year — up from just 30 million in 1970. That number has assuredly gone up over the last 20+ years, and those numbers only represent livestock that cross state borders. Many livestock transports are intrastate, opening up a vast world of opportunity for our rural-based transporters.

One top driver, Transporter Tinisha, recently transported a goat and posted a video of it on her popular TikTok channel. Follow CitizenShipper’s social media accounts and about the adventures of our transporters and their lovable passengers!

Interstate Livestock Movement by Species:

  • Hogs: 27%
  • Sheep: 23%
  • Cattle: 57%

As you can see, hogs and sheep make up a significant portion of interstate livestock transportation. However, cattle are still the number one species of animal being transported across state lines. Specializing in any one of these types of livestock can give your transportation business an added advantage in finding work.

If you’re planning to transport livestock like horses or cattle, you’ll need a large trailer. Read up on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements for transporting species like horses, goats, swine and cattle across state lines. Make sure you’re properly certified to move these species from one state to another — failure to meet these requirements could result in seizure of the animals and your equipment, plus hefty fines.

Some of the most common reasons that livestock owners need their animals transported include:

  • Veterinary visits
  • Barn/pasture swaps
  • Livestock shows
  • Moving a homestead
  • Auction pickup
  • Moving animals from growing areas to finishing areas to slaughter plants

Sheep being loaded onto a truck for animal transport.

Part-Time Animal Transport Jobs Are Available in Many Locations

The beauty of being an animal transporter on CitizenShipper is you can dictate when and how long you work. Being an animal transporter doesn’t necessarily need to be a full-time job. In fact, many drivers use the platform to supplement their income — for instance, teachers that have the summer off from school take to CitizenShipper to make some extra money and travel the country.

Some traditional animal transportation companies allow for part-time workers. But like most other jobs, you’ll likely need to accommodate their schedules — meaning you won’t have the freedom to work when you want.

Farms in Remote Areas Need Animal Transporters for Moving Livestock

Just like it may be difficult for you to find pet transportation jobs if you live in a remote area, farms run into a similar problem! While there are traditional livestock transportation companies, it may be pricey for them to travel hundreds of miles just to pick up animals. Instead, they turn to independent transporters using marketplaces like CitizenShipper.

One example of livestock owners that frequently need the services of an animal transporter are hog farmers.

  • North Carolina has a high number of farrowing operations.
  • Piglets born in North Carolina are then shipped to the corn belt for growing-finishing.
  • The full-grown pigs are once again transported, this time to California for slaughter.

Cities Like Dallas And New York Have A High Demand For Animal Transporters With Weekend Availability

If you’re not in a remote area, there are many opportunities for a wide variety of animal transport jobs. Dallas and New York City are two cities that have a particularly high demand for animal transport professionals. Even more in demand are transporters that have availability on the weekends.

One factor you should use to determine which type of livestock species your business should specialize in is location. Certain areas of the country have higher concentrations of specific species. For example:

  • About half of the United States’ beef cow herds are in the Midwest between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains.
  • Drilling down even further, most feeder cattle are concentrated in the Great Plains, focused towards the southern portion of the region.
  • Conversely, most dairy cattle are located in Pacific and Mountain regions of the country.
  • California in particular has to import dairy cattle from other states, making it a popular destination for cattle transporters.
  • Sheep are mostly raised in Western states, though they can graze just about anywhere in the country.
  • Most hog production in the United States is located around the “hog belt” states that include Iowa, Indiana and Illinois.

Three horses are being transported in the back of a horse trailer.

Requirements for Animal Transport Jobs

So now you know that there are plenty of animal transportation jobs available. You know that certain regions of the United States offer unique opportunities to specialize in livestock, whether it’s sheep, goats, pigs, horses or cattle. But what exactly are the requirements you need to meet before you can get started transporting animals?

The good news is that it’s not that hard to meet the requirements for animal transportation in the United States.

Appropriate and Reliable Vehicle

Obviously the first thing you need is reliable transportation. It should be appropriate for the kind of animals you’ll be transporting.

  • For instance, if you’re only transporting small dogs or cats, a sedan or hatchback will be just fine.
  • If you’re transporting large livestock or any other animals that need to be towed in a trailer, you’ll need a larger vehicle with hauling capabilities like an SUV or truck.
  • It should also go without saying that you need a driver’s license.
  • Having a clean driving record will go a long way towards your success. Platforms such as CitizenShipper conduct a background check before allowing any driver to bid on animal transportation jobs.

The Right Equipment

Just like with your vehicle, you’ll need to have the appropriate equipment for the type of animals you plan to transport. For some species, the equipment required to successfully win transports can be cost prohibitive — if you don’t already have the equipment, consider getting your foot in the door with easier animals and working your way up to horses or large livestock.

  • Dogs are relatively easy — the main piece of equipment you need is a carrier or crate. Many dog transporters provide their own crate, which allows you to charge a higher rate. However, others request that the owner provides their own carrier or crate.
  • This is the same case with cats, rabbits and any other compact mammalian pets — all you need is a carrier. These species are even easier than dogs, which come in a wide range of sizes.
  • Livestock like horses, cattle and sheep require at least a small trailer and species-specific equipment.A Love For AnimalsIt goes without saying that in order to be a successful transporter of animals, you need to love them! This is just as important, if not moreso, than having an extensive educational background with animals.

USDA Certification

If you’re transporting animals, you need to be USDA registered. The good news is that unlike USDA certification, getting registered is free! Plus, CitizenShipper works closely with the USDA to streamline the process and ensure you have your registration right away!

A group of cows in a dirt field, possibly for animal transport purposes.

Two Final Tips for Animal Transport Success

Gain Experience in Animal Care and Handling

While having a formal education in animal training or veterinary medicine will set you apart from most animal transporters, they’re not a requirement. However, having experience with animal care and handling is one way to rise above the competition.

  • Take classes that help you know how to deal with stressed-out animals or those with separation anxiety.
  • Get certified for animal CPR.
  • Look for any other types of classes that you can add to your profile.

Develop Skills in Customer Service and Business Management

Other under-the-radar skills that help you find success as an animal transporter are customer service and business management.

Customer Service:

  • Remember, in many cases you’re transporting an animal that is essentially a family member to your customers.
  • They expect exceptional communication skills, frequent updates during the trip and of course, courteous conversation.
  • Oftentimes on CitizenShipper, the drivers that win the most bookings are not those with the most experience or those with the lowest price — instead, it’s the transporters that are the most personable and put the pet owner at ease.

Business Management

  • Carefully planning your routes so that you avoid empty truckloads is a major factor in finding success as a transporter.
  • When you plan your routes ahead of time, you can increase your volume without driving additional miles.

How to Apply for Animal Transport Jobs

It can be difficult for a new driver to get hired by a traditional pet transporter. The best thing about using a marketplace like CitizenShipper to find animal transportation gigs is that you don’t actually have to apply! All it takes is a few simple steps:

  • Sign up and create a profile on CitizenShipper by entering your driver’s license number and contact information
  • Pass your background check
  • Become USDA-registered
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for pet transportation
  • Start bidding on transportation jobs!
  • Sign up as a driver on CitizenShipper today. You’ll have the freedom of being your own boss, dictating when, where and how often you are on the road!