No, professional dog walkers aren't just teens
Being an African-American dog walker is rare but lucrative
Mowing grass. Being a cashier. Dog walking. These are jobs that we somehow still visualize as jobs for teenagers. But even pre-pandemic, this just isn’t the case anymore. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans are projected to have even longer life expectancies in coming decades.
By 2060, life expectancy for the total population may increase up to six years, from 79 years old in 2017 to 85 years old in 2060. And inflation alone has made retirees nervous about whether they’ve saved enough money, reports Money. To put it plain, everyone is looking for side gigs—including those you may not expect to be in certain positions. One of those positions is being a dog caregiver.
Using a combination of statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and current job openings, Zippia guesstimates that dog walkers are:
primarily women over men (65.6% vs 29.9%)
average age of 32 years old
majority white (73.5%) while African-Americans account for 4.1% and Hispanics account for 16.9%
largely located in bigger cities such as Chicago and New York City
make an average salary of $29K but higher-paying ones can make as much as $48K
private companies may be more lucrative than public companies
Some of these statistics were surprising even to me, as a former African-American dog walker, dog boarder and dog sitter, who did so from the ages of 37 to 39. Unfortunately, being a black dog walker wasn’t always the easiest position; onlookers had already created their own perception of what a legitimate dog walker should “look like.”