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Survey Results > Talent Management

Do HR Professionals Flock to Fish? What Your Pet Says About Your Profession

Does the fact that you cringe at the sight of your neighbor’s 20 cats and prefer the company of your trusty Lassie companion mean you’re more likely to have a job as a police officer — or a CEO? Does your love of slithering reptiles mean you spend your days as a salesperson or a social worker? Does your strange obsession with your foul-mouthed parrot mean you’re more likely to be in construction or public relations?

Pets bring many things into our lives — including companionship, fun, and, unfortunately, more cleaning duties. Research has shown that pets may also make their owners more trustworthy, better at making connections and more apt to help out others by volunteering — “social capital” traits that can carry over into the workplace. So what do our choices in pets tell us about our professions? CareerBuilder’s newest survey of more than 2,300 workers with pets examines a person’s choice of pets in relation to chosen profession, compensation and job satisfaction — and the results may surprise you:

Which pet owners make the most money — and are happiest with their jobs?

  • Highest job positions: Workers with dogs were  more likely to report holding senior management positions like CEO, CFO, or Senior Vice President.
  • Most money: Workers with snakes/reptiles were the most likely to report earning six figures.
  • Happiest with their jobs: Workers with birds were the most likely to report being satisfied with their jobs.

In terms of career paths, those in certain professions were more likely to have certain types of pets.

Does your chosen profession match up with your pet of choice?

  • Dog owners were more likely to be professors, nurses, information technology professionals, military professionals and entertainers.
  • Cat owners were more likely to be physicians, real estate agents, science/medical lab technicians, machine operators and personal caretakers.
  • Fish owners were more likely to be human resources professionals, financial professionals, hotel and leisure professionals, farming/fishing/forestry. professionals and transportation professionals.
  • Bird owners were more likely to be advertising professionals, sales representatives, construction workers and administrative professionals.
  • Snake/reptile owners were more likely to be engineers, social workers, marketing/public relations professionals, editors/writers and police officers.

Do you think pets help you be a better person in your professional life?

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

hmm -- your results say a mix of dog and reptile... I'm going to go with dog. Am I right? Or do you perhaps have a German-speaking parrot?

Bryan Coe - Blackbird e-Solutions
Bryan Coe - Blackbird e-Solutions

Interesting article. I'm not sure if I fit in any of the categories. I studied engineering and German. I work in IT and translation and I'm business owner. Can you guess what type of pets I have??


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