Animal care worker

Animal Care Career Profiles from The CV Writer - Creating Brand YOU - #creatingbrandYOU

Animal care assistant

Animal care workers look after animals in places like kennels, rescue centres and sanctuaries.

Salary Range: £13,500 to £22,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
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You could take a college course in animal care or management, for example:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to Animal Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
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You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant, or an advanced apprenticeship in animal care.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Volunteering and experience

It’ll help to have some experience of working with animals before you start looking for a job.

Volunteering can sometimes lead in to paid work. You can find out about volunteering opportunities in your area from:

  • Blue Cross
  • RSPCA
  • PDSA
  • Cats Protection

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in animal care from the National Land Based College UK and the College of Animal Welfare.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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Day-to-day tasks

As an animal care worker, you’ll:

  • monitor animals’ health
  • clean out kennels or cages
  • prepare food and help out at feeding times
  • clean and groom animals
  • look after animals that become ill or distressed
  • answer queries from colleagues and visitors
  • exercisie dogs in a yard or take them for walks

Working environment

You could work at an animal welfare centre, at a wildlife park or in kennels.

Your working environment may be dirty, outdoors some of the time and physically demanding.

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With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager, or work self-employed.

You could also use your experience to move into other animal care careers, like veterinary nursing, or find work in a zoo or wildlife park.