Pet shop assistants serve customers and look after animals in pet shops.
Salary Range: £14,500 to £17,500
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- a course run by a specialist training provider
You could do a qualification to improve your career prospects and show employers that you’re committed to learning more about working with animals. Relevant courses include:
- Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
- Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You can get into this job through an animal care and welfare assistant intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- equivalent entry requirements
- guide to apprenticeships
Volunteering and experience
Volunteering is a great way to get experience of working with animals and could lead to paid work. You could look for opportunities with the:
- Dogs Trust
- Cats Protection
You may not need any formal qualifications to apply to work in a pet shop. It’ll help if you’ve got experience of working with animals or a background in retail customer service.
You may be able to study with specialist animal welfare college or the Pet Industry Federation for a qualification in animal care.
Course are offered online, in the workplace and at college.
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- giving food and water to the animals
- cleaning out cages
- grooming and exercising animals
- advising customers
- selling pet care products
- maintaining stock levels
- dealing with deliveries
- keeping the store clean and tidy
- checking the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
- checking all animals regularly for signs of disease
You could work at a store.
With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.