Pet shop assistant

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Pet shop assistants serve customers and look after animals in pet shops.

Salary Range: £14,500 to £17,500

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
  • a course run by a specialist training provider
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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

Entry requirements

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
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You can get into this job through an animal care and welfare assistant intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

  • 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:

  • RSPCA
  • Dogs Trust
  • Cats Protection
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Direct application

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.

Other routes

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.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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
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Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work at a store.

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With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.