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Animal care worker

Alternative titles for this job include Animal care assistant

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

Average salary (a year)

£13,500 Starter

to

£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

How to become an animal care worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering

College

You could take a college course in animal care, 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

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Volunteering

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

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

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.

What it takes

What it takes

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

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an animal care worker, you'll:

  • monitor animals' health
  • clean out kennels, cages or stables
  • 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
  • exercise 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 physically demanding, dirty and outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

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. There may also be opportunities to go into training, for example working with assistance dogs.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Animal Welfare Care Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Rossendale

Level 2 Canine Hydrotherapy Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Romford

Courses In England

Animal Care

  • Provider: HAVANT AND SOUTH DOWNS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Waterlooville

Animal Care

  • Provider: UNIFIED SEEVIC PALMER'S COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: BENFLEET

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