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Animal technician

Alternative titles for this job include

Animal technicians look after animals in medical and scientific research laboratories.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Animal technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could apply directly for trainee animal technician jobs with GCSEs in maths, English and science. In addition, some employers may also expect you to have animal care and laboratory skills. You could gain these through a Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in:

  • animal care or animal management
  • applied science
  • biology
  • laboratory animal science and technology

Entry requirements

You may 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

More Information


You could gain some of the skills needed for this role, from an animal care and welfare assistant intermediate apprenticeship.

Depending on your previous experience and qualifications, you may be able to do an animal technologist advanced apprenticeship.

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

More Information

Direct Application

You may be able to apply directly if you have previous experience as an animal care assistant or veterinary nurse.

More Information

Career tips

Experience of lab techniques as well as handling and caring for animals, may improve your chances of finding a job or training.

You could get work experience:

  • on a farm
  • in kennels, an animal welfare centre or zoo
  • in a science laboratory

Further information

Find out more about career pathways and training for animal technician and animal technologist roles from the Institute of Animal Technology.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • administration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties you will:

  • provide exercise, food and water to the animals
  • carry out regular observations
  • make sure that animals are clean and comfortable
  • control heating, lighting and humidity
  • monitor animals' weight and behaviour
  • follow hygiene rules in the facility
  • keep accurate records

Working environment

You could work at a research facility.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could become a senior animal technician and supervise or manage the work of other technicians.

With experience and further training, you could become an animal technologist or a named animal care and welfare officer.

You could specialise in working with animals in specific research areas like breeding, immunology or genetics.

There may also be opportunities to work as a trainer and assessor of new animal technicians.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Animal Care Apprentice - Pack Leader

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually

Apprentice Dog Care Assistant

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually

Courses In England


  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Newport

Level 2 Animal Care

  • Provider: THE SMB GROUP
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Melton Mowbray

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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