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Pet shop assistant

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)

£14,500 Starter


£17,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 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 a pet shop assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • 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

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

More Information


You can get into this job through an Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

You might be able to do an Animal Care and Welfare Manager Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, if you already have some retail experience.

These apprenticeships can take up to 1 year and 6 months to complete.

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


Volunteering is a great way to get experience of working with animals and could lead to paid work. You could look for opportunities with organisations like:

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.

What it takes

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

What it takes

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 carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You will:

  • give food and water to the animals
  • clean out cages
  • groom and exercise animals
  • advise customers
  • sell pet care products
  • maintain stock levels
  • deal with deliveries
  • keep the store clean and tidy
  • check the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
  • check all animals regularly for signs of disease

Working environment

You could work at a store.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become pet store supervisor or manager.

You might also use your skills to move into other animal care careers like dog grooming, animal care work in a kennels or rescue centre, or train to be a veterinary nurse.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Animal Care & Welfare Apprentice

  • Wage: £11,232.00 Annually

Animal Care & Welfare Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £14,560.00 Annually

Courses In England

Extended Certificate in Animal Care

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Liverpool

Extended Certificate in Animal Care

  • Provider: KENDAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Kendal

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