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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)

£17,000 Starter


£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

24 to 37 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 help you become a pet shop assitant and show employers that you're committed to learning more about working with animals. 

Relevant courses include:

  • animal care
  • pet care in retail
  • pet store management

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

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 will help if you've got experience of working with animals, or have a background in retail customer service.

Other Routes

You may be able to study with a 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
  • 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
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • 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

As a pet shop assistant, you'll:

  • feed and water animals and clean out cages
  • groom and exercise animals
  • advise customers on products and pet care
  • maintain stock levels and deal with deliveries
  • check water temperatures and chemical balance in fish tanks

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 a pet store supervisor or manager.

You could also move into:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Animal Care Apprentice - Pack Leader

  • Wage: £12,480.00 Annually

Apprentice Dog Care Assistant

  • Wage: £9,984.00 Annually

Courses In England

Certificate in Animal Care

  • Provider: Mary Hare School
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Newbury

Animal Care Technical Certificate

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Paignton

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