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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

to

£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 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

College

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

Apprenticeship

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

Volunteering

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

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

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

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

Apprenticeships In England

Animal Care and Welfare Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: Manchester

Animal Welfare Care Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Horley

Courses In England

Animal Care

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

Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care

  • Provider: HOPWOOD HALL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 30 August 2021
  • Location: Manchester

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