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RSPCA inspector

Alternative titles for this job include Animal welfare inspector

RSPCA inspectors investigate complaints about animal cruelty, and rescue animals and provide medical treatment.

Average salary (a year)

£19,250 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become an RSPCA inspector

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly


You can get experience by volunteering with an animal welfare charity, animal refuge or at one of the RSPCA's own animal care centres.

Do-it also has more information on local opportunities for work with animals.

You could do a course in animal care while you're volunteering, which may help when you come to apply for a training place with the RSPCA.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for trainee inspector vacancies. You should be willing to move to another part of the country to do your training, if necessary.

To be taken on as a trainee you'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths
  • experience of working with animals

If your application is successful, you'll be invited to a selection day where you'll complete a series of assessments and an interview.

More Information

Further information

You'll find advice about working as an inspector through the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work on your own
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness
  • have the ability to swim 50 metres fully clothed
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • have a full driving licence
  • be able to cope with working at height

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • advising owners on proper care and issuing warnings
  • rescuing animals and arranging medical treatment
  • putting animals down humanely
  • taking a case to court
  • inspecting kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
  • working with local authorities to rescue injured deer or foxes
  • writing reports
  • giving talks to educate the public

Working environment

You could work at an abattoir, in a court, on a farm, on the streets, in the community or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be dirty, you'll travel often, physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to chief inspector then regional superintendent.

You could move into management or training roles at the RSPCA headquarters.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an RSPCA inspector right now.

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