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RSPCA inspector

Alternative titles for this job include Animal welfare inspector

RSPCA inspectors investigate complaints about animal cruelty, rescue animals and give advice to animal owners.

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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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 initial 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 with the RSPCA from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • 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 use a computer and the main software packages competently

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

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Working day-to-day, you could:

  • advise owners on how to care for their animals
  • issue warning notices
  • rescue animals and arrange medical treatment
  • inspect kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
  • work with local authorities and emergency services to rescue injured animals
  • write reports
  • attend court
  • give talks to educate the public

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically and emotionally demanding, dirty and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

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

You may be able to apply to do an Animal Care and Welfare Manager Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, if you want to work in an RSPCA animal and wildlife centre.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

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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