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How to become an Animal Care Worker

animal care worker careers

What does a Animal Care Worker do?

Animal care workers are involved in the welfare, handling and supervision of a range of small animals, and the associated administrative duties. They provide food, water and exercise, and make sure the animals’ environments are hygienic and safe. They also contribute to the animals' well being and health by grooming and applying treatments, and sometimes help to move and restrain them.

They may work in a variety of settings, including kennels, catteries, rescue centres, sanctuaries, pet shops and open farms. In many cases, animal care workers deal with customers and callers regularly, developing business relationships with them and acting as receptionists. In most roles, they gather, provide and record information and may liaise with veterinary staff.

Animal care workers also work as animal welfare assistants at Blue Cross adoption centres, animal collection officers for the RSPCA, kennel assistants at quarantine centres and animal care auxiliaries at animal hospitals.

What's the working environment like working as a Animal Care Worker?

Animal care workers usually work 40 hours a week, generally starting early in the morning. Shifts can be variable, and weekend and night work is common. Part-time work may be available.

Cleaning kennels and other animal accommodation can involve a lot of bending and standing in dirty conditions. Animal care workers may have to work outdoors in all weathers.

A driving licence will be useful for some jobs.

What does it take to become a Animal Care Worker?

To be an animal care worker you should:

  • be interested in animal health and welfare and not be overly sentimental
  • have emotional and physical stamina
  • have commitment and common sense
  • be able to work under pressure
  • be able to deal kindly, but firmly with the public
  • be able to take initiative or work in a team
  • be confident in using computers, in order to access animals’ records.

Animal Care Worker Career Opportunities

Experienced animal care workers may be able to progress to centre management. There are also opportunities for self-employment. Some animal care workers move into related animal care careers. They may become dog trainers, breeders or groomers; RSPCA or SSPCA inspectors; or veterinary nurses.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Animal Care Worker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Lantra
Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Warwickshire
CV8 2LG
Tel: 0845 707 8007
www.lantra.co.uk

Lantra career advice sites:

www.ajobin.com

www.afuturein.com

RSPCA
Wilberforce Way
Southwater
Horsham
West Sussex
RH13 9RS
Tel: 0870 333 5999
www.rspca.org.uk

Blue Cross
Shilton Road
Burford
Oxfordshire
OX18 4PF
Tel: 01993 822651
www.thebluecross.org.uk

PDSA
Whitechapel Way
Priorslee
Telford
Shropshire
TF2 9PQ
Tel: 0800 917 2509
www.pdsa.org.uk

Volunteering England
www.volunteering.org.uk

Volunteer Scotland
www.volunteerscotland.info

Animal Care College
Ascot House
High Street
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JG
Tel: 0870 730 8433
www.animalcarecollege.co.uk

College of Animal Welfare
London Road
Godmanchester
Cambridgeshire
PE29 2LJ
Tel: 0870 062 1122
www.caw.ac.uk