About Animal Care
Do you love animals so much that you want make your living working with them, caring for them or nursing them back to health? We have a great range of animal care courses to get you set for a wonderful, fulfilling career amongst furry and four-legged colleagues, great and small.
Animal Care Study Options
Animal care is a growing industry too. More than 63% of Australian households now have pets, and there are thousands of animals in shelters and the wild that need care. The government expects job numbers to increase rapidly over the next few years. With the right animal courses qualification, you could be a vet or wildlife nurse. You could work in a shelter, animal hospital, kennel or pet shop. You could even run your own pet service business.
Training.com.au lists a range of Australia’s best animal care online courses and distance learning. To fit your needs and availability, these nationally recognised TAFE certificates and diplomas include full-time, part-time and self-paced study options.
Most courses have no entry requirements and involve practical workplace hours. They’ll have you ready for your dream career as an animal groomer, breeder, carer, healer – or whisperer!
Animal Attendants and Trainers care for the needs of animals, including training, feeding and grooming requirements. Depending on your animal care course and career choice, you could be performing tasks such as teaching animals to obey commands both verbal and non-verbal, maintaining comfortable and hygienic animal enclosures, maintaining animal health records and treating minor injuries, and playing with animals and providing companionship.
Career Outcomes for Animal Care Professionals
Depending on the specific animal care course you choose to complete, there is a wide range of potential careers you could pursue.
Animal Attendant or Technician
Dog Handler or Trainer
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
Animal Hospital Assistant
Wildlife Hospital Nurse
Job Outlook for Animal Care Professionals
Animal Attendants and Trainers make up approximately 16,400 full-time and part-time positions Australia wide. This is expected to grow moderately to 2018. As such the availability of positions in some areas may be limited.
Average full-time wages for Animal Attendants and Trainers is $49,972 per year
Over the past five years growth in the industry has been 51.8%, compared to the 6.5% average across all industries
5% of the workforce are female, while 37.5% are male
Types of Animal Care Courses
There are a range of Animal Care courses to take, from people just wishing to find out a little more about caring for their own pets, through to TAFE and university qualifications to kick-start a career in Animal Care. You can specialise in a wide variety of fields, that will enable you to work in a range of animal care facilities, such as zoos, veterinary clinics, theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
If you’d like to become an Animal Attendant or are a pet owner who wants to know more about caring for companion animals, then a Certificate in Animal Care may be the course for you. With a particular focus on caring for dogs and cats, you will be trained to understand animal anatomy, health, disease, first aid, dietary safety, animal handling, grooming, manicuring and bathing. There are no pre-requisites to enter the Certificate of Animal Care short course. You can also study this animal care course online.
While the Certificate in Animal Care is a taste of what the industry could provide, or a way for pet owners to increase their knowledgebase, the Certificate II in Animal Studies is your first step to a career in the industry. You’ll learn how to care for animals in a variety of environments, including kennels, catteries, animal welfare centres and pet stores. This course requires no educational pre-requisites. Upon completion you’ll be able to pursue a career as an Animal Attendant.
The Certificate II in Animal Studies includes core subjects that teach you about working in the animal care industry, workplace communications, complete hygiene routines, health care and environmentally sustainable work practices. During this course you are encouraged to find a work placement in an animal care environment to increase your experience and receive on the job training. There is no minimum education requirement to complete the Certificate II in Animal Studies at TAFE or any other approved course provider.
At this point in your studies you are able to continue with a Certificate III in Animal Studies. Alternatively you can focus on a specific Animal Care discipline such as a Certificate III in Captive Animals, Companion Animal Services or Pet Grooming.
A Certificate III in Animal Studies will include those subjects studied in the Certificate II course plus other core subjects and electives such as planning nutritional requirements, infection control policies and procedures, caring for young animals, reception services and simple breeding procedures.
While the Certificate III in Pet Grooming doesn’t have any educational pre-requisites, the Certificate III in Captive Animals and Companion Animal Services requires a Certificate II or relevant work experience. It is highly recommended that during your studies in these more specific Certificate III courses, you undertake work experience in a facility corresponding to the course or you are already employed at a relevant animal care facility.
Certificate IV courses are highly specific to a particular field of study. These qualifications are for people working towards:
Certificate IV in Captive Animals – senior keeper level who care for animals at zoos, wildlife or theme parks.
Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services – caring for animals and maintaining animal housing facilities while monitoring their health and wellbeing.
Certificate IV in Pet Styling – maintaining styling standards for specific breeds, understanding small animal anatomy and identifying potential health risks.
Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing – providing professional assistance at a veterinary practice.
Animal Care Courses Online
All Animal Care courses at Certificate level are available online. Various TAFE colleges and approved education institutions offer them online for those interested in pursuing a career in looking after animals and maintaining animal care facilities. As such they are perfect for:
Those who are currently working in the industry but would like to acquire additional qualifications.
People looking at a career change while continuing in their current employment.
Recent high school leavers.
Those wishing to re-enter the workforce.
However, for most Certificate level studies you will be required to undertake practical work experience at an approved animal care facility. This could either be at your current place of employment if you already work in the industry, or with a facility that is willing to accommodate you.
Is Animal Care right for you?
If you love animals, enjoy hands-on practical work, the outdoors and dislike paperwork, a career in Animal Care could be for you. You should be patient and caring, while having the confidence to handle animals that could be sick or undisciplined.
You’ll be predominantly working within a team and often communicating with colleagues and members of the public. Animals require care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you could find yourself working in the evenings or on weekends, depending on where you find employment.
You may also have to be willing to get your hands dirty with at times unpleasant tasks. There can be an emotional toll when dealing with injured, sick or badly treated animals.
But the rewards far outweigh the negatives if you’re an animal lover, and combining what you love with a career is the ultimate in professional job satisfaction. If this sounds like the right career for you, check out the animal care courses available now.