What Do Animal Attendants Do?
What is Animal Care?
Animal care can involve working in a number of different settings including veterinary clinics, pet grooming, animal trainers, zoo keepers, or even pet shop owners and operators. Often working outdoors, you can expect a hands-on approach to your work. While working with animals can bring lots of joy, it may also involve dirty or unpleasant tasks, including cleaning up after them, or helping care for sick or injured wildlife. You will need to be patient and caring and prepared to work in the evenings or on weekends, because as you know, animals require care right around the clock, not just during the working week.
Your good communication skills will be put to use working with colleagues and dealing with members of the public. If looking after animals sounds like the job for you, check out the great range of courses available. These nationally recognised TAFE certificates and diplomas, can be undertaken online or through distance learning. You can also choose whether you study full- or part-time.
“The government expects employment for Animal Carers and Vet Nurses to grow very strongly up until 2017, while Australian pet owners currently spend around $8 billion per year on their furry friends.”
What Qualifications do I Need?
- A Certificate in Animal Care is a great course to begin with, if you like the idea of caring for companion animals. You will learn about animal anatomy, health and disease, nutrition, handling and grooming and first aid, with a particular focus on cats and dogs.
- The Certificate II in Animal Studies could be your first step towards a career in animal care, and can be studied as a pathway to veterinary nursing. This course will teach you how to care for and manage the needs of animals across different settings, including pet stores, animal welfare centres, and kennels and catteries.
- A Certificate III in Animal Studies takes your learning further and allows you to focus on a particular discipline, including captive animals or companion animals. The Certificate III in Captive Animals will equip you for jobs working in zoos, wildlife parks, mobile zoos, aquariums or even theme parks. With a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services, you will have the skills to stand out from the rest, and you will be qualified to work in a pet store, cattery or kennel.
- A Certificate IV course offers you the opportunity to be more specific with your field of study. Among the options available is a Certificate IV in Captive Animals, which will qualify you to work as a senior keeper at zoos, wildlife or theme parks. The Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services will provide you with all the knowledge you need to work in managerial positions in pet stores, kennels and catteries.
- If you want to work in a veterinary setting, then a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to work as a professional assistant in a veterinary practice or animal hospital.
While all certificate courses in animal care are available online, you may be required to undertake practical work experience in an approved animal care facility, as part of your course.
Where Will it Take me?
A career working with animals can involve many different jobs, working with a range of different animals. Some possible job outcomes include:
- Animal Attendant or Animal Trainer
- Animal Attendant or Technician
- Dog Handler or Trainer
- Horse Trainer
- Pet Groomer
- Pet Shop Owner/Operator
- Kennel or Cattery Owner/Operator
- Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
- Veterinary Nurse
- Animal Hospital Assistant
- Wildlife Hospital Nurse
- Veterinary Nurse
The government expects employment for Animal Carers and Vet Nurses to grow very strongly up until 2017, while Australian pet owners currently spend around $8 billion per year on their furry friends. Both these trends equate to a higher demand for pet groomers, pet shop owners and operators, animal carers and veterinary services, along with animal trainers and zoo keepers.
So if you love working with animals, why not look into a career in the animal care industry.