Animal carers are responsible for the care and well-being of animals. Job duties include daily cleaning of animal areas, feeding, monitoring animal health, assisting with restraint for medical procedures, and assorted other daily cleaning tasks such as washing litter boxes, dishes, laundry etc.
Depending on which animal environment they work in, they can do a range of duties including:
Collecting and recording animal information from veterinarians and the public
- Providing treatment to sick or injured animals such as administering basic medications as directed by veterinarians
- Keeping animal pens, stables and equipment clean and organised
- Mixing food, liquid formulas, medications and delivering food and water to animals
- Examining and observing animals and assisting with animal behavioural assessments and behaviour modification
- Clearing away animal waste; clean, disinfect and maintain animal enclosures and cages
- Maintaining animals’ coats, nails and ears
- Answering phones and scheduling appointments
- Ordering and storing food and animal supplies
Where could I work as an Animal Carer?
An animal carer qualification opens up a broad range of options to a student including full time, part time, casual and short term seasonal positions.
- Kennel Attendant
- Pet groom or stylist
- Dog or horse trainer
- Animal care technician in a zoo, pet store or laboratory
- Animal shelter worker for rescued, injured and neglected animals
- Animal care worker at airports/pet travel companies
- Wildlife Hospital Nurse
- Pet Shop Manager
How do you get started as an Animal Carer?
The job of animal carer often has no set educational requirements. Various online vocational colleges offer training courses for animal carers such as:
- Certificate in Animal Care
- Certificate II in Animal Studies
- Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
- Certificate III in Captive Animals
- Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
- Certificate IV in Captive Animals
If you’re after a more specialised Animal Care course, consider Animal Science or Veterinary Practice instead. Some of the courses in this field include;
- Wildlife Conservation
- Vertebrate Zoology
- Certificate in Pet Obedience Trainer
- Certificate in Pet Groomer
- Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
Classes include the ethical treatment of animals, facility operations and animal care as well as speciality units relating to your chosen course.
Animal technicians who work in zoos might need a bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology, animal science or a related field, while those working with marine animals might need a college degree in marine biology.
Example Animal Carer Job Description in a Boarding Kennels
The Animal Carer role performs daily cleaning and maintenance of all animal housing, properly feeds and medicates boarding animals, monitors their appetite, hydration, and health.
Position also provides nail trims, micro-chipping, walks, playtimes and other services for the animals in our boarding care.
Position may assist with customer inquiries, including greeting customers, answering phones, providing tours for potential customers, bringing customers and pets to the kennels, and maintaining the merchandise area.
Advice to students training to be an aAnimal Carer
Good skills and qualities to have if you want to enter this field are:
- Animal handling experience
- Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written
- The ability to handle the physical and emotional aspect of working with animals in varying environments, which includes the use of euthanasia
- Strong computer skills and problem-solving skills