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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

As animal care worker you could work for an animal welfare charity or rescue centre. Tasks would include looking after the health and well being of the animals in the centre such as feeding, grooming, exercising and making sure the animals are fit and healthy. Animal welfare centres are always looking for volunteers and also sometimes paid help to run their rescue or care centres.

Entry Requirements

There are various ways in which you can get into this job role and the entry requirements can vary depending on what you choose to do:

A college course

You could take a college course in animal care or management, for example:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to Animal Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
  • Level 3 Diploma in Animal Care

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Animal Care:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course

An apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant, or an advanced apprenticeship in animal care.

You'll usually need:

  • Some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Careers Tips

It'll help to have some experience of working with animals before you start looking for a job.

Volunteering can sometimes lead in to paid work. You can find out about volunteering opportunities in your area from:

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager, or work self-employed.

You could also use your experience to move into other animal care careers, like veterinary nursing, or find work in a zoo or wildlife park.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Animal technician
  • Assistance dog trainer
  • Dog groomer
  • Kennel worker
  • Pet shop assistant

Required Skills

  • A very keen interest in working with and caring for animals
  • Patience 
  • The ability to handle animals that may be timid or nervous
  • reliable 
  • confident 
  • cool under pressure 

Salary Range

£13,500 to £22,000

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