A Pet Shop Assistant serves customers in the shop and feeds, grooms, cleans out, exercises and generally looks after the animals. In addition to selling domestic animals, animal food and accessories, they are responsible for keeping the shop clean and tidy, and dealing with stock and deliveries.
You could get into this role through an apprenticeship, direct application or you could take a college course to improve your career prospects:
You could look for an animal welfare assistant apprenticeship or an animal care apprenticeship. These are normally intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)
You'll usually need:
- GCSEs in English and maths or equivalent for an intermediate apprenticeship
It could improve your chances of getting into this role if you take a college course.
Relevant courses include the following:
- Animal Care Diploma Level 1
- Animal Care Diploma Level 2
- Animal Management Diploma Level 3
- Practical Animal Care Skills Diploma Level 3
Entry requirements vary depending on the college you are applying to but you will usually need:
- 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
- You may be able to get onto the level 1 course without any specific qualifications
The following colleges offer courses in Animal care:
You could apply directly to a pet shop, you probably won't need any formal qualifications but it may help if you've got experience in working with animals or a background in retail customer service.
Volunteering is a great way to get experience of working with animals and could lead to paid work. You could look for opportunites with:
Although you may be able to get into this role without formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship
Career Path and Progression
With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Kennel worker
- Sales assistant
You'll need to have:
- a keen interest in animals and confidence in handling them
- good customer service skills
- a good appreciation of health and safety issues
- the ability to use your own initiative
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages
- the ability to talk to customers and sell products and services
- patience and the ability to remain calm
£14,500 to £20,000