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What is the animal care industry?
There are many types of jobs available that involve caring for animals and pets.
The exact nature of the work is dependent on the specific sector you work in, but the main task of an animal and pet carer is to look after animals on a daily basis to ensure they are healthy and happy.
You could work with a variety of animals or with specific animals like dogs, cats or horses.
Duties can involve preparing food, cleaning pens and cages, grooming animals, assisting vets with surgery, providing advice to pet owners and maintaining records. In the role of animal and pet carer, you could work in places like
- A rescue-centre.
- A kennel or cattery.
- A veterinary practice.
- A zoo.
- A safari-park.
- A farm.
Areas in Animal and Pet Care
Careers in animal and pet care range from positions that require no qualifications and little experience, such as kennel workers and farm hands, to careers that require years of study to earn a formal qualification, such as veterinary surgeons and zoologists.
You also have the option of entering an animal and pet welfare career that involves dealing with lots of different types of animals or a career that focuses on specific animals.
The former includes jobs like zoo workers and veterinary assistants. The latter includes jobs like kennel assistants and equine behaviourists.
Why study an animal and pet care course?
Although there are animal and pet care positions that require no qualifications, there are also roles in which you first need to obtain a relevant qualification for the sector.
Even if you’re interested in working in an animal care role that doesn’t require a qualification, you’ll certainly be in a better position to be accepted to a job if you do hold relevant qualifications.
Having a qualification like a level one, two or three certificate or diploma in Work-based Animal Care will allow you to gain the knowledge and skills to begin a career in animal and pet care.
Alternatively, you have the option of doing an apprenticeship.
If you want to become a skilled animal worker like a marine biologist or equine behaviourist, you’ll have to study specific degree-level courses.
Career Outcomes from an Animal and Pet Care Course
Careers of all pay levels exist in the animal and pet care sector.
You may like to start off in a position like kennel assistant to find out if you enjoy working with animals as much as you think you will. You can then study a course to become a highly-skilled and qualified animal and pet worker.
Once you have completed a specific higher education course in the United Kingdom, you could become:
- A veterinary surgeon, which could involve working with pets, zoo animals and farm animals.
- An RSPCA inspector, in which you would rescue animals that are injured or have suffered cruelty.
A zookeeper, which involves carrying out practical tasks like feeding animals and cleaning enclosures at a zoo or safari park.