How To Become An Animal Attendant In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become animal attendants in Australia.


Are you passionate about working with animals and promoting their well-being? Then, a career as an animal attendant might suit you.


Animal Attendants look after various species of animals in shelters, kennels, wildlife parks, and more. Their duties include food preparation, medical care, husbandry, exercising, and caring for domestic animals to keep them happy and healthy.


You can work as an Animal Attendant without formal qualifications. However, a VET course in animal studies or companion animal services may help find employment.


Find out what animal attendants do, the job market, qualifications, courses, career paths, salary, opportunities, and what you need to get a job in this rewarding field.



1. What Is An Animal Attendant?


Animal Attendants work directly with animals to enrich and nurture them. They perform everything from feeding, cleaning, grooming, and watering animals to providing first aid and assisting with animal admissions and recovery.


They work with animals indoors and outdoors to monitor their safety, exercise regimens, and dietary needs.



2. Animal Attendant Job Description


The most common duties of an Animal Attendant include the following:


  • Rescue ignored and injured animals

  • Dust animals and spray insecticides to control insect pests

  • Remove animal waste, sterilise and maintain animal cages, and check locks

  • Prepare food (including special diets) 

  • Feed fresh water and food to animals

  • Administer general medications as specified by vets

  • Examine, prepare, clean, disinfect and maintain comfortable enclosures and cages for animals

  • Plan mating and fertility programs 

  • Bathe and groom animals

  • Maintain health records

  • Teach animals to follow non-verbal and verbal instructions and address behavioural issues

  • Train animals to prepare them for competitions

  • Bath, cut, comb, blow-dry, style pets' coats, clean their ears, and clip their nails

  • Treat injuries and report acute conditions to Vets

  • Exercise and play with animals

  • Talk with the staff and the public 

  • Respond to visitor's questions

  • Observe animal's reactions to health check-ups

  • Identify illnesses and injuries and take proactive measures to treat them 

  • Transfer animals between enclosures



3. Animal Attendant Skills For Success


You need specific skills to become a good animal attendant and accomplish your responsibilities perfectly.



Hard Skills


  • Knowledge and experience in caring for animals

  • Knowledge of the behaviour and anatomy body language of animals

  • An understanding of animal diseases and disorders and able to detect them 

  • Knowledge of safe handling of animals



Soft Skills


  • Genuine interest in animals and their well-being 

  • Helping attitude

  • Good level of Physical fitness 

  • Patience

  • Compassion

  • Customer-service skills 

  • Enjoy practical and hands-on activities

  • Enjoy working with people

  • Good communication skills

  • Mature 

  • Responsible

  • Able to work well in a team

  • Not allergic to animal fur, hair, feathers, and dust

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

  • Observant 

  • Methodical

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Willing to perform messy tasks

  • Team player

  • Naturally compassionate and Empathetic

  • Able to soothe and comfort anxious or distressed animals

  • Confident around animals 

  • Alertness

  • Calm Nature

  • Good Admin skills to keep animal records and perform other administrative practices



4. Animal Attendants Qualification In Australia


Here are the minimum requirements to work in this role:


  • 17 years old or above

  • Complete your Year 10 education or equivalent

  • VET qualification in animal studies, captive animals, animal technology, companion animal services, or a related field is beneficial. Consider completing a Certificate II in Animal Studies or a Certificate III in Animal Studies through TAFE or an RTO.

  • Undertake an animal attendant traineeship or volunteer at a local vet clinic or an animal rescue organisation to gain industry experience and boost your resume



5. Steps To Become An Animal Attendant In Australia


Do you want to know how to launch a career as an Animal Attendant? Here are the steps to enter this profession:



Step 1: Study Animal Care


The first step to becoming an Animal Attendant is considering how much education you require. You don't need a formal qualification to work as an Animal Attendant. However, completing animal care courses will give you the necessary skills and confidence to execute your duties best.


A Certificate II or III in Animal Studies can elevate your skillset and enhance your chances of making your dream come true. It is a pathway into advanced training in specialised fields such as animal behaviour studies and vet nursing.



Step 2: Gain Work Experience


Volunteering is a great way to prepare for a professional head start in an animal care career. 


Look for opportunities in your local RSPCA, zoovet clinic, and cattery to gain valuable industry experience. Previous experience in Cashier or Sales Associate jobs is also great.



Step 3: Build Your Resume


You are ready to apply for animal care jobs by gaining the right skills. Emphasise your achievements and personal strengths in your resume and make a job-specific cover letter. 


Search for "animal attendant jobs near me" to find local jobs on top job portals like Seek, Indeed, etc. 


Professional Associations and Groups:




6. Animal Attendant Courses


Along with a passion for animals, you also need the right animal care skills for a great start as an animal attendant.


A Certificate II in Animal Studies is the ideal animal attendant course online to break into the exciting world of animal care.


Open Colleges and Dentos Pet Stylist Academy are two popular training schools that offer this online course. It teaches you the ins and outs of the animal care industry, including:


  • Workplace health and safety 

  • Ecologically sustainable work practices 

  • Humane and ethical animal care work practices 

  • How to care for and support various animal species 

  • Animal care hygiene routine 

  • How to feed animals 

  • How to provide basic first aid

  • Effective workplace communication


This broad range of knowledge is adequate for working in roles ranging from vet clinic receptionist to animal care assistant.


Are you looking for an animal care course in Sydney? RSPCA NEW South Wales also offers a 10-week intensive full-time Certificate II in Animal Studies course. 


You can study this industry-leading and nationally recognised course in a blended delivery mode that encompasses face-to-face training, online learning, and practical work placement.


During the course, you train at an RSPCA NSW shelter or Care Centre and develop a broad perspective on the animal care industry to help improve the lives of animals.



Certificate III In Animal Studies


Do you want to study to boost your employment chances in the animal care industry? It is an ideal course for preparing you for animal care roles as a vet nurse in a hospital or clinic.


Students will learn about animal nutrition, hygiene and well-being, animal health, animal behaviour, and care requirements. Consider taking the course in any of the following training schools in Australia:




7. Work Conditions For Animal Attendants


The work conditions for an Animal Attendant depend on the place of work. They often work outdoors and may work outside standard work hours, including public holidays and weekends. It can make the job physically demanding and stressful.


Animal Attendants need to stay in contact with the public to receive donations, accept unwanted or lost animals, and adopt or sell animals.



8. Where Does An Animal Attendant Work?


Animal Attendants are commonly employed in the following settings to provide a multitude of services to different species of animals:


  • Animal welfare facilities

  • Retail Pet stores

  • Kennels and catteries

  • Animal shelters

  • Circuses

  • Larger veterinary hospitals and clinics

  • Dog parlours or Salons

  • Theme parks

  • Groomers

  • Sanctuaries 

  • Boarding facilities

  • Zoos

  • Laboratories

  • Stables 

  • Wildlife parks 

  • Day-care facilities for companion animals

  • Companion animal breeding facilities

  • Research centres


A few animal technicians also work self-employed to offer dog clipping and grooming services.



9. Specialisations For Animal Attendants In Australia


Animal Attendants can progress their careers in various specialisations:




10. Career Pathway For Animal Attendants In Australia


As Animal Handlers are in need in various workplace settings, they enjoy plentiful opportunities to climb the career ladder.


Animal Attendants could begin their careers as VET Assistants. As they progress in their career, they can take on more responsibilities and progress to a "Technician" role and end up with the "Operations Manager" title.


Here are the opportunities available for career progression, along with the required qualification to qualify for the role:



Junior Role


Animal shelter attendant (Certificate III in Animal Studies)



Mid-level Role


  • Animal health officer positions in Indigenous groups (Certificate III in Animal Studies)

  • Animal management officer (Certificate IV in Animal Facility Management)

  • Wildlife carer (Certificate IV in Animal Facility Management)



Senior Role


Senior animal attendant (Certificate III in Animal Studies)



11. Employment Opportunities For Animal Attendants In Australia


Are you looking for animal attendant jobs in Sydney? Here are the top jobs available on popular job portals like Indeed and Seek:


  • Trainee Groomer

  • Animal Attendant

  • Animal Attendant and Trainer

  • Animal Carer 

  • Dog Groomer/Stylist

  • Animal Shelter Attendant

  • Kennel Attendant/Kennel Assistant

  • Cattery Attendant

  • Animal Attendant - Dog Washer

  • Pet After Care Collection

  • Mobile Animal Attendant

  • Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

  • Assistant Grooming Attendant

  • Vet Nurse/Veterinary Nursing Assistant

  • Animal Trainer

  • Pet Shop Worker/ Pet Store Assistant

  • Zookeeper Assistant

  • Boarding assistant



12. Job Prospects For Animal Attendants In Australia


The Animal Care industry is an essential service and a growing in Australia. The country has a high rate of pet ownership. The constant rise in the popularity of pets has resulted in a growing demand for qualified and skilled workers to keep pets healthy and happy.


However, since the number of job seekers exceeds the available positions, the competition for animal attendant jobs is steady. The Australian Job Outlook website shows that the number of Animal Attendants has grown over the past five years.


Future predictions indicate a decent worker growth from 19,800 in 2020 to 21,000 by 2025.


Animal Attendants are employed majorly in Arts and Recreation Services, Forestry, Fishing, and Agriculture. Around half work full-time for around 47 hours per week which is higher than the average for all occupations.


Animal care is a female-dominated industry, with 68% of female workers. The average age for people working as Animal Care Attendants is 38 years.



13. How Much Does An Animal Attendant Get Paid?


The average animal attendant salary in Australia is AU$ 53,178 per year or AU$ 22.26 per hour. The earnings of animal attendants increase as they gain experience and work in senior positions.


  • Entry-level animal attendants (<1-year experience) earn AU$20.35 

  • Early career animal attendants (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$22.15 

  • Mid-career animal attendants (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$22.74 

  • Experienced animal attendants (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$24.97 



14. Conclusion


The job of an Animal Attendant exercises your ability to care for and nurture vulnerable animals and help them thrive. Each day in this role is more fulfilling, enjoyable, and rewarding.


Since there is always a need for empathetic workers in the animal sector, the promising job outlook attracts many youths to pursue this profession.


If you feel an animal attendant role is for you, complete a Certificate II qualification to build an excellent foundation for your animal care career.


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