How to become an Animal Attendant

Animal Attendant

Animal attendants provide food, water and care for animals.

Personal requirements for an Animal Attendant

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good communication skills and enjoy working with people
  • Mature and responsible
  • Able to work well in a team
  • Free from allergies aggravated by animal hair, fur, feathers and dust
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job, undertaking manual and sometimes heavy work
  • Able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • Interested in animals and their welfare
  • Observant and methodical

Education & Training for an Animal Attendant

You can work as an animal attendant without formal qualifications.You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.You may like to consider a VET qualification in animal studies, animal technology, captive animals, companion animal services or a related area. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become an animal attendant through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of an Animal Attendant

Animal attendants:

  • Prepare food (including special diets) and deliver food and water to animals
  • Clean and prepare comfortable sleeping quarters for animals
  • Clear away animal waste; clean, disinfect and maintain animal enclosures and cages; and check locks
  • Bathe and groom animals, and treat them with insecticide to control insect pests
  • Treat minor injuries and report serious health problems to veterinarians
  • Administer basic medications as directed by veterinarians
  • Transfer animals between enclosures
  • Assist with animal behavioural assessments and behaviour modification
  • Rescue injured and neglected animals
  • Assist with euthanising animals humanely and handling of animals that have died
  • Maintain animal records
  • Talk with the public and other staff.

Tasks

  • Transporting food, filling water troughs and feeding animals according to their individual needs.
  • Inspecting, preparing, cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining comfortable animal cages and enclosures.
  • Maintaining animal health records, treating minor injuries and reporting serious conditions to Veterinarians.
  • Exercising and playing with animals, answering visitor questions, and transferring animals between enclosures by leading or carrying them.
  • Training animals to accept riders and pull vehicles.
  • Dusting and spraying insecticides on animals and immersing them in insecticide baths, to control insect pests.
  • Training animals to perform in competitions.
  • Bathing, cutting, combing, blow-drying and styling pets' coats, clipping their nails and cleaning their ears.
  • Teaching animals to obey verbal and non-verbal commands and addressing behavioural problems.

Working conditions for an Animal Attendant

Working conditions vary depending on the place of work. Some attendants have to work on weekends and public holidays. Many work outdoors. Considerable contact with the public is involved when accepting donations and lost or unwanted animals, and when selling or adopting animals.


Employment Opportunities for an Animal Attendant

Animal attendants can work in a wide range of workplaces, including animal shelters, catteries, kennels, dog parlours or salons, pet shops, larger veterinary hospitals and clinics, zoos,circuses, theme parks and wildlife parks. Competition for jobs is strong as there are usually many more people seeking to enter this occupation than there are positions available. Dog clipping and grooming is a growth area that may provide self-employment opportunities.


Specializations

Pet Groomer

A pet groomer washes, dries, brushes, combs, cuts and styles pets' coats, and cares for their nails, ears, eyes and skin. They may specialise in creative special dye work and imaginative themes to enter competitions, or prepare purebred dogs and cats for shows.

Kennel Hand

A kennel hand receives dogs and cats from their owners, tags them for identification, then exercises, feeds and grooms them.

Pet Shop Attendant

A pet shop attendant sells pet food and accessories as well as animals to customers.

Animal Attendant

Animal attendants provide food, water and care for animals.

Kennel Hand

A kennel hand receives dogs and cats from their owners, tags them for identification, then exercises, feeds and grooms them.

Pet Groomer

A pet groomer washes, dries, brushes, combs, cuts and styles pets' coats, and cares for their nails, ears, eyes and skin. They may specialise in creative special dye work and imaginative themes to enter competitions, or prepare purebred dogs and cats for shows.

Pet Shop Attendant

A pet shop attendant sells pet food and accessories as well as animals to customers.

  • Average age
    Average age
    38 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    68% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    47 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $986
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    51% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    15,100 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.3%
    NSW: 29.3%
    NT: 1.0%
    QLD: 21.9%
    SA: 7.1%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 25.8%
    WA: 11.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 7.1%
    20-24: 13.4%
    25-34: 23.2%
    35-44: 19.7%
    45-54: 19.9%
    55-59: 7%
    60-64: 5.1%
    65 and Over: 4.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 10.1%
    Bachelor degree: 11.8%
    Below Year 10: 0%
    Certificate III/IV: 23.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.5%
    Year 10 and below: 22%
    Year 11: 7.6%
    Year 12: 22.9%
    Years 11 & 10: 4.3%
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