How to become a Animal Attendant

Animal attendants provide food, water and care for animals.

Personal requirements of a 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 a 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 in Animal Studies, Companion Animal Services, Animal Technology or Captive Animals. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training at school.

Duties & Tasks of a Animal Attendant

Animal attendants may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

Working conditions for a 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 a 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.

Specialisations:


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.

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