Animal technicians help veterinary, medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and general scientists and students to care for and check on animals used for research, breeding and scientific purposes.
Duties & Tasks
Animal technicians may perform the following tasks:perform daily checks and record the health status and behaviour of animals in their care
prepare food and water, and provide care for laboratory, field or zoo animals
maintain zoo exhibits, holding or breeding areas and equipment
assist in return-to-the-wild and animal enrichment programmes
carry out experiments using animals, recording the results under supervision and according to relevant codes of practice and the organisation's animal experimentation ethics committee rules
examine animals and take samples of their body fluids, faeces or tissue for analysis or veterinary inspection
inspect and test animals for worm infestation and disease
observe animals' reactions to tests
make routine calculations, such as for drug dosage, and prepare graphs
clean and disinfect cages and facilities, and sterilise equipment
work under supervision to establish and maintain breeding programmes
assist with fertility testing for sheep, cattle or poultry research
assist in the selection and grading of animals for breeding programmes
help with injections, surgery, dressings and care of animals after operations
assist with the design and use of animal experimentation and research protocols
euthanise animals humanely (under supervision) and handle animals that have died
participate in embryo transfer procedures
assist with post-mortem examinations on dead animals.
Animal technicians are usually required to work in shifts and on weekends. Some duties involve working with large animals and exotic species, which is often performed outdoors and conducted in all kinds of weather conditions. Much of their time is spent doing routine tasks such as cleaning exhibits and feeding animals.
enjoy practical and manual activities
interested in animals, their welfare and conservation
able to handle animals with confidence and patience
able to make accurate observations
free from allergies aggravated by animal hair, feathers, fur and dust
able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work.