This blog post discusses the skills required and steps you need to take to work in animal care. For many people, a career caring for animals is a true calling, much like those who work in the other care professions. However, you will find that your clients tend to be a lot furrier!
This type of career requires a real passion for animals and a willingness to work hard, sometimes in less-than-glamorous surroundings. However, it will provide you with the satisfaction of having made a positive difference for the animals and their families.
Animal care assistants typically works with small, domestic animals in kennels, catteries and animal rescue centres or sanctuaries. However, you may also work in agricultural settings.
You may wish to work with specific types of animals, such as cats or dogs, although this will limit your job opportunities.
To succeed as an animal care assistant, you should be interested in animals, have animal handling skills, be able to work with ill or injured animals, have a patient and gentle approach, be knowledgeable of animal care needs, have good interpersonal skills, and be physically resilient.
Working with animals often does not require specific formal qualifications. Gaining relevant work experience is usually much more important. Many people start by working part-time or in a voluntary role and build their career from there.
It would be beneficial to hold GCSEs and undertake some level of animal care courses, as this will demonstrate your interest and make more job opportunities available to you. You can achieve this at the same time as working; through distance learning courses.
Your main duties will depend on the setting in which you work, but they may include the following.
As an animal care assistant, you will need to be hands-on and undertake physical duties as and when required.
Animal care assistants can earn around £13,000 to £17,000 a year. The actual salary will depend on your experience and the range of duties required in the role.
The role of an animal care assistant will be immensely rewarding for anyone who has an interest in animals. However, there are certain challenges associated with this job, including lower rates of pay and physical work, which may not suit everyone.
Animal care assistants also need to work outdoors in all types of weather. Great for those who don’t like sitting around all day! You may also have to work early or late shifts and sometimes unsociable hours, but knowing that you are making a difference and improving the lives of the animals makes this less important.
Are you looking to turn your passion or hobby into a rewarding career? Oxbridge Home Learning offers an Animal Care Level 3 course that will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to start a career in animal care. This course is also perfect for anyone currently working in an animal care setting and wants to further their knowledge. Since this is a distance learning course, you can combine it with full or part-time work, giving you the best of both worlds!
As you study, you will learn about animal handling, nutrition, health and well-being; including disease prevention. You will also learn how to recognise different animal behaviours and come to understand more about animal welfare needs.