animal attendants


Stepping stones to a rewarding career

Career pathways in being an animal attendant

There is a variety of work available caring for or working with animals. Both require skills that are based on care, appreciation and respect for animals.

The sector covers all of Australia and is relevant to city, suburban, rural and remote areas and involves a diversity of people including volunteers, hobbyists, trainees, full or part-time workers and managers.

Job opportunities are available for animal technicians and attendants, laboratory technicians, pet shop attendants, zoo curators and keepers, and stud stock attendants.

Animal attendants provide food, water and care for animals.

  • 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 look after 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.

Jobs and qualifications

Animal Attendant 1 Certificate III in Captive Animals »
Certificate IV in Captive Animals »
Animal Attendant 2 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services »
Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services »
Animal Attendant 3 Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation »

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.

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.

Source acknowledgement: Job Guide, Department of Education

Animal Attendant 1

Animal attendants perform a wide range of support and animal care operations that may include: operation of a wide range of equipment; maintenance of enclosures; preparation and distribution of food; assisting the in the provision of a range of animal care procedures.

The Certificate III in Captive Animals is the industry qualification for persons operating at a pre-trade level and undertaking captive animal functions within a zoo, wildlife or theme park environment. It is highly recommended that whilst undertaking this qualification, the learner should have access to a captive animal workplace through either paid employment or a period of work placement or work experience.

The Certificate IV in Captive Animals is the industry qualification for persons operating at a senior keeper level and undertaking captive animal functions within a zoo, wildlife or theme park environment. It is highly recommended that whilst undertaking this qualification, the learner should have access to a captive animal workplace through either paid employment or a period of work placement or work experience.

Animal Attendant 2

The Certificate III in Companion Animal Services in the industry qualification for persons operating within a companion animal organisation. It is highly recommended that whilst undertaking this qualification, the learner should have access to a companion animal workplace through either paid employment or a period of work placement or work experience.

The Certificate IV in Companion Animal services is the industry qualification for persons operating within a companion animal organisation.

It is highly recommended that whilst undertaking this qualification, the learner should have access to a companion animal workplace through either paid employment or a period of work placement or work experience.

Animal Attendant 3

The Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation is the industry qualification for persons undertaking animal control and regulatory functions.

It is highly recommended that whilst undertaking this qualification, the learner should have access to an animal control and regulation workplace through either paid employment or a period of work placement or work experience.