Working in the animals industry with A levels (or similar)

You will need relevant qualifications and further training, as these jobs involve specialist skills.

Jobs in this area include animal technician, veterinary nurse, farrier, head herdsperson and jobs in fish farming and aquaculture.

Case study

You need at least five good GCSEs to become a veterinary nurse. I took the apprenticeship route...

Sarah Spinks, community veterinary nurse, PDSA

Example jobs

Animal technician
Looking after animals used for education or in scientific research.

Veterinary nurse
Assisting the vet with procedures and operations, looking after animals, keeping records.

Zoo keeper
Responsible for the day-to-day care and welfare of animals in a zoo, wildlife/safari park, aquarium or special collection.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

As an apprentice you should expect to receive the minimum wage or apprenticeship wage.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • You might work in a laboratory or surgery.
  • Some jobs are outdoors so you will be out in all weathers.
  • You will need to wear protective clothing for most jobs.

Qualifications needed

You will need a minimum of four GCSEs or equivalent for most technician jobs. Maths, English and science are often required. However, experience with animals is also important. This could be through work experience or with your own pets.

Career path

You might be able to progress to senior jobs in your area or you may progress to managing a surgery or laboratory. You will need extra training, which you can do part time while you are working. If you want to become a vet you will need to do a full-time degree.

Useful links

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The British Veterinary Nursing Association

BVNA - The voice of veterinary nursing

RSPCA Careers

Find out about careers with the RSPCA

Animal Jobs Direct

Find jobs with animals