Working with animals

Loving animals is certainly important to get into this industry, but remember that it's a competitive sector.

Research some of the less obvious jobs, such as stud manager, volunteer organiser, puppy trainer, retail pet care adviser and animal centre manager. Remember that many jobs require technical or scientific training. You’ll need to work hard, doing tasks like cleaning cages and administering medicines, and you may need to be outside in all weathers.

Skills match quiz

Is a career in this area a good match for you?

Take the quiz

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

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

Pay levels graph

Employer case study

Donna Cotton, PDSA

"Health education and prevention is becoming increasingly important to us and we do have some new jobs such as community and education veterinary nurses..."

Future careers

Growth areas include careers in animal behaviour and also alternative medicine such as the Alexander technique with dogs and horses, hypnotherapy and physiotherapy. There is a growing demand for dog grooming, as well as for pet accessories, including clothes and accessories for cats, dogs and other animals. There are also likely to be more jobs in dog hotels and spas and doggie day care centres.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • You have to be emotionally tough to cope with injured and sick animals.
  • Get as much relevant work experience as you can to support your applications.
  • Talk to people who are already working with animals to get their views about their jobs.

Useful links

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Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

RCVS - Setting standards for veterinary surgeons and nurses

PDSA

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals

LANTRA

Information, training and support for the land-based and environmental sector