Animal Care is a highly rewarding industry, and an excellent area in which to get your first career. Whether you’re interested in animal psychology or you’re just keen to look after some cute and fluffy (or perhaps some that aren’t) creatures, there are many chances for you to harness your skills many different ways.
In 2017, PFMA conducted a survey and found that there were 54 million pets across the UK. This doesn’t even include any farm animals, so when taking these into consideration, there are many animals out there that could need your care. It’s clear that we all love animals and don’t want to see them to any harm – so, as you can imagine this animal care is an industry that is very high in demand!
If you’re an animal lover, there really is no better way to feed your passion than working and caring for them on a daily basis. From working as a trainer in kennels and catteries, or perhaps as a fundraising manager for an animal protection charity, becoming a zookeeper or qualifying as a vet, there’s a wide range of great roles out there.
There are also many indirect roles in organisations with an animal care focus that are available, such as in marketing, or promotional and public education work. These fields could act as a useful entry point for more specialised role; or even to those who wish to work in this industry but who may lack the specific qualifications that enable you to work hands-on with animals. Self-employment is also an option and is common for many positions such as groomers or even animal behaviourists.
What options can I take for a career in animal care?
Animal care is an incredibly popular industry (in fact, approximately 78,000 people work in this area), so work experience is essential for your success in standing out from the crowd. No matter what route you’re considering taking, you’ll need to be able to show that you’re really interested in the industry by getting first-hand experience. Whether that is with a local vet, volunteering at a dog club, working on a farm or with horses, this obvious motivation to get involved will highly appeal to future employers.
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
If you opt for an animal care apprenticeship, you’ll be earning a salary, working alongside experienced employees and gaining qualifications that’ll set you up for a great career! Although very competitive, an animal care apprenticeship will get you great work experience, setting you up for an amazing career. And, most importantly, you’ll probably get the chance to work with animals face-to-face! At the moment, there aren’t any degree apprenticeships available in animal care, however other apprenticeships in animal care include:
- Level 2 – Animal Care and welfare Assistant
- Level 2 – Equine Groom
- Level 3 – Senior Equine Groom
- Level 3 – Veterinary nurse
- Level 4 – Animal Trainer
Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!
There are a lot of options available to you if you choose to go to university to start your career in animal care. Though some options don’t require degrees to get started, others require this as essential. For example, if you wish to become a vet, you’ll need a veterinary sciences degree. As an undergraduate, you’ll learn the theoretical knowledge behind all things animal which you’ll be able to apply into your work when you graduate.
You’ll also have the opportunity to choose the topics you specialise in, and in some circumstances even be able to spend time with animals throughout your studies. We’d also recommend looking at degrees with a year in industry as this is very competitive industry. This work experience will make you more visible to employers who want people with first-hand knowledge of the kind of work that you’ll be undertaking. Here are some examples of degrees in animal care you could do:
- Animal Behaviour and Welfare BSc (Hons)
- Animal Behaviour and Training BSc (Hons)
- Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation BSc (Hons)
- Animal Behaviour Studies BSc (Hons)
- Canine and Feline Behaviour and Welfare BSc (Hons)
- Equine Behavioural Science BSc (Hons)
- Human-Animal Interaction BSc (Hons)
- Veterinary Nursing and Applied Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons)
- BVSc Veterinary Science
- Animal Behaviour MSc (Hons)
Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!
Once you leave university, you have the opportunity to get stuck in with a graduate role straight away, or you may be expected to complete further professional training at the request of your employer in a graduate programme whilst working full-time. This will give you the chance to apply your knowledge while learning from skilled professionals. However, if you’ve already got your degree and you want to start your career in agriculture and horticulture, there are still plenty of graduate opportunities out there.
Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!
If you’re more interested in the administrative side of working with animals, or a job role that doesn’t require qualifications when you start your career; there are a huge array of ways to get a job straight away. Nonetheless, we recommend that you get some work experience with an employer to show that you are really interested, which also has the advantage of making it easier for you to find permanent employment in the future. You can also look at completing a qualification in animal care independently, for example, completing a dog walking or training qualification.
Start your search for your career in animal care.