£14,500 Starter - £17,500 Experienced
39 to 41 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipvolunteeringapplying directlya course run by a specialist training provider
You could do a qualification to improve your career prospects and show employers that you're committed to learning more about working with animals. Relevant courses include a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care or a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management.
You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You can get into this job through an animal care and welfare assistant Level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeship.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship.
Volunteering is a great way to get experience of working with animals and could lead to paid work. You could look for opportunities with organisations like:
RSPCA, Dogs Trust or Cats Protection.
You may not need any formal qualifications to apply to work in a pet shop. It'll help if you've got experience of working with animals or a background in retail customer service.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
- give food and water to the animals
- clean out cages
- groom and exercise animals
- advise customers
- sell pet care products
- maintain stock levels
- deal with deliveries
- keep the store clean and tidy
- check the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
- check all animals regularly for signs of disease
You could work at a store.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become pet store supervisor or manager.
You might also use your skills to move into other animal care careers like dog grooming, animal care work in a kennels or rescue centre, or train to be a veterinary nurse.