Kennel workers care for dogs and cats in kennels or catteries.
£12,000 Starter - £17,000 Experienced
35 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipvolunteeringapplying directly
You could take a college course, for example a Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to Animal Care or a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Management.
You'll usually need 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a Level 1 course. You'll also need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course.
You can do a Level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or the equivalent.
Volunteering is a useful way to get experience and shows employers that you are enthusiastic and interested in working with animals.
There are no set qualifications for applying directly
to become a kennel worker. Some employers may ask you for GCSE grades at 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths and English.
Experience of working with animals will be useful. Kennel work is very practical, so paid or unpaid experience of working with animals could improve your job prospects.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You may need a driving licence for some jobs.
What you’ll do
In this job, you will:
- prepare food and feed the animals
- keep animals clean and groom them
- exercise dogs in a yard or take them for walks
- clean out kennels and cages
- maintain cages, runs and kennel grounds
- look after elderly, ill or distressed animals
- answer telephone calls and greet visitors to the premises
You could work in kennels or at an animal welfare centre.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager, or set up your own kennels or cattery.
You could move into other kinds of work with animals, like dog trainer, RSPCA inspector or veterinary nurse.