RSPCA inspectors investigate complaints about animal cruelty, rescue animals and give advice to animal owners.
£19,250 Starter - £30,000 Experienced
38 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
VolunteeringYou can get experience by volunteering with an animal welfare charity, animal refuge or at one of the RSPCA's own animal care centres. You could do a course in animal care while you're volunteering, which may help when you come to apply for a training place with the RSPCA.
You can apply directly for trainee inspector vacancies. You should be willing to move to another part of the country to do your training, if necessary.
To be taken on as a trainee you'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths, and experience of working with animals. If your initial application is successful, you'll be invited to a selection day where you'll complete a series of assessments and an interview.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to work on your own
- sensitivity and understanding
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of public safety and security
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to:
- have a good level of fitness
- have the ability to swim 50 metres fully clothed
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a full driving licence
- be able to cope with working at height
What you’ll do
Working day-to-day, you could:
- advise owners on how to care for their animals
- issue warning notices
- rescue animals and arrange medical treatment
- inspect kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
- work with local authorities and emergency services to rescue injured animals
- write reports
- attend court
- give talks to educate the public
You could work in the community, at a client's home, on a farm, at an abattoir or in a court.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically and emotionally demanding, dirty and you'll travel often.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to chief inspector then regional superintendent.
You could also move into management or training roles at the RSPCA headquarters.