Are you someone who loves being around animals? If so, there’s a good chance you’d be ideally suited to an animal attendant job. Typically employed in kennels and animal rescue sanctuaries, you’ll be looking after pets in animal enclosures and can expect an average salary in the region of $50k-$60. However, that’s often not the only motivation to pursue this kind of career.
Other ways you may ply your trade as an animal attendant job include assistance in pet groomer services, working with veterinarians, in animal husbandry or even working as a cattery or pet shop employee. So, the profession covers a wide range of potential options.
You don’t actually need any formal qualifications if you want to be considered for the animal attendant job, but a TAFE Certificate III or Certificate II in Animal Studies will stand you in good stead. But what about soft skills? In which areas do you need to be strong in order to work in animal shelters across Australia?
Understanding the Responsibilities of an Animal Attendant Job
In order to understand the required skills, we’ll first need to understand the duties of animal attendant jobs. On a daily basis, you’ll be tasked with taking care of the physical needs of the animals in your care.
Your animal welfare duties will include the following:
- Preparation of food & feeding animals
- Keeping animal enclosures, pens & kennels clean & free of animal waste
- Dealing with animal records
- Taking dogs/cats for walks
- Comforting animals in distress
- Keeping animals clean
You’ll find out when taking our Animal Health & Veterinary Care Courses that as an animal care attendant, you’re basically looking after captive animals in what can be a hugely stressful time for the pets in question. As such, the work you do is extremely important.
Identifying the Key Skills Needed in Animal Attendant Jobs
The skills you’ll need to work full-time in animal care are often the same, regardless of whether you’re working in veterinary nursing or pet daycare. So, let’s take a look at the 5 top skills that the job description calls for.
#1 - Animal Handling and Care Skills
In this role, whether working in pet stores, rescue centres, or boarding kennels, you’ll usually be up close and personal with a range of different types of animals. What’s more, there’s absolutely a right and a wrong way in which animals are handled.
You see, when animals are handled correctly, the animal in question will remain calm (but not always). Also, animals are often stressed and unhappy when in these kinds of facilities, so you have to be aware of how to avoid getting bitten during the course of your work.
Having a good understanding of animal behaviour when providing first aid is also key, as it will help you to spot the signs and avoid minor injuries. It’s all part of a day’s work for your average animal attendant job in Australia!
#2 - Customer Service & Communication Skills
If you’re working in veterinary clinics, pet stores, or in any other animal-focused role, you’re going to be coming into contact with the general public. As such, you may end up talking to pet owners or any customers that come into your establishment.
That means your communication skills need to be strong, with a particular focus on customer care. Even when in a traineeship, in order to get work experience, you’ll need this skill to some degree.
#3 - Time Management
There are many animal care skills that you can pick up on short courses like our Animal Healthcare course; however, our next skill set is something you’ll usually need to work on yourself. The importance of time management is pretty high for most types of vocational roles in animal care.
You’ll often be responsible for the diets of the animals in your care, too, meaning there’s a set time everything needs to be done. Without a firm grip on time, your animals may go hungry!
#4 - Not Being Too Squeamish!
The next of our animal attendant skills relates to the kind of work you’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis. Part of catering for animal well-being involves dealing with situations that many people might find a bit too much. As a pro, though, you can’t act this way.
Whether dealing with pet injuries or poop, squeamishness is something you can’t afford, so if this sounds like you, it might be enough for you to consider an alternative career.
#5 - Physical Fitness
There’s no getting around the fact that people working in animal care of any kind tend to work really hard! There are more than 29 million pets in Australia, and it’s a figure that’s rising every day, meaning that anyone working in animal care is usually rushed off their feet all day!
This kind of work requires physical fitness and lots of stamina. Sure, you’ll build it up once in the role, for real, but having sore feet at the end of the day is something you should get used to.
Realise Your Animal Care Career With OCA Online Learning
At OCA, our video-based, CPD-endorsed short course learning allows you to gain professional skills most conveniently and affordably possible. Even if you’re already leading a busy life, our modular training fits you, with just an internet-connected device required. Our training is industry-led and created in collaboration with top experts, meaning you can be sure you learn exactly what’s needed.
Ours is a next-level learning experience that’s a world away from text-based options - something you can see by watching our Student Study Demo. Visit us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au, and you’ll also notice that every student gets 1-to-1 expert mentoring, allowing you to get off the best possible start!
Alternatively, if you have any questions you’d like answered, give us a call at 1300 611 404, and we’ll be happy to oblige. However, if you want to contact us outside of office hours, message us at [email protected], and we’ll respond without delay.