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Are you a devoted pet owner? If so, you’re certainly not alone in Australia, as you’ll find some pet in 3 out of 5 Australian households. However, have you ever considered turning your love of animal care into a professional career, such as an animal attendant job?

Whether talking about veterinary clinics, pet groomer shops, kennels, or catteries, animal attendants get to work full-time in the presence of animals while earning a living. In this article, we look at the difference between having an animal attendant job and looking after your pets, so you can get a feel about whether it’s your career path.

The Differences Between Being a Pet Owner and an Animal Attendant

When you’re a pet owner, you’re typically looking after one, two, or perhaps even three pets at the same time. You may walk your pet once or twice a day and obviously take care of all their meals. Whatever kind of pet you have, you do it for the love of the pet that you take into your heart.

However, as you’ll see when taking a closer look at animal attendant jobs or working in veterinarians, animal shelters, and kennels, it’s very much a full-time job. As you’ll see when taking our Animal Health & Veterinary Care courses, having an animal attendant is much involved, with your day-to-day duties typically involving:

  • Exercising/socialising with the animals
  • Monitoring the well-being of animals
  • Administering medication & vaccinations
  • Cleaning out animal enclosures
  • Bathing & grooming animals
  • Feeding & watering

Furthermore, when working in veterinary nursing or rescue centre settings, you might find the animals less than receptive to your care. So, unlike being an owner, the love you have for them may not be reciprocated, meaning you’ll need to cope with challenging animal behaviour due to the stress they’re feeling.

You may also find yourself having to provide first aid or even assist in euthanasia, which is a sad reality of animal care around the world. You’ll have to face it at some point, so you need to have a resilient spirit and not be squeamish.

The Qualifications Needed for an Animal Attendant Job

In reality, you don’t need any formal qualification to have an animal attendant job, meaning you’ll be fine, no matter what grades you left high school with. That said, at the start, you’ll be applying for sought-after entry-level positions, meaning that having qualifications will help you stand out from the crowd in the animal care industry.

So, What Qualifications Can You Take?

At the top of the learning scale is a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, which is a 3-year full-time course that opens up careers in zoology, animal physiotherapy, and nature conservation. If you want an animal attendant job, however, this is a bit more than you need, so there are quicker paths to the knowledge & animal handling work experience you need.

TAFE Courses Are Shorter

Vocational TAFE courses are typically shorter than degree options and offer hands-on experience with animals. Able to be taken part-time or full-time, this path is a clear one that allows you to develop your knowledge and improve your job outlook.

Usually, the TAFE route will involve


  • Certificate II in Animal Care
  • Certificate III in Animal Care
  • Diploma in Animal Care

These qualifications will give you the skill set to apply for animal attendant jobs or to train animals. They also give you the platform from which to specialise in other roles in veterinary hospitals, pet grooming, pet shop, and pet care establishments.

OCA Short Courses Online Are More Convenient

Another, more convenient way to give you the skills you need to work in pet stores, vet nurse clinics, and more is to take short courses online with OCA, like our Animal Health Care course. Able to be taken whenever or wherever you want to, our courses offer complete convenience, and they’re much more affordable than TAFE and degree options.

Completing OCA micro-credential courses also looks great on your CV, and each hour completed counts as 1 CPD point that shows your dedication to your professional development.

Enjoy a Rewarding Animal Care Career With OCA Learning

Working with animals is a world away from being a pet owner; however, if you’ve got what it takes, an animal attendant job is one of the most rewarding career paths you can take. Thanks to our video-based CPD-endorsed online learning, job hunting in the animal care field is that much easier, as your dedication will be clearly evident on your resume.

We offer a next-level learning experience, which you can see for yourself by watching our Student Study Demo. However, if you’d like to see our full course library - which covers more than 20 different professional sectors - visit us today at, where you’ll also find our flexible payment options that allow you to spread the cost.

Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to us about your precise learning needs, simply 1300 611 404 or email, and we’ll be happy to give you the help you need.


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