How To Become An Animal Attendant

Animal attendant is a great career for many animal lovers. Our complete career guide covers the paths and skills that can land you a job in animal care.

a female animal attendant with blonde hair and red lipstick in pink coloured scrubs smiles as she cradles a tiny kitten with dark fur close to her chest

Interested in becoming an animal attendant?

Being an animal attendant is more than a job, it’s a calling. Animal attendants combine clinical expertise with fun, passion and heart to provide animals with the safety, training and care they deserve. As an animal attendant, you get to do what you love every day, turning passion into a career. 

How you can become an animal care attendant

If you’ve ever wondered how to become an animal attendant, the answer is that there are two main pathways into the career. The first is volunteering and the second is study. 


If you’re not ready to commit to studying, volunteering at an animal shelter or kennel will give you animal care experience in a gradual manner. You can supplement this on-the-job training with official study to turn your hobby into a career at a later stage. 


Studying a Certificate II in Animal Studies will equip you with the skills and knowledge to work with a wide variety of domestic animals, and to run a reception in a clinical environment. This pathway is the fastest way to get the training you need to walk into a paying job confidently. As for your animal attendant salary, having a qualification generally helps you to get a higher rate than working as a volunteer or a trainee. 

Animal attendant salary (what you could earn)

The average animal attendant salary across Australia is $986 per week. This rate is calculated before tax and is based on a full-time, non-managerial role of 47 hours per week. New entrants to the field can expect to see moderate growth in animal attendant jobs over the next five years, ensuring you’ll see ongoing employment opportunities.

Why study animal studies with Swinburne Online? 


When you study with Swinburne Online, you get a nationally recognised qualification that’s been designed in partnership with industry professionals, so you graduate job-ready and qualified for an animal attendant salary. 

Industry experts

You will learn how to become an animal attendant under the guidance of animal industry experts, so you master the most contemporary practices to prepare you for the workplace of today. 

Work placement

You will gain practical experience in a real-world workplace through the work placement units within your course. 

Learn anywhere

Our world-class online learning platform is simple and intuitive, and you can access it from any of your devices, so your learning is as portable as you are. 

Animal attendant career FAQs

What does an animal/ kennel attendant do?

Animal attendants work with a variety of domestic pets including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, and fish. You can choose to work in a job that specialises in one or two species, like a kennel or a cattery; or embrace all paws, feathers and scales, working in a vet clinic or similar. 

Tasks and duties for an animal attendant can include:

  • Feeding and watering animals and understanding the nuances of allergies and special dietary requirements.

  • Cleaning animal enclosures and ensuring their bedding is safe and comfortable. 

  • Transferring animals between enclosures and preparing them for transport. 

  • Washing and grooming animals, clipping their fur and nails, and treating them for any parasites, insects, mites and worms.

  • Administering prescribed medications. 

  • Performing basic first aid and treating minor injuries.

  • Assisting veterinarians in performing surgery.

  • Performing animal rescues and providing aid to animals in need.

  • Assisting with behavioural assessments

  • Basic obedience training. 

  • Maintaining records.

  • Running reception at a vet or shelter clinic. 

  • Providing pet owners with basic dietary advice. 

Career progression

Being an animal attendant is a fulfilling career where you are on the front line of care for the health and wellbeing of domestic animals. It can also serve as a steppingstone to more specialised careers in the animal industry. 

With further study and training, you can step up into careers including:

  • animal handling 

  • animal training

  • animal nutritionist 

  • veterinary nurse 

  • wildlife rehabilitator

  • animal researcher 

  • animal technician 

  • animal shelter operator 

  • zoo-keeper 

The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. 

Make your passion your career today! Take the first step to a career working with animals by enrolling in Swinburne Open Education’s Certificate II in Animal Care and challenge yourself to live the life you’ve always wanted!

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