Animal Attendants and Trainers train, feed, groom and care for animals.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished Year 10, 11 or 12). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • teaching animals to obey verbal and non-verbal commands and addressing behavioural problems
  • training animals to accept riders and pull vehicles
  • training animals to perform in competitions
  • bathing, cutting, combing, blow-drying and styling pets' coats, clipping their nails and cleaning their ears
  • inspecting, preparing, cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining comfortable animal cages and enclosures
  • transporting food, filling water troughs and feeding animals according to their individual needs
  • maintaining animal health records, treating minor injuries and reporting serious conditions to Veterinarians
  • exercising and playing with animals, answering visitor questions, and transferring animals between enclosures by leading or carrying them
  • dusting and spraying insecticides on animals and immersing them in insecticide baths, to control insect pests

Job Titles

  • Dog Handler or Trainer
  • Horse Trainer
  • Pet Groomer
  • Zookeeper
  • Kennel Hand
  • Other Animal Attendants and Trainers
  • Dog Handler or Trainer

    Teaches dogs to obey commands and undertake specific tasks.

  • Horse Trainer

    Prepares horses for riding, breeding, racing, work, show or competitions. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Horse Breaker

  • Pet Groomer

    Washes, dries, brushes, combs, cuts and styles pets' coats, clips their nails and cleans their ears.

  • Zookeeper

    Feeds, provides water for and monitors the health of animals in zoos, aquaria and wildlife parks, cleans, fixes and maintains animal cages, and informs visitors about animals.

    Specialisations: Aquarist

  • Kennel Hand

    Provides routine care for dogs, including feeding, exercising, monitoring their health and cleaning kennels.

  • Other Animal Attendants and Trainers

    Includes Crutching Contractor, Muleser

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $957 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    15900
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    32.7%
  • Female Share

    67.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    57.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 15,900 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Animal Attendants and Trainers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Other Services; Arts and Recreation Services; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 44.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $957 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200513000
200614100
200712700
200810600
200912100
201012700
201113500
201215400
201317100
201414300
201515900
202016300

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsAnimal Attendants and TrainersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9571230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryAnimal Attendants and TrainersAll Jobs Average
Full-time57.968.4
Part-time42.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)44.740

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Other Services46.9
Arts and Recreation Services26.6
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing7.9
Education and Training6.3
Other Industries12.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateAnimal Attendants and TrainersAll Jobs Average
NSW16.431.8
VIC27.425.5
QLD2919.8
SA5.76.8
WA16.811.2
TAS2.12
NT0.91.1
ACT1.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketAnimal Attendants and TrainersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.3-5.45.4
20-249-9.99.9
25-3419.3-23.423.4
35-4421.2-21.721.7
45-5418.7-21.121.1
55-5920.4-8.78.7
60-643.5-5.95.9
65 and Over2.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryAnimal Attendants and TrainersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males32.7Males53.6
Females67.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationAnimal Attendants and TrainersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree11.3-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma22.6-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV14.8-18.918.9
Year 1247-18.718.7
Years 11 & 104.3-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around half of workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished Year 10, 11 or 12). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Animal Attendants and Trainers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    71% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. English Language

    53% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Biology

    53% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  4. Education and Training

    48% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  5. Mechanical

    47% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    76% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Getting Information

    75% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    71% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    71% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  5. Assisting and Caring for Others

    70% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

Occupational Information Network Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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