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

  • $957 Weekly Pay
  • 22,200 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 50.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44.7 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 71.1% female Gender Share

The number of Animal Attendants and Trainers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 22,200 in 2017 to 24,800 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 18,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Animal Attendants and Trainers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Other Services; Arts and Recreation Services; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: More than half work full-time (50.8%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%), but there are many opportunites to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (25.4%).
  • Gender: 71.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200712600
200810600
200912700
201011600
201113500
201214400
201314400
201417000
201516000
201616200
201722200
202224800

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services60.8
Arts and Recreation Services17.5
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing8.0
Education and Training7.8
Other Industries5.9

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 2017, 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
NSW31.431.6
VIC24.426.2
QLD18.119.7
SA8.36.7
WA13.510.8
TAS0.52.0
NT0.91.1
ACT2.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-1911.7-5.25.2
20-2413.7-9.99.9
25-3415.2-23.623.6
35-4417.9-21.721.7
45-5419.6-20.820.8
55-5910.8-8.88.8
60-645.8-6.06.0
65 and Over5.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Animal Care and Management VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers.

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