Animal Care Assistant Job Description

Animal Care Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an animal care assistant. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an animal care assistant.


Who is an Animal Care Assistant?

Animal care assistants look after the animals in their care by keeping them clean, comfortable, active, and fed. They care for animals like cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and birds. They are also known as kennel or cattery workers or animal boarding assistants. Typically, animal care assistants spend their days performing a variety of tasks related to the health and well-being of the animals in their care.


Animal Care Assistant Job Description

Below are the animal care assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Animal care assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks, which can include:

  • Feed, water, and groom pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and rodents.
  • Clean cages and feed animals regularly.
  • Provide basic medical care, such as medication administration and physical examinations.
  • Replace bedding and clean feces from cages and pens to keep them in good condition.
  • Observe animals for signs of illness or stress and report findings to a veterinarian or another member of the animal care staff.
  • Help veterinarians with exams, treatments, surgery, and other procedures.
  • Clean kennels, floors, and walls to keep facilities sanitary and odor-free.



Animal care assistants must typically possess the following qualifications:

  1. Education: The majority of animal care assistant positions only require a high school diploma or equivalent. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in animal science or a related field may be required by some facilities. Students in these programs learn about animal anatomy, physiology, behavior, nutrition, reproduction, and genetics.
  2. Training and experience: Animal care assistants are usually trained on the job by their supervisors or other experienced animal care professionals. This training teaches the animal care assistant about the specific needs of the animals in their care, as well as the procedures and practices necessary to care for them.
  3. Licenses and certifications: Animal care assistants can choose from a variety of certification programs. Certifications enable you to demonstrate your abilities and qualifications to current and prospective employers. Animal care assistants can also obtain certifications to expand their knowledge of their responsibilities and advance their careers.


Essential Skills

Animal care assistants must have the following skills to be successful:

  1. Effective Communication Skills: Animal care assistants must be able to effectively communicate with their supervisors, other animal care assistants, and the animals under their care. You should be able to clearly explain any problems you’re having with an animal or any health concerns you have. You should also be able to communicate with your coworkers to ensure that the animals receive the necessary care.
  2. Compassion and empathy: Animal care assistants work with animals who are frequently in pain. They must be compassionate and understanding toward the animals they care for. This can assist them in developing trust with the animals and making the animals feel more at ease. It can also assist them in understanding the animals’ needs and making the animals feel more at ease.
  3. Capability to Work in a Group: Animal care assistants frequently collaborate with other animal caregivers, veterinarians, and other assistants to provide care for animals. Working with others to complete tasks and solve problems requires good teamwork skills.
  4. Effective Time management Skills: Animal care assistants may be responsible for multiple animals at the same time, so it’s critical to prioritize tasks and manage your time accordingly. If you have a dog and a cat to care for, you might want to start with the dog and then move on to the cat. This way, you can ensure that each animal receives the attention it requires.
  5. Knowledge of animal care: Animal care assistants should be familiar with animal biology and care. This can be beneficial when caring for animals and learning from their supervisors. They should also have a basic understanding of animal behavior, which will come in handy when caring for animals that are alone or in groups.
  6. Restraint and handling abilities: Animal care assistants must understand how to safely restrain and handle animals. This includes restraining an animal for medical treatment, handling a pet during grooming or training sessions, and keeping pets safe in kennels. Animal care assistants may also be in charge of cleaning the cages of animals housed in a shelter or veterinary clinic.
  7. Physical endurance: Animal care assistants frequently work long hours and are on their feet for the majority of the day. Physical stamina enables you to perform your duties efficiently and safely, as well as deal with unexpected situations in the workplace. Physical stamina also promotes a healthy lifestyle by encouraging regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.
  8. Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is referred to as flexibility. Animal care assistants frequently require flexibility because their work schedules can change at any time, and they may be asked to cover for absent employees or take on additional responsibilities. Being adaptable allows you to adjust your schedule as needed and ensures that you can effectively complete all of your responsibilities.
  9. Patience: When working with animals, animal care assistants must be patient. Animals’ personalities and needs vary, so it’s critical to read their body language and understand what they require. If an animal is acting aggressively, for example, you can try to calm them down by speaking softly or remaining still until they relax. Patience may also be required when training animals for specific tasks. Teaching an animal new commands or routines can take time, but being patient can help you build a stronger relationship with the animal.
  10. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Animal care assistants frequently use empathy when working with animals because they must be able to relate to the emotions of their pets. For example, if a dog is afraid of loud noises, an animal care assistant can try to calm them down by speaking softly to them or gently petting them.
  11. Knowledge of Medical Terminology: Medical terminology is the language that doctors use to describe body parts, diseases, and treatments. When working with animals who have health issues or conditions, animal care assistants may need to understand medical terminology. For example, if a veterinarian needs to explain treatment options for an animal, they will discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan using medical terminology.
  12. Keen Attention to Detail: Paying attention to detail is a skill that can help you do a good job. As an animal care assistant, you may be required to keep records of the animals in your care and track their health over time. This requires meticulous attention to detail to keep accurate records and notice any changes in the animal’s behavior or physical appearance. You may also be in charge of administering medications to the animals, which requires precise measurement of each dose.
  13. Knowledge of Animal Husbandry: Animal husbandry is the practice of caring for animals, which includes feeding and cleaning their living quarters. Animal care assistants are frequently required to perform animal husbandry duties, so having these skills is essential before pursuing a career in this field. Animal husbandry can be learned through an associate degree program or by working as an animal care assistant first.
  14. Basic animal care knowledge: Knowing how to feed, clean, and interact with animals are all basic animal care skills. Animal care assistants may be in charge of caring for pets in the homes of their owners or at a pet supply store. Knowing how to handle various types of animals safely and respectfully is part of basic animal care. Volunteering at an animal shelter or working with pets can help you learn the fundamentals of animal care.
  15. Customer Service Abilities: Customer service skills are important for animal care assistants because they allow them to interact positively with clients. You may be required to answer questions about pets, sell products, and schedule appointments. Customer service skills can also help you collaborate effectively with others at work.
  16. Inventory control: Animal care assistants must be familiar with the supplies and equipment that they will be using on the job. This includes knowing where to find these items, how to care for them, and when to replace them. Animal care assistants are also responsible for maintaining animal medical records, which include treatment plans, medications, and vaccination schedules.
  17. Sanitation and cleaning: Animal care assistants must be able to clean and disinfect animal enclosures, equipment, and other surfaces that have had contact with animals. This is critical because it protects the health of the animals in your care as well as the safety of any humans who may come into contact with them. You should also know how to properly dispose of animal waste, including which materials can go in compost bins or recycling bins and which must be disposed of in a landfill.
  18. Data Entry Capabilities: The ability to enter information into a computer system is known as data entry. Data entry is frequently used by animal care assistants when recording animal health records, tracking inventory, and entering customer information for pet boarding services. It is critical to enter data accurately so that you can find it later if necessary.


How to Become an Animal Care Assistant

Here are several steps to becoming an animal care assistant.

  1. Earn a high school diploma or its equivalent: To begin an animal care career, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent. If you want to work with exotic animals, you may need to take specialized science courses on top of your regular high school courses. Some vocational schools provide animal care programs that can assist you in learning the skills and knowledge required for this job. You may also be able to take relevant courses at a community college.
  2. Think about enrolling in an animal care program at a vocational school: Because not all high schools offer animal care programs, you may need to attend a vocational school to receive training in this field. These programs typically last two years and teach students about animal biology, animal shelter management, and basic veterinary procedures. Students also learn about various species and their unique requirements. Animal care certificates and associate’s degrees are frequently offered by vocational schools. Consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in zoology, marine biology, or wildlife science to work as an attendant at a zoo, aquarium, or wildlife center.
  3. Gain experience working with animals by volunteering or taking on entry-level positions: Animal care assistants typically begin their careers by gaining on-the-job experience. Dog walkers, kennel assistants, and pet sitters are examples of entry-level animal care assistant jobs. These positions give you hands-on experience working with animals while also helping you build your resume. These jobs can be found through online job boards or classified ads. You can also learn more about the duties of an animal care assistant by volunteering at an animal shelter. Volunteering is an excellent way to develop job-related skills and knowledge. It’s also free, making it an appealing option for those just getting started.
  4. Develop strong interpersonal skills as well as the ability to work well in groups: Animal care assistants collaborate with other animal care professionals, such as veterinarians and veterinary technicians, to provide care to animals. It is critical to be able to communicate effectively with these individuals and collaborate on tasks to ensure that the animals in your care receive the best possible care. When interacting with clients or volunteers who visit an animal shelter, you may also work in a group setting.
  5. Develop the ability to lift heavy objects: Heavy objects, such as large bags of dog food or crates, may require animal care assistants to lift. They may also be required to transport animals that are unwilling to enter a carrier or who are injured and require assistance in receiving medical attention. Animal care assistants must be physically fit to perform their duties safely and without straining themselves.
  6. Possess strong communication skills: Animal care assistants must be able to communicate clearly with both their coworkers and the general public. They should have a friendly, welcoming demeanor that allows clients to easily interact with them. Animal care assistants may also be required to explain procedures or instructions to their coworkers. Communication skills are also important when working in groups because they ensure that everyone is aware of the tasks for which they are responsible.
  7. Be at ease working in filthy and stinky environments: Animal care facilities can be filthy and unpleasant. You may be required to work in areas where animals are receiving medical care or cleaning up after pets who have not yet been housebroken. You should be at ease working in these environments and not be bothered by the odors so that you don’t get distracted while caring for the animals.


Where to Work as an Animal Care Assistant

Animal care assistants can find work in animal shelters, kennels, zoos, and veterinary clinics. They may work with animals such as dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and rodents. They may also be responsible for farm animals such as horses, pigs, and cows. Animal care assistants are typically employed full-time, with some working evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may be called to work extra hours to care for sick or injured animals. Animal bites, scratches, and other injuries may befall animal care assistants. They may also be exposed to zoonotic diseases, which are diseases spread from animals to humans.


Animal Care Assistant Salary Scale

In the United States, the average animal care assistant salary is $30,297 per year or $15.54 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $27,300 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to $46,098 per year.

In the United Kingdom, the average animal care assistant salary is £28,528 per year or £14.63 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at £22,463 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to £50,000 per year.

In Canada, the average animal care assistant salary is $33,150 per year or $17 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $31,200 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $52,689 per year.

The average gross salary for an animal care assistant in Dublin, Ireland is €31,758, or €15 per hour. This is 9% more than the average animal care assistant salary in Ireland (+€2,595). They also receive an average bonus of €473. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous Dublin employees. An entry-level animal care assistant (1-3 years of experience) earns €24,626 on average. A senior-level animal care assistant (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of €37,553.

In Australia, the average animal care assistant salary is $110,805 per year or $56.82 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $95,781 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $130,927 per year.

In Germany, the average gross salary for an animal care assistant is 27.039 € or an hourly rate of €13. They also receive an average bonus of €219. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Germany. The average salary for an entry-level animal care assistant (1-3 years of experience) is €27.039  A senior-level animal care assistant (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of €29.747.

In Nigeria, an animal care assistant typically earns around 274,000 NGN per month. Salaries range from 168,000 NGN (lowest average) to 454,000 NGN (highest average) (highest average, the actual maximum salary is higher).

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