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Guide To Animal Care Apprenticeships

So what is an Animal Care Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships for animal care are real jobs where you will be learning valuable skills in your place of work, working towards nationally recognised qualifications. These qualifications mean you will be able to apply for animal care jobs in other places in the future or continue to develop your career by earning further qualifications and skills. If you love animals- and are looking for the type of career where you don’t have to be cooped up in an office all day - apprenticeships with animals could be perfect for you.



Animal Care Apprenticeship

An animal care apprenticeship with the Army can set you up with the skills, qualifications and experience you need to build a successful career in animal care or animal handling.

The Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) provides the service lead in the development of good husbandry, training practice, preventive medicine and care for Military Working Animals (MWAs), including dogs and horses.

Why Work with Animals?
Not only is working with animals fun: it’s also a highly rewarding career. No two days will be the same, and you will have the reward of knowing you are helping animals - and their owners - live happier lives. If you love animals, or working a little closer to nature, a career in animal care could be the right path for you.
What skills do you need to work with animals?
Working with animals requires empathy, patience and sensitivity before anything else. When dealing with animal welfare, being able to understand how an animal might be feeling is crucial to being able to deal with them appropriately. Alongside this, knowledge and training of proper animal handling is key- but don’t worry, as an apprentice you won’t be expected to have done that just yet.
Do you need to go to university to work with animals?
No! Many jobs working with animals don’t need degrees. However, if you intend to become a veterinary surgeon, or anything medicine-related, you will need 4-5 years at university to get a veterinary degree approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
Do you need qualifications to work with animals?
As with all career pathways, different roles require different qualifications. If you are looking to become a veterinary nurse, you will need at least a level 3 in veterinary nursing (which you could get through an apprenticeship!), but if you wanted to become an RSPCA inspector, you’d only need GCSEs to join.
What Experience do you need to Work with Animals?
Again, experience will vary by role. As a hands-on career, many animal workers will build up their CVs through experience rather than through certifications or portfolios. Like any career, roles that have higher risk factors (such as animal medics or dangerous animal handlers) will require higher levels of experience than other positions.
What types of Animal Care Apprenticeships are there?
There are countless different types of animal care apprenticeships, ranging from Animal Welfare Apprenticeships (such as Veterinary Nursing, Animal Handling, Animal Rescue Apprenticeships and more) to Animal Conservation Apprenticeships (for roles working with wildlife, such as Wildlife Managers, Wildlife Educators and Wildlife Inspectors- to name a few). Within each pathway, there are several different levels available to choose from.
What levels can you complete an animal care apprenticeship in? Listed below, the Different Apprenticeship Levels have been Debunked:
Trailblazer Animal Care Apprenticeship (Vocational)
Although Trailblazer programmes are not available for all trades and professions just yet, they will be in the future. These are programmes that have been designed by groups of professional people who work in a particular field. They know exactly the skills and qualifications you need to learn so that you can really succeed in your career.
The good news is, there are currently Trailblazer Animal Care Apprenticeships in the pipeline. These are Animal Care Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard in: Animal Care & Welfare Assistant, Animal Trainer, Veterinary Nurse.
Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship (Intermediate)
With Intermediate Apprenticeships in Animal Care, you will be in a real workplace as an assistant and also be awarded Level 2 qualifications at the end of your programme. Animal Care Assistant Apprenticeships give you nationally recognised qualifications and you could be doing activities such as dog grooming, wildlife care, animal training, retail and animal care and welfare.
Level 3 Animal Care Apprenticeship (Advanced)
Advanced Apprenticeships for Animal Care are for those who want progress further in the field. After completing Level 2 qualifications, you can start working and training towards Level 3 - Advanced. Level 3 Advanced Animal Care Apprenticeships can involve taking on supervisory roles, leading junior staff or volunteers to carry out tasks so that animals in your care are looked after and/or transported safely and effectively.
Further Career Development In Animal Care (Level 4+)
Just because you have completed your level 3 qualifications for Advanced Animal Care Apprenticeships, it doesn’t have to stop there if you are looking to progress further. Level 4 qualifications mean you can move to managerial posts and specialise in Animal Care & Welfare, Zoos and Wildlife Parks or Animal Handling. Foundation degrees or honours degrees in relevant subjects could also be an option.
How to start a career in animal care?
When it comes to apprenticeships, Animal Care roles are some of the most rewarding, especially if you love being around animals or working close to nature.
It can be really tricky getting that first chance, especially if you’re younger; jobs for 16 year olds with animals can be really hard to find, along with any animal care jobs with no experience. But don’t panic: as you start your journey in the Animal Care sector, apprenticeships and animal charity work will give you the opportunity to get your foot in the door.
So, if Animal Welfare Apprenticeships, Animal Conservation Apprenticeships, or any other Animal Apprenticeships sound right up your street, feel free to browse our Animal Care Apprenticeships and find one that suits you.
Apply For Animal Care Apprenticeships In The UK

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