Animal Studies

About the Animal Industry

Love animals? Want to make your career all about working, caring for and nursing animals back to health? There are plenty of animal studies and animal care courses to get you started (and there’s more to animal care than being a Veterinarian!).As a growing industry (with over 63$ of Aussie households owning a pet), there are plenty of job opportunities now and into the future. From working in an animal shelter, an animal hospital or even a pet shop, there are plenty of avenues you can take with an animal studies qualification. And, most animal studies courses don’t have any entry requirements, making it a viable option for most people looking to get into the animal care field. Your day-to-day life as an animal carer will vary depending on the course you take, but you could be training dogs, maintaining comfortable and hygienic animal enclosures, keeping animal health records or treating minor injuries.
Certificate II in Animal Studies by Open Colleges
Certificate II in Animal Studies by Open Colleges
Certificate II in Animal Studies by Open Colleges
Get qualified to start a hands-on career in Animal studies with our accredited, industry-developed Certificate II in Animal Studies course
Self paced
Maximum 12 months
Online with Work Placement
Enquire now

What Are the General Entry Requirements for Animal Studies?

The entry requirements to study animals will vary based on the course you want. Academic requirements will differ between educational institutions and the level of study you undertake. For the most accurate information, you should view the course information on the institution’s website.

Typically, you’ll need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent to complete an undergraduate degree (like if you wanted to become a Veterinarian).

For Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses, most students will need to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian Year 10. Some courses may require extra prerequisite subjects or work experience.

What Skills Are Needed to Study Animal Care?

When studying animal care, there are several skills that will help you be the best animal studies professional you can be. While some things can be learned, these are some intrinsic skills you should possess, or be willing to work on:

  • Nurturing
  • Communication skills
  • Non-judgemental
  • Confidence
  • Receptive attitude
  • Supportive and understanding
  • Patience
  • Teamwork skills

Is an Animal Studies Course Right for Me?

Love all animals? Like a hands-on approach to work? Dislike sitting in front of a desk all day? A career in animal care might be the perfect fit. You’ll need to be comfortable and good at working with a team, as well as comfortable communicating with your colleagues and pet owners.

Because animals require 24 hour care, seven days a week, you’ll need to be flexible in your working hours as you might find yourself in a role where you’re working on the weekends or later at night.

Not to mention animal care can certainly be a bit messy at times, as well as taking an emotional toll when dealing with injured or sick animals. However, animal care is an incredibly fulfilling job and for a true animal lover, the positives of working in animal care far outweigh any unpleasantries.

What Are the Different Types of Animal Studies Courses?

There are a range of Animal Care courses to take, from certificates to diplomas and undergraduate degrees. The course you choose will depend on your career outcomes and what you want to get out of studying animal care. Do you want to work in a zoo? Vet clinic? Wildlife sanctuary? The end goal will help you decide the right qualification you need.

  • Certificate: If you see yourself working as an Animal Attendant or are a pet owner who’d like to know more about caring for companion animals, then a Certificate in Animal Care may be the course for you. You will learn about animal anatomy, health, disease, first aid, dietary safety, animal handling, grooming, manicuring and bathing.
  • Certificate I: A Certificate II in Animal Studies is your first step to a career in the industry. You’ll learn how to care for animals in different environments, including kennels, catteries, animal welfare centres and pet stores. The Certificate II in Animal Studies includes subjects that teach you about working with animals, workplace communications, hygiene routines, healthcare and environmentally sustainable work practices.
  • Certificate III: If you’d like to further your education, you can complete a Certificate II in Animal Studies, which includes some subjects studied in Cert II, plus additional subjects and electives such as planning nutritional requirements, infection control policies and procedures, caring for young animals, reception services and breeding procedures.
  • Certificate IV: Certificate IV courses are highly specific to a particular field of study. These qualifications are for people working towards companion animal services, veterinary nursing, working with captive animals and pet styling.
  • Undergraduate/Postgraduate: If you’d like to become a Vet, you can complete a Veterinary Science degree either as an undergraduate, or postgraduate. This of course is a much more time-intensive and vigorous study route.

What Can I Do after an Animal Studies Course?

There are several career pathways following an animal studies course. Here are some potential jobs:

  • Animal Attendant or Technician
  • Dog Handler or Trainer
  • Pet Groomer
  • Zookeeper
  • Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Animal Hospital Assistant
  • Wildlife Hospital Nurse
  • Veterinarian

Which Are the Top Institutes to Study Animal Studies?

University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, Australian National University, and University of Sydney are excellent institutions to complete an animal studies certification. Institutions like TAFE, as well as online education platforms like Open Colleges also offer a range of certificates and diplomas in animal care.

How Much Can I Earn with an Animal Studies Qualification?

How much you can earn with an animal studies qualification varies on your chosen career. While animal attendants will earn somewhere around $47,000, vet nurses can earn around $66,000 a year, while zookeepers can earn around $57,000 per year.

Are Animal Careers Still in Demand in 2022?

Close to 70 per cent of Australians own a pet – which is one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. As such, animal careers remain in demand in 2022 and well into the future.

Are Courses in Animal Subsidised?

Government funding assists students by subsidising their tuition fees, with funding varying between states and territories. In NSW, for example, Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It helps people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. Under Smart and Skilled, the NSW Government contributes to the cost of each course with the student paying the balance. Animal studies is currently not subsidised by the government.