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How to Become an Animal Care Assistant

An animal care assistant looks after animals at veterinary clinics, zoos, kennels, pet stores, stables, and animal shelters. Bathing, grooming, feeding, and exercising animals are all things they can do. Some are experts in a particular field, such as marine mammals, horses, reptiles, or even behavioural training. 

The general care, husbandry, and handling of domestic animals are among the most crucial animal assistant roles and obligations. They also help with animal admissions and reclaims, as well as monitoring and reporting animal health. In addition, they’ll assist vets, clean the facilities, operate in a team environment, and support volunteers on occasion. Comfort with caring for animals, communication, teamwork, and other essential abilities are just a few examples. You may be able to get by with just a high school certificate or a GED because you may learn on the job. There are, however, animal care certificates available, which may offer you an advantage.

What does an animal care assistant do?

Many animal care assistants possess particular abilities that enable them to carry out their duties. We were able to narrow down the most prevalent skills for someone in this position by looking through resumes. Customer service talents, problem-solving skills, and compassion were all included on several resumes.

When it came to the most significant skills needed to be an animal care assistant, we discovered that patient care was included on 42.9% of resumes. Animal care was listed on 24.6% of resumes, and the facility was listed on 9.9% of resumes. Hard talents like these come in handy when it comes to carrying out essential employment obligations.

When looking for a job, many people look for a specific term or phrase. Instead, searching by industry may be more helpful, as you may be missing employment that you never considered in businesses that you didn’t even believe provided roles connected to the animal care assistant job description.

In a shelter, clinic, or wildlife preserve an animal assistant is in charge of providing high-quality care. Animal care assistants keep track of the animals’ health, regulate their food and medication consumption, ensure that animal stock inventories are adequate, and report any important findings or unexpected observations to the vets.

They also make sure that all of the facilities and cages are clean and orderly and that the tools and equipment used to support daily animal activities are working correctly. 

Here are some samples of responsibilities taken from real animal attendant resumes that depict regular chores they’d be doing in their jobs.

  • Assist in the management of an animal shelter and the adoption or euthanasia of confiscated animals.
  • Feed the goats once a week to ensure their well-being.
  • Assist in the delivery of dogs, cats, and goats as a midwife.
  • Distribute medication and aid clients with employment and housing searches through the local Department of Social Services.
  • Assist homeless shelter residents with housing searches, DSS paperwork, and shelter forms on a one-on-one basis.
  • Follow all USDA, FWC, and AZA requirements to the letter, and maintain the highest levels of safety, cleanliness, and professionalism.
  • Assist with the administration of oral and intravenous medications.
  • Conduct humane euthanasia and dispose of animals in accordance with departmental procedures.
  • Maintain an animal facility that complies with USDA rules and is constantly ready for inspection.
  • Follow USDA and facility issue protocol rules, and interact with professional lab contacts efficiently.
  • Respond to needs and crisis circumstances appropriately, such as resolving fundamental interpersonal conflicts among inhabitants and dispatching emergency personnel.
  • On an emergency hotline, respond to and aid victims of abuse or violence in security measures.
  • New shelter occupants can call a man hotline, get help with life skills, and have their emotional needs assessed.
  • Hands-on experience with the natural world and working with dwindling species can help you improve your animal handling skills.
  • Provide excellent service to all members, hotel guests, and VIP visitors while paying close attention to the smallest details.
  • Provide raptor patients with daily exercise.
  • Assist in the exhibition of aviary and raptor abilities.

How to become an animal care assistant?

If you want to work as an animal care assistant, one of the first things you should think about is how much education you’ll need. A bachelor’s degree is held by 30.7% of animal attendants, according to our research. We discovered that 1.2% of animal assistants hold a master’s degree in terms of advanced education. 

When looking at how to become an animal care assistant, picking the right major is critical. When we looked into the most frequent majors for animal care assistants, we discovered that the majority of them have a bachelor’s degree or a high school diploma. Associate’s degrees and diplomas are two other degrees that we frequently find on animal care assistant resumes.

You might find that previous work experience will assist you in becoming an animal care assistant. Many animal attendant professions, for example, need prior experience as a cashier. On the other hand, many animal care assistants have previous work experience as sales assistants or volunteers. 

Working with animals may be highly gratifying and satisfying; but, when you have little or no prior experience, it can be challenging to know where to begin to make your goal a reality. For example, you may be researching the various job opportunities available to you after completing your studies, or you may currently be employed in a different area and considering a move. Whatever your current situation is, following broad guidelines can assist you in launching a rewarding new profession. 

Four tips to help you proceed to the right track

Working with animals may be a tremendously fulfilling experience that provides a great deal of job satisfaction. However, when weighing the benefits and downsides of any job path, keep the following points in mind- 

  • Determine what drives you: Consider the tasks you enjoy and those you despise. Is there something you can see yourself doing daily? Something that motivates you, something that you are enthusiastic about? If one of those things is a concern for animal welfare and health, then the animal care sector might be right for you. On the other hand, if you can’t think of anything worse than getting your hands dirty, you should reconsider. When working with animals, one thing is sure: most occupations are hands-on, and the bulk of positions require cleaning.
  • Do your homework: It’s critical to look beyond the job’s image and investigate what the job entails on a daily basis. Find and read books, literature, job descriptions, professional magazines, and websites that are relevant to your field. Talk to people who work in the field – most people are glad to talk about their jobs and provide you with an accurate view of the good and bad.
  • Keep your expectations in check: People who work with animals almost never do so for monetary gain. They also rarely work a regular 9-to-5 schedule. However, they may assume that no two days will ever be the same and that each day will present them with a new challenge.
  • Get a solid sense of what the job entails: Volunteering is an excellent method to gain experience in the animal-care sector. Many non-profit rescue and rehabilitation organisations exist around Australia that provide volunteers the opportunity to assist out in exchange for a taste of what it’s like to work with animals. 

Some animal care professionals attend animal competitions. Animal care workers work in a variety of fields. Because the job is both physically and psychologically demanding, one should be in good physical shape. In addition, because animals require care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you will work unpredictable hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. For most roles in this business, employment growth combined with significant turnover should result in a very favourable career chance for individuals.

July 5, 2021

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