What the job involves
Kennel/cattery workers care for dogs and cats in kennels/catteries. You will need to be confident in handling animals and be able to cope with the physical demands of the job, such as cleaning out kennels and cat pens and walking dogs.
Your day-to-day work could include:
- Preparing food and feeding
- Grooming animals
- Exercising dogs
- Cleaning out kennels and cat pens
- Answering telephone calls, taking bookings and greeting visitors
- Record keeping taking payments
Kennel and cattery workers can work in a variety of different establishments such as boarding establishments, animal rescue organisations, breeding kennels, assistance dog kennels or other kennels such as hunt or race yards.
You will need to have a genuine passion for animals and be committed to promoting their care and welfare. You should be good at working in a team but equally be able to work well on your own.
You will need to be able to communicate well with both owners, members of the public and your colleagues.
You may be required to undertake regular weekend work and sometimes early mornings and evenings in order to ensure the animals get the best possible care.
Full and part-time opportunities are often available. The work is physically demanding and will involve working outside at all times during the year.
Qualifications and training
There are no particular requirements for becoming a kennel worker, however experience with animals and an animal related qualification will enhance your CV and put you in a strong position when applying for jobs.
Some qualifications you may wish to look at are:
- Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
- Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management
- Level 1 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
Getting into the profession
Any work experience will be looked on favourably by employers and will often give you a ‘foot in the door’ if any vacancies arise. It will also give you a real insight to help you to decide if the work is for you.
There are several places to look for job vacancies as a kennel worker including:
You may also be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship scheme. You can search for apprenticeship vacancies on the National Apprenticeship Service website.
Salary and benefits
Salaries range, on average, from £11,000 – £14,000 a year. Supervisor and managers can earn around £17,000 or more.
Some job vacancies may include on site accommodation.
Depending on the size of the kennels you are working in, there may be the opportunity to progress into a supervisory or managerial role or even start your own business!
You could look at taking more advanced qualifications ‘on the job’ such as the Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal care.
You can find volunteering opportunities on the Do-it website.
Animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, Wood Green The Animals Charity, Dogs Trust may have details of volunteering or recruitment opportunities.