New Level 2 Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship
Ideal for those looking to work with animals whilst studying towards a nationally recognised qualification. Find out more…

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.

Personal qualities

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.

Working conditions

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:

You could also consider undertaking an apprenticeship, such as the:

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 or Level 3 Animal Management qualification. You could also consider undertaking the Animal Care and Welfare Manager Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Further information

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.

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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our career profiles, however we advise that you check with the relevant college/university/organisation that you are intending studying with in regards to current entry criteria.