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

Pet shop assistants are involved in a variety of different tasks; from looking after the animals in the shop, to advising owners on pet care and maintaining stock.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • Feeding and providing water to animals
  • Cleaning out animal accommodation
  • Grooming animals
  • Advising clients on pet care ownership
  • Selling pet care products and maintaining stock levels
  • Checking the animals for any signs of illness

Some pet shops sell a wide range of animals, other may be more specialised such as exotic animals or aquatic stores.

Personal qualities

You will need to have a genuine passion for animals and be committed to their welfare. As a pet shop assistant you will be in a position to ensure that owners receive the correct advice in order to provide their pet with the care and attention they deserve.

You will need to be confident in handling animals and have excellent communication skills.

Working conditions

The work will usually include a significant amount of weekend work and can also involve working evenings, especially in some of the larger pet stores.

Full and part-time opportunities are often available.

Qualifications and training

There are no particular requirements for becoming a pet shop assistant, 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:

If you are already employed or volunteering in a suitable animal care environment, 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 pet shop assistant including local newspapers, job centres and online jobs board. You could also take your CV into pet shops in case any future vacancies arise.

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 – £13,000 a year. Supervisor and managers can earn around £16,000 or more.


There may be the opportunity to progress into a supervisory or managerial role or even start your own business! If you are working in a supervisory role, or working towards this, you could consider undertaking the Animal Care and Welfare Manager Level 3 Apprenticeship, or studying an advanced qualification such as the City & Guilds Level 3 Animal Management programme.

Further information

Pet Industry Federation

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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.