What the job involves

Being an RSPCA Inspector can be hugely rewarding, you can make a real difference to the well-being of animals and in educating those who care for them.

However, the role is both physically and emotionally demanding and you must be prepared for this.

As an RSPCA Inspector, some of tasks you may be involved in, include:

  • Investigating cruelty and neglect complaints
  • Inspecting animals establishments, such as pet shops and kennels
  • Advising members of the public on the care of animals
  • Inspecting events where animals are present, such as circuses and livestock shows
  • Rescuing trapped or injured animals and wildlife
  • Working with the police, local authorities and preparing evidence for courts

You can read a career profile of a RSPCA Inspector here.

Personal qualities

Physical abilities – You must have a good level of physical fitness and be able to swim 50 metres fully clothed within 2.5 minutes.

Flexibility – you will be required to work unsociable hours including some evenings, weekend and bank holidays. When you apply to train as an RSPCA Inspector, unless you have applied for a vacancy in a specific location, you may have to relocate anywhere within England or wales.

Interpersonal skills – you will have to relate and communicate with a variety of people, experience in the successful management of confrontational situations is essential. You will also need to work well independently as well as part of a team.

Psychologically demanding – you will need to be able to cope well with stressful and emotional situations.

Working conditions

You will be required to work outdoors at any time of the year, sometimes at heights or in other challenging conditions.

You will spend a lot of time on the road in both rural and urban environments.

Qualifications and training

The RSPCA has its own internal training programme that you will be required to complete. Usually the training will be completed within a year from registering on the initial module of the programme.

What qualification do I need to start training as an RSPCA Inspector?

There are several set entry criteria in order to apply for a position to train as an RSPCA Inspector, a full list can be found here.

Getting into the profession

You will need to have experience of working with animals and be able to demonstrate your ability to communicate with different types of people. Any experience you can get in these areas will strengthen your application in this competitive field.

Trainee RSPCA Inspector jobs can be found on the RSPCA website.

Salary and benefits

Trainee RSPCA Inspectors start from just over £19,000 per year, with qualified inspectors earning between £24,000 and £27,000 a year. There may be extra allowances for inspectors working in London (National Careers Service 2014).

Further information

Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA)

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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.