Do you love animals? If you do, you can easily turn your passion into a rewarding career. Keep reading to find out what it takes to become a kennel worker.
Kennel workers take care of dogs and cats in kennels and catteries, which are usually situated in animal homes and veterinary clinics. They clean and feed them to maintain their general health and hygiene.
In detail, they perform the following duties;
- Feeding and cleaning the animals
- Observing the dogs and cats to detect behavioral changes
- Playing with the animals to keep them physically fit
- Vaccinating and treating diseased animals
- Cleaning cages, kennels and animal playgrounds
- Advising people on how to take good care of these animals
Kennel workers typically work for 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. They can also work during evenings, weekends and during public holidays.
At work, kennel workers wear protective clothing, such as gloves, safety boots and overalls. Since they work outdoors, they are exposed to all types of weather conditions.
Salaries for kennel workers vary with the level of job experience as shown below;
Level of experience
Experienced kennel workers
£17,000 or more.
Source: National Careers Service
You don’t need any professional qualifications to become a kennel worker. However, you need some past experience in dealing with animals. Having GCSEs in math and English can also count in your favour.
To gain the required experience, you may need to volunteer as a kennel worker. This will also help grow your love for dogs and cats. You can find volunteering opportunities in the following organizations;
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- The Dogs Trust
- Cats protection
- The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.
- Blue Cross
To heighten your chances of finding employment, you can pursue the following college courses;
- Level 1 Certificate Introduction to Animal Care
- Level 2 Certificate in Animal Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Animal Management
- Level 2 Caring for Animals in Kennels and Catteries – Only offered by the Animal Care College.
Joining an animal care apprenticeship scheme can also lead you into this career.
Important Skills and Abilities
To be a successful kennel worker you need;
- The enthusiasm and confidence to deal with animals
- Good interpersonal skills to interact well with visitors
- Good observation and analytical skills
- A reasonable level of physical fitness to handle the animals effectively
- Good organizational skills
Training and Development
After getting a job, you should attain more qualifications to get ahead in your career. You could take the following courses;
- Level 3 Certificate in Practical Animal Care Skills
- Level 2-3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
- Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management
- HNC Diploma in Animal Management
- Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science or Animal Behavior and Welfare.
At this level, you are set to move into management and supervisory positions.
As a kennel worker, you can work in the following places;
- Animal charities, such as RSPCA
- Private animal rearing firms
- Veterinary clinics
- Government agencies, such as the Animal Protection Agency.
If you wish to move into self-employment, you can do so by setting up your own kennel or cattery.
After gaining vast experience and advanced qualifications, you can become a dog trainer, RSPCA inspector or veterinary nurse.
The following links are useful for general reading and job finding;
Now that you know what it takes to care for dogs and cats at a professional level and make money out of it, do not let this career slip by. Go for it.