There are a variety of ways to begin your career in animal care. They include university study and animal care apprenticeships. Whether you want to work with elephants, budgies or horses, get the low down on your choices below.Foundation DegreesFoundation Degrees are available in animal welfare, science and behaviour as well as zoological studies – they generally require two A-levels or PPP National Diploma 120 UCAS points and take two years to complete. You can undertake a foundation degree without going to uni as many are available through colleges of further education.BSc (Hons) DegreeThere are BSc (Bachelor of Science) Degrees available in animal science, studies or management as well as zoology and take an average of three years to complete.Animal Care ApprenticeshipsApprenticeships in animal care are available at intermediate and advanced level and a variety of roles. You could do an apprenticeship in Animal Care, dealing with the health and welfare of small animals. You might work in a zoo, in a wildlife park or for the RSPCA. You will learn about health checks for animals, training, feeding and exercising and you will deal directly with customers.Animal Technology ApprenticeshipAnimal Technologists look after the animals that are to be used in research. You would make sure that they are kept in an environment which follows the standards demanded.Many different animals are used in research and they all need different care. As an apprentice you would receive basic scientific training and you would be expected to care for the animals.Equine ApprenticeshipFor those wanting to work with horses, this apprenticeship offers a wide variety of opportunities, including working in livery yards, riding schools, racing yards and training yards. All of the opportunities involve dealing with the welfare, supervision and riding of horses. You could be a stable hand, groom or riding instructor and you will learn to look after horses. On the Advanced Apprenticeship, you could be working towards becoming a trek leader, riding instructor or a performance rider.Farriery ApprenticeshipA farrier makes and fits shoes for horses’ feet and this Advanced Level Apprenticeship offers the only method in Great Britain to become qualified as a registered farrier. You would receive training in blacksmithing as part of the Apprenticeship. Competition for these Apprenticeships is fierce and once you have completed your training, become qualified and registered you can become your own boss.Nursing Assistant in a Veterinary Environment ApprenticeshipDesigned for those working in a veterinary environment, but not already a Veterinary Nurse; this Apprenticeship offers a great route for those thinking about becoming a Registered Veterinary Nurse.You would be supervised by a Veterinary Surgeon and would assist in dealing with household pets as well as possibly more exotic animals like parrots and iguanas.Veterinary Nursing ApprenticeshipThis is an Advanced Level Apprenticeship which covers a range of skills and duties that support a veterinary surgeon. Veterinary nurses carry out a range of tests and treatments and some minor surgical procedures under the supervision of the veterinary surgeon. As a Veterinary Nursing Apprentice you'll work with domestic animals, although you could work with horses and farm animals as well.
How do I get a job working with animals?
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