Animal technician Animal technologist
Animal technicians look after animals in laboratories.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need a love of animals and an interest in their care and welfare.
Most employers will expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, in English, maths and science.
It may help if you have A levels, an HND or a degree in a relevant subject, like:
- animal care
- animal studies
You could do a college course in animal care skills or animal management.
Working with animals may help improve your chances of finding work. You could get paid or unpaid work experience:
- on a farm
- in a cattery, kennel, pet rescue centre, vets or zoo
- in a scientific setting, like as a laboratory assistant
The Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) has more information about becoming an animal technician.
2. Skills required
- maths skills
- close attention to detail
- the ability to keep accurate records
- IT skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll make sure that animals are well looked after and humanely treated in animal facilities, like:
- contract research facilities
- laboratory animal breeders
- medical and veterinary colleges
- pharmaceutical companies
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- providing exercise, food and water
- carrying out regular observations
- making sure that animals are clean, comfortable and behaving as expected
- controlling heating, lighting and humidity
- monitoring weight and growth
- keeping accurate records
Experienced: up to £20,000
Highly Experienced: £20,000 to £40,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 37 hours a week on a rota, including weekends, bank holidays, and nights. Part-time work may be available.
You’ll mainly be based in purpose-built animal facilities, but there’ll be some outdoor work.
You’ll wear protective clothing and shoes, a face mask, and a hat or hair covering.
The working temperature, humidity, noise and lighting of your working environment will be strictly controlled.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could become a senior animal technologist, unit or section supervisor or manager.
You could also specialise in breeding, immunology or training.
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Last updated: 18 August 2017
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