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Pet shop assistant

Pet shop assistants serve customers and look after animals in pet shops.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,500 to £17,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but it may help if you’ve:

  • done a college course in animal care or management
  • a background in retail customer service
  • paid or unpaid experience of working with animals

You may be able to gain voluntary work experience with your local RSPCA, Dogs Trust or Cats Protection centres.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the confidence to handle a wide range of domestic animals
  • maths skills for handling cash and weighing out pet food

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • giving food and water to the animals
  • cleaning out cages
  • grooming and exercising animals
  • advising customers
  • selling pet care products
  • maintaining stock levels
  • dealing with deliveries
  • keeping the store clean and tidy
  • checking the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
  • checking all animals regularly for signs of disease
If you’re based in a specialist shop, like an aquatic centre, you’ll be expected to provide more in-depth advice and information to customers.

4. Salary

Starter: £11,500 to £13,000

Experienced: £14,500 to £17,500

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 40 hours a week, including weekends. Part-time hours are often available.

You’ll be in close contact with animals, and may have to deal with unpleasant tasks and smells.

The work will be unsuitable if you have certain allergies.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016