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RSPCA inspector Animal welfare inspector

RSPCA inspectors investigate complaints about animal cruelty, and rescue animals and provide medical treatment.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £19,250 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths
  • experience of working with animals
  • a driving licence
  • the ability to swim 50 metres fully clothed

You'll need to pass a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) website has more information about this career.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to handle animals confidently
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to handle confrontational or distressing situations
  • accurate report writing skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • advising owners on proper care and issuing warnings
  • rescuing animals and arranging medical treatment
  • putting animals down humanely
  • taking a case to court
  • inspecting kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
  • working with local authorities to rescue injured deer or foxes
  • writing reports
  • giving talks to educate the public

To rescue animals, you may need to climb cliffs or trees.

4. Salary

Starter: £19,250

Experienced: £23,000 to £27,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 35 hours a week. You'll work shifts including nights, weekends and bank holidays.

You'll work indoors and outdoors in all weathers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to chief inspector then regional superintendent.

You could move into management or training roles at the RSPCA headquarters.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017