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Animal Care and Management


This page provides high level information and data on the Animal Care and Management industry. The Animal Care and Management industry can be described as having five sectors: Veterinary Services, Animal Breeding Services, Pet and Companion Animal Services, Captive Wildlife Operations, and Hunting and Trapping.

Please visit Veterinary Nursing for more specific information and data on that specific sector.

Please visit Animal Services for information and data relating to the following sectors:

  • Animal breeding services
  • Pet and companion animal services
  • Animal technology services
  • Captive wildlife operations
  • Hunting and trapping
  • Wildlife care and rehabilitation.

Information sourced from the Animal Care and Management IRC's 2017 Skills Forecast and the Animal Care and Management IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

In 2018, there were approximately 22,400 people employed in the Veterinary Services industry, and 24,200 employed in the Parks and Gardens Operations industry. Both Veterinary Services and Parks and Gardens Operations have grown significantly since 2000, whereas the Hunting and Trapping industry has maintained a low employment level.

Emplyoment in the Veterinary Services industry is expected to grow to 2023, but emplyoment in the Parks and Gardens industry is expected to remain flat to 2023.

In addition, census data shows that there were approximately 3,500 people employed in horse farming in 2016, slightly down from approximately 3,700 in 2006.

Enrolments in the Animal Care and Management Training Package have grown since 2014. In 2014 there were 21,914 program enrolments and in 2016 there were 25,493 program enrolments. However, in 2017, enrolments dropped slightly to 24,118.

Please visit the respective pages for more specific employment and training data on Veterinary Nursing and other Animal Services sectors.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Animal Care and Management IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast identifies a number of priority skills to ensure the workforce is able to respond to the challenges and opportunities identified below. These include:

  • skills in animal welfare and treatment of animals in captivity to improve quality of life, improve breeding programs and ensure safety
  • skills in animal technology, including consideration of ethical animal welfare practices
  • skills in pet grooming and styling
  • skills in using animals for therapeutic interactions for humans, skills in training animals to assist in therapy, for people living with post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, dementia, drug addiction, diabetes, and epilepsy
  • higher-level skills for captive animals, including skills to keep stress levels of animals to a lower-level conducive to breeding
  • equine dental research skills.

Animal Services related job roles in demand are:

  • Animal Attendants and Trainers
  • Pet Groomers
  • Dog Handler or Trainer
  • Horse Trainer
  • Zookeeper.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication and research skills. The most advertised occupations were Animal Attendants and Trainers followed by Pet Groomers.

The Animal Care and Management IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast identifies a range of factors which impact upon the Animal Care and Management Services industry and workforce. Some of the key challenges and opportunities for the industry include:

  • National surveillance and diagnostic programs to address Australia’s broad range of biosecurity issues, including activities to investigate the presence or prevalence of pest or diseases in animal populations.
  • Australia has a high and growing pet ownership rate, which will require a range of veterinary services over the next decade. This includes alternative therapies specialisations such as animal rehabilitation, physiotherapy and acupuncture.
  • Availability and application of more advanced and expensive treatments for broken bones and serious illnesses is also expected to lift the demand for industry services (including pet insurance and pet welfare) as the life expectancy of animals is growing.
  • The rural/farm animal market segment and its paying capability for veterinary services provide greater challenges for the Veterinary sector, as there is some reluctance from this market to use veterinary services.
  • Outbreaks of disease and viruses (such as Q fever and Hendra virus) provide challenges for the Veterinary, Horse and Meat-related industries to manage risks related to disease identification and infestation.
  • Recurrent bushfires and flood events in urban and rural areas require immediate rescue efforts of state-based veterinary emergency management agencies, RSPCA and animal rescue organisations.
  • Technology advancements, including remote sensors, drones, new generation satellite imagery technologies, wearable and mobile technologies, and real-time apps, which allow for effective surveillance of pest invasion, diagnostics and management of wildlife, animal tracking and monitoring in livestock farming, pet management, and fire detection, among many other applications

A fact sheet from the South Australian Department for Industry and Skills highlighted that the majority of people in this industry work full-time and the most common qualification is either a certificate III/IV or a university degree. Approximately equal numbers of men and women work in this industry. People working in this industry are generally younger than those in other industries and to work in this industry you need to be patient and calm, free from allergies to animal fur, and have a keen interest in animals. The South Australian Animal Care and Training Industry employs 4,100 people, which is around 0.5% of the state's workforce. Most people in this industry work in jobs that relate to farms, such as working with cattle, sheep and horses, while the remainder work with domestic animals. Around half of the jobs in this industry are in rural areas, and the other half are in metropolitan Adelaide and surrounds.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Animal Ethics Committees

Animal Health Australia

Animal Medicines Australia (AMA)

Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA)

Association of Pet Boarding and Grooming (APBG)

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT)

Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA)

Australasian Association of Equine Dentistry

Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZLAA)

Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders (AAPDB)

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB)

Australian Cat Federation (ACF)

Australian National Cats (ANCATS)

Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)

Australian Pig Breeders Association

Australian Registered Cattle Breeders' Association (ARCBA)

Australian Standardbred Breeders Association (ASBA)

Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA)

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)

Cat Protection Society of NSW

Circus Federation of Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ)

Equine Dental Association of Australia (EDAA)

National Animal Technology Educators Forum (NATEF)

National Parks Australia Council (NPAC)

National Parks Conservation Associations

NSW Cat Fanciers Association (NSW CFA)

NSW Marine Estate

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)

Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA)

Pets Australia

Responsible Pet Breeders Australia (RPBA)

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA)

State and Territory National Parks Association

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA)

Vertebrate Pest Managers Association Australia (VPMAA)

Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA)

Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA)

Employee associations

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)

Professionals Australia

Regulatory bodies

ACT Veterinary Practitioners Board

Veterinary Board of Tasmania

Veterinary Board of the NT

Veterinary Practitioners Board of New South Wales

Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria

Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland

Veterinary Surgeons Board of South Australia

Veterinary Surgeons’ Board of Western Australia

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2023
    • 042 Hunting and Trapping
    • 697 Veterinary Services
    • 892 Parks and Gardens Operations

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter
    • 042 Hunting and Trapping
    • 697 Veterinary Services
    • 892 Parks and Gardens Operations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit industry
    • 0191 Horse Farming

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider CollectionTotal VET Students and Courses, 2014-2017 Program Enrolments by Animal Care and Management Training Package.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Animal Care and Management IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 21 Oct 2019
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