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Overview

This page provides information and data on the following Animal Care and Management services:

  • Animal breeding services
  • Pet and companion, assistance and therapy animal services
  • Animal technology services
  • Captive wildlife operations
  • Animal control services
  • Wildlife care and rehabilitation services
  • Non-veterinary health and welfare services.

Industry and economic figures are difficult to obtain for this sector due to ABS data limitations, emerging occupations not included in ANZSCO classifications and certain occupations falling into more generic categories not necessarily specific to Animal Care and Management services.

Industry figures that are available indicate there are about 4,000 pet grooming businesses and up to 100 wildlife operations including zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums which employ up to 7,200 people.

It’s estimated that the zoological sector had a total revenue of $801 million in 2018, while companion animal services contributed $12.2 billion to the Australian economy, this includes allied services like pet food, accessories, veterinary services and a range of other pet care services.

Nationally recognised training for these sectors is delivered under the ACM – Animal Care and Management Training Package.

Visit the following pages for information on Veterinary Nursing, Agriculture and the Racing industry.

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The intended occupation for the majority of Animal Care and Management training is Animal Attendants and Trainers.

The employment level for Animal Attendants and Trainers increased overall between 2001 and 2021 from 11,800 to 21,500. There was an anomalous year in 2017 – employment increased from 13,200 in 2016 to 24,100 in 2017 before dropping to 13,600 in 2018. The occupation is projected to decline to 18,200 by 2025, reversing the upward trend between 2018 and 2021.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Animal Care and Management-related qualifications (excluding Veterinary Nursing) grew between 2016 and 2018, peaking at approximately 16,840, then declined in 2019 to a low of around 15,170, before increasing again in 2020 to roughly 15,730. Program completions have also declined from the peak of approximately 6,170 in 2018 to around 5,680 in 2020. More than half of all training in 2020 was undertaken at the certificate II level (57%), followed by the certificate III level (36%). Most of the training was in Animal Studies qualifications (80%). The intended occupation for the vast majority of training was Animal Attendants and Trainers (not elsewhere specified) (94%).

Overall, TAFE institutes provided more than two-thirds (69%) of all training in 2020.

The majority of subjects were Commonwealth and state funded (70%), including 100% of training delivered by schools and 88% of training delivered by TAFE institutes. Domestic fee for service funded 28% of subjects, including 76% of training delivered by universities and 73% of training delivered by private training providers.

Most students were located in New South Wales (32%), Victoria (30%) and Queensland (16%).

The majority of training was delivered in either New South Wales (37%) or Victoria (28%), with a further 18% delivered in Queensland.

Apprentice and trainee commencements declined from the peak of around 440 in 2014 to roughly 210 in 2018, before increasing to approximately 250 in 2020. Completions peaked at just over 300 in 2015 and declined to 97 in 2020. The majority of apprenticeships and traineeships were for the intended occupation of Animal Attendants and Trainers (not elsewhere specified) (60%), followed by Farrier (31%). More than a third (34%) of apprentices and trainees in training were reported by New South Wales, with 32% reported by Queensland and 21% by Victoria.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER's Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast suggests the top generic skills for the Animal Care and Management industry are:

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills)
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self management (adaptability)
  • Customer service / Marketing
  • Managerial / Leadership
  • Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence.

In addition to the above generic skills, the following were identified as important skill priorities for the industry:

  • Ethical animal use
  • Animal awareness and behaviour
  • Emotional intelligence of animals.

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 and Pet Groomers. The top employers were Petstock and Monash University. The top location for job advertisements was New South Wales.

The report Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce, highlights that, projected across the next 15 years, 53% of work by ‘Animal Attendants and Trainers’ will be ‘unimpacted’ by technology, 45% will be ‘augmentable’, and only 2% will be ‘automatable’. As such, professions in this category are amongst the most susceptible to ‘augmentation’. This ‘augmentation’ of roles and tasks will require significant upskilling of existing workers and training of new entrants.

Links and resources

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

 

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Animal Care and Management IRC

 

Relevant research

Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce – Michael Priddis, Greg Miller and Richard George for the Australian Computer Society

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Animal Care Australia (ACA)

Animal Ethics Committees

Animal Health Australia (AHA)

Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)

Animal Medicines Australia (AMA)

Animal Therapies Ltd (ATL)

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc (APDT)

Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) (formerly Association of Pet Boarding and Grooming (APBG))

Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA)

Australasian Association of Equine Dentistry (AAED)

Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping (ASZK)

Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC)

Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZLAA)

Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders Inc (AAPDB)

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB)

Australian Cat Federation Inc (ACF)

Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC)

Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM)

Australian National Cats Inc (ANCATS)

Australian National Kennel Council Ltd (ANKC)

Australian Pig Breeders Association Ltd (APBA)

Australian Registered Cattle Breeders' Association (ARCBA)

Australian Standardbred Breeders Association (ASBA)

Australian Stock Horse Society

Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA)

Australian Trainers Association (ATA)

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)

Cat Protection Society of NSW

Companion Animal Network Australia CAN (formerly Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA))

Dog Groomers Association of Western Australia Inc (DGAWA)

Dogs Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc (EIANZ)

Equestrian Australia (EA)

Equine Dental Association of Australia (EDAA)

Equine Veterinarians Australia Group

Guide Dogs Australia

Horse SA

International Association of Equine Dentistry (IAED)

National Animal Technology Educators Forum (NATEF)

National Parks Association of NSW

National Parks Association of Queensland Inc

National Parks Association of the ACT Inc

National Parks Australia Council (NPAC)

Nature Conservation Society of South Australia (NCSSA)

NSW Cat Fanciers Association Inc (NSW CFA)

NSW Marine Estate

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)

Pet Industry Association 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)

Taronga Zoo

Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA)

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA)

Vertebrate Pest Management Association Australia (VPMAA)

Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA)

Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA)

WA Horse Council (WAHC)

Wildlife Health Australia (WHA)

Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES)

Wildlife Victoria

WorldWide Association of Equine Dentistry (WWAED)

Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA)

 

Employee associations

Australian Workers Union (AWU)

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)

Professionals Australia

 

Regulatory bodies

ACT Veterinary Practitioners Board

Veterinary Board of Tasmania

Veterinary Board of the Northern Territory

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 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 3611 Animal Attendants and Trainers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupation, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 3611 Animal Attendants and Trainers.

 

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • Animal Care and Management Training Package.
  • Animal Control and Regulation
    • ACM40110 - Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation
    • ACM40117 - Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation
    • ACM40121 - Certificate IV in Animal Regulation and Management
    • RUV40104 - Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation.
  • Animal Studies
    • ACM10110 - Certificate I in Animal Studies
    • ACM10117 - Certificate I in Animal Studies
    • ACM10121 - Certificate I in Animal Care Industry Pathways
    • ACM20110 - Certificate II in Animal Studies
    • ACM20117 - Certificate II in Animal Studies
    • ACM20121 - Certificate II in Animal Care
    • ACM30110 - Certificate III in Animal Studies
    • ACM30117 - Certificate III in Animal Studies
    • ACM30121 - Certificate III in Animal Care Services
    • RUV20104 - Certificate II in Animal Studies
    • RUV20198 - Certificate II in Animal Studies
    • RUV30198 - Certificate III in Animal Studies.
  • Animal Technology
    • ACM30210 - Certificate III in Animal Technology
    • ACM30217 - Certificate III in Animal Technology
    • ACM30219 - Certificate III in Animal Technology
    • ACM50110 - Diploma of Animal Technology
    • ACM50117 - Diploma of Animal Technology
    • ACM50119 - Diploma of Animal Technology
    • RUV30104 - Certificate III in Animal Technology
    • RUV50104 - Diploma of Animal Technology.
  • Captive Animals
    • ACM30310 - Certificate III in Captive Animals
    • ACM30317 - Certificate III in Captive Animals
    • ACM30321 - Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care
    • ACM40210 - Certificate IV in Captive Animals
    • ACM40217 - Certificate IV in Captive Animals
    • ACM40221 - Certificate IV in Animal Facility Management
    • RUV30204 - Certificate III in Captive Animals
    • RUV40204 - Certificate IV in Captive Animals.
  • Companion Animal Services
    • ACM30410 - Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
    • ACM30417 - Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
    • ACM40310 - Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
    • ACM40317 - Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
    • ACM40321 - Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training
    • RUV30304 - Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
    • RUV40304 - Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services.
  • Farriery and Equine Dentistry
    • ACM30510 - Certificate III in Farriery
    • ACM30517 - Certificate III in Farriery
    • ACM30918 - Certificate III in Equine Hoof Care
    • ACM40512 - Certificate IV in Equine Dentistry
    • ACM40517 - Certificate IV in Equine Dentistry
    • ACM40818 - Certificate IV in Farriery.
  • Horse Care and Breeding
    • ACM20217 - Certificate II in Horse Care
    • ACM30717 - Certificate III in Horse Breeding
    • ACM30817 - Certificate III in Performance Horse.
  • Pet Grooming and Styling
    • ACM30612 - Certificate III in Pet Grooming
    • ACM30617 - Certificate III in Pet Grooming
    • ACM40612 - Certificate IV in Pet Styling
    • ACM40617 - Certificate IV in Pet Styling.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 subject enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • 3611 Animal Attendants and Trainers.
  • Employers
    • 3611 Animal Attendants and Trainers
    • 361199 Animal Attendants and Trainers nec
    • 361113 Pet Groomer
    • 361112 Horse Trainer
    • 361111 Dog Handler or Trainer
    • 361114 Zookeeper.
Updated: 14 Dec 2021
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