Animal Charity Careers

Animal Charity Careers: Working for an Animal Rescue Centre can be an extremely rewarding animal care career opportunity and most of these jobs require relevant training. There are many different types of animal charities and consequently, a large variety of careers and jobs.

man happpy with dog

Working as a volunteer or work experience will also increase your chances of  finding a job in animal rescue and welfare.

Animal Charity Careers

  • Veterinary Team

    The veterinary team employed by an animal rescue organisation/shelter usually consists of: Veterinary Surgeons, Veterinary Nurses and Animal Nursing Assistants. The size and number of each of these professionals depends on the size of the organisation and their objectives or type of work they carry out.

    The veterinary team is responsible for the health of all the animals cared for by the organisation. Animal charities are very busy environments providing veterinary staff with an excellent opportunity to assist a large number of animals as well as to enhance their knowledge about a variety of conditions and problems that may not frequently be seen in private practice.

    Working for an animal charity may mean that you have to settle for a lower salary, however, there is plenty of job satisfaction to compensate. As well as assisting with unwanted animals, rescue centres and international animal charities spend a lot of time and resources helping neglected and abused animals. For the veterinary team this may mean providing emergency care or assisting suffering or distressed animals – this can be highly rewarding yet demanding work and there are several relevant courses and qualifications that will are useful for entering animal charity veterinary roles.

    No matter which veterinary career you aim to work in, our online qualifications will help you get started.

  • Volunteer Coordinator

    Most animal charities are highly dependent on voluntary help and therefore many of the larger charities employ a Volunteer Coordinator who is in charge of managing the volunteer programmes and training. This role includes having responsibility for recruiting, training and maintaining volunteers, matching volunteers to suitable duties and supervising where necessary, assisting volunteers by providing resources and feedback.

    Training coming soon. For now, check out our range of existing qualifications to get you prepared for an animal career.

  • Companion Animal Behaviourist

    Of all animal behaviour-related employment, this is the fastest growing field. Work includes training animals and their owners, helping owners with managing problem behaviours, preventing problem behaviours occurring, and working with animal shelters to provide appropriate behavioural remediation for animals which have been abandoned or placed for adoption.

    If you want to become a Canine Behaviourist, you need to get qualified up to Level 6, which is the equivalent of a degree. If you don’t have the time to commit to university, our online Combined Canine Behaviour Diploma packages are the perfect solution to get you qualified as a Canine Behaviourist from home.

    Besides the fact that our Animal Welfare Experts were the ones who designed these qualifications to meet the Ofqual framework, our canine behaviour courses are also cheaper than those offered by competitors.

    So, not only are you gaining a regulated education from the sector experts, you’re getting one that’s more affordable!

    These courses also meet Defra Higher Standard Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements, and when you complete the Level 6 Diploma, you’ll be able to apply for membership to:

    During the Level 6 element of your studies you will also have the chance to gain essential hands-on experience, to refine your skills and build your confidence ahead of your new career.

    Check out our canine behaviour package here.

    For those looking for a career related to feline behaviour, this qualification is for you.


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  • Fundraising / Media Team / Animal Fundrasier

    In the UK, there is little or no government funding available for animal charities and they are entirely reliant on donations from the public. Media staff are employed by organisations to ensure public awareness of the charity’s cause. Fundraisers ensure that sufficient funds are raised in order to enable the organisation to carry out vital animal welfare work. Raising funds is achieved through developing and managing a broad range of fundraising activities.

    Depending on the size of the organisation (and the income targets), the fundraising team may include the following positions: Fundraising Manager, Public Relations/Marketing Officer, Events Officer, Trusts/Grants Officer, Legacies Officer, Gift/Charity Shop Manager and Donor/Database Officer. Having a proven track record in raising funds or of working in the charity sector, even as a volunteer, will greatly improve your employment prospects.

    Training coming soon. You can view our full range of animal career qualifications here.

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  • Animal Ambulance Driver

    This role involves being responsible for the safe transport of sick, injured, recovering or stray animals. It is highly likely that you will have to deal with emergency situations such as road traffic accidents, and it is essential that you are able to respond quickly and calmly, and that you cope well in stressful situations.

    This career can be an ideal form of employment for someone wanting to set up their own animal care related business. You will be required to have a valid driving licence and previous driving experience (preferably of larger/emergency vehicles), as well as good local road and area knowledge. It is essential that you remain up to date on the latest animal transport legislation and that you have had training.

    Our online Companion Animal Transportation qualification will help you prepare for this career.

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  • Home Visitor for an Animal Charity

    Many organisations employ Re-homing/Adoption officers to interview and match adopters with animals; once this matching process is complete, a Home Visitor visits the new adopters in their home to ensure that the home environment is appropriate for the animal they wish to adopt. This role involves carrying out visits to the homes of potential owners, so as to ensure that they are fully aware of the commitment of owning an animal and that they are able to provide a suitable home environment.

    Home Visitors are required to be excellent communicators, able to represent the organisation and provide appropriate advice in line with the organisation’s policies. Ideally, you should have prior experience of rescued animals and must have a clear and thorough understanding of the requirements of companion animals. Having a relevant qualification such as those we offer in companion animal care and welfare will ensure a good understanding of different animal needs ahead of this role and enhance employment prospects.

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  • Campaigns Officer / Animal Campaigner

    Campaign Officers are employed by campaigning animal charities who work to raise awareness about current animal welfare issues or problems – with the ultimate aim of solving them. This is an excellent career choice for those who are passionate about animal welfare and wish to make a real difference to help alleviate animal suffering.

    Our Animal Campaigner Diploma is perfect for preparing your for this type of career.

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  • Receptionist / Adoption Receptionist

    Working as a Receptionist can allow you to play an important role as part of the team at any animal charity or hospital. Receptionists are responsible for the first impression received by a client (by phone or visit), and they are the interface between visitors, staff, adopters, veterinary practices, other organisations and volunteers.

    The animal welfare charity environment can be highly stressful. To succeed in this role, it is important that you have a calm disposition, are able to work well in a busy environment and that you are organised and able to effectively prioritise your work load.

    Study our online receptionist qualification to get started.

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  • Re-homing / Adoption Officer / Adoption Manager

    Many animal charities take in or rescue animals and re-home them to caring new owners. These organisations operate sanctuaries, shelters or homes where the animals are rehabilitated and cared for until a new owner can be found.

    Most of these charities employ re-homing/adoption officers who are responsible for ensuring that the animals are re-homed to the right owners. A large part of this role involves educating potential new owners about the responsibilities and commitments associated with having a pet. This is a crucial part of the job, as in many cases people are not aware of what this new commitment will involve – and this lack of awareness often leads to animals being given up again for adoption.

    Re-homing/Adoption Officers spend much of their time meeting, interviewing and advising potential new owners. You must be an excellent, articulate communicator with good interpersonal skills, have the ability to multi-task and make quick decisions, as well as a thorough understanding about responsible pet ownership and what animals really need. Having a relevant qualification will ensure a good understanding ahead of this role as well as enhance employment prospects.

    Check out our online pet care qualifications to get the knowledge you need.

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  • Inspector / Animal Welfare Officer / Animal Licensing Inspector

    Inspectors are the public face of the organisations they work for and are required to undertake practical investigation work on behalf of the organisation They are required to investigate an initial claim of animal neglect or reported animal cruelty and, if the problem is due to neglect, they work to provide practical animal care advice. In cases of suspected animal cruelty they collect evidence, undertake interviews and possibly remove the animal from the situation. Later, they may be required to present evidence in court. This can be a highly rewarding career choice, as it involves a hands-on approach to making a difference in terms of preventing and alleviating animal suffering. However, it is an extremely demanding job, both physically and emotionally, and there are many challenges.

    The Animal Welfare Officer Diploma has been designed for those who want to pursue a career that involves a hands on approach to preventing and alleviating animal cruelty and is relevant for working as an Animal Welfare Officer for a charity, local authority, council, inspectorate work and more. We also offer an Animal Licensing Inspector Award, which is another great way to get started in this area of animal protection.

    The Companion Animal Cruelty Prevention Course is also relevant for this type of role.

    Other relevant training courses include: The Stray and Feral Dog and Cat Welfare Diploma Course, The Animal Emergency & Disaster Response Diploma course and the Animal Hoarding Course. Check them out here.


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  • Animal Care, Welfare Manager or Animal Welfare Officer

    This role involves having overall responsibility for how well the organisation works on the ground to assist neglected and abused animals. For the right person, this role can be a highly stimulating and extremely rewarding career. Our range of animal charity courses is relevant for this career as having an understanding of the needs and essential care requirements of a variety of species is essential in this line of work. These courses provide information about the care of cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals and reptiles. We also provide courses on companion animal first aid, as well as others that explore animal ethics, essential health and hygiene, handling & restraint, environmental enrichment and advising clients.

    Explore our full range of qualifications that can help you get started in this line of work on our website.

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  • Animal Care Assistant Welfare Careers

    Animal Care Assistants are employed by most animal rescue charities. The main function of an ACA, is to provide for the needs of animals while they are in an organisation’s care. The daily work involves cleaning, feeding, exercising and looking after different types of animals in the care of an animal charity. This role is an excellent starting point for someone wishing to gain animal care experience or for those who are unsure as to which animal career they ultimately wish to pursue.

    Training such as that provided in our animal welfare courses is considered by employers to be relevant to this career.

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  • Chief Executive (CEO)

    The Chief Executive of an animal business or organisation is in charge of determining policies and strategy, and is responsible for the overall operation and plans for future development. CEO’s responsible for animal charities should ideally have previous experience of working with animals. Having a thorough understanding of the needs of animals and of current animal welfare issues is essential in this role. The CEO usually reports directly to a Board of Trustees who are unpaid volunteers. The role involves tremendous responsibility for the ongoing operations and future development of an organisation.

    Our animal business and animal career qualifications can help you get the knowledge and experience you need to become an effective CEO.

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Please get in touch with our careers adviser for more information about animal charity careers.

If you already have a relevant qualification, please visit our Job Board for the latest jobs with animals.