"Wonderful things come to those who dream and act!"

Do you want to be an...

Animal Technician

VOC Course Interview Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Animal technicians help veterinary, medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and general scientists and students to care for and check on animals used for research, breeding and scientific purposes.

Animal technicians are usually required to work in shifts and on weekends. Some duties involve working with large animals and exotic species, which is often performed outdoors and conducted in all kinds of weather conditions.

Much of their time is spent doing routine tasks such as cleaning exhibits and feeding animals.


    Animal technicians may perform the following tasks:

  • perform daily checks and record the health status and behaviour of animals in their care
  • prepare food and water, and provide care for laboratory, field or zoo animals
  • maintain zoo exhibits, holding or breeding areas and equipment
  • assist in return-to-the-wild and animal enrichment programmes
  • carry out experiments using animals, recording the results under supervision and according to relevant codes of practice and the organisation's animal experimentation ethics committee rules
  • examine animals and take samples of their body fluids, faeces or tissue for analysis or veterinary inspection
  • inspect and test animals for worm infestation and disease
  • observe animals' reactions to tests
  • make routine calculations, such as for drug dosage, and prepare graphs
  • clean and disinfect cages and facilities, and sterilise equipment
  • work under supervision to establish and maintain breeding programmes
  • assist with fertility testing for sheep, cattle or poultry research
  • assist in the selection and grading of animals for breeding programmes
  • help with injections, surgery, dressings and care of animals after operations
  • assist with the design and use of animal experimentation and research protocols
  • euthanise animals humanely (under supervision) and handle animals that have died
  • participate in embryo transfer procedures
  • assist with post-mortem examinations on dead animals


  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • interested in animals, their welfare and conservation
  • able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • able to make accurate observations
  • free from allergies aggravated by animal hair, feathers, fur and dust
  • able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work

Interest Area

Helping/Community Service Outdoor Technical/Engineering


Field Assistant - cares for large animals, such as sheep and cattle used for research purposes, which are kept in outdoor pens and paddocks.

Zookeeper - helps to care for animals in zoos and wildlife parks, providing enrichment activities for the animals, assistance to veterinary staff and information to the public on animals and conservation.


VOC Course Interview Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

To become an animal technician you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in animal technology, captive animals or laboratory technology specialising in biological testing, environmental monitoring or biotechnology. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or have access to a relevant workplace. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become an animal technician through a traineeship in Captive Animals or Animal Technology.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Animal Care and Management Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


There is strong competition for positions in this field. Sources of employment include research institutions such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), government veterinary laboratories, universities, major hospitals, animal breeding establishments and zoos.

Similar Jobs

More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Animal Technician Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animals Association Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Taronga Training Institute

Other Jobs by Interest Areas...

Artistic Creative Jobs Clerical Administrative Jobs Figures Computational Jobs Helping and Community Jobs Influencing and Personal Jobs Literary Jobs Medical Jobs Outdoor Jobs Practical Manual Jobs Scientific Jobs Technical Engineering Jobs

Job Search? Look for and press ENTER.

Remember: This is an EXACT match, so please use whole words only

This search looks for a match with the WHOLE keyword/s you enter. In other words, abbreviations like vet won't find veterinarian. Slang terms like brickie won't locate bricklayer 🙂

COL's JOB Guide

Please contact us to notify errors or suggest improvements.

Australia's Careers OnLine : Professional Careers Advice for job seekers on the 'net since 1995!