Job type

Animal technician

£17k - £28k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

Animal technicians look after animals in laboratories.

More info

  • Work to take care of animals who contribute to research
  • Some may find this work ethically challenging
  • Potential to play a role in breakthrough research

You'll make sure that animals are well looked after and humanely treated in animal research facilities like contract research facilities, laboratories, animal breeders, medical and veterinary colleges, pharmaceutical companies, and universities. These are places where animals are used to conduct research for the development of new technologies and medicines, and in some cases there will be high levels of security required.


  • Provide exercise, food and water
  • Carry out regular observations
  • Make sure that animals are clean, comfortable and behaving as expected
  • Control heating, lighting and humidity
  • Monitor weight and growth
  • Keep accurate records
  • You may also set up scientific studies, breed animals, and train other animal technicians


You may need to work on a rota system, including weekends, bank holidays, and nights. Part-time work may be available. You'll be working in research facilities and will mainly be based in purpose-built animal facilities, but there may be some outdoor work. You will need to wear protective clothing and shoes, a face mask, and a hat or hair covering. 

You'll need

You'll need to have good attention to detail, be able to keep accurate records, and be willing to work evenings and weekends.

It may be possible to gain a traineeship if you have GCSEs in English, Maths and Science. However, it is more usual to do a HND or degree in pharmacology, biology, animal studies or animal care. You'll usually need A levels or equivalent, including a science to get onto one of these programmes.

Alternatively, you could do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in animal care, animal studies, applied science, animal management, or an animal technologist advanced apprenticeship.

Gaining experience of working with animals or in a lab may help improve your chances of finding a job or training. You could get work experience on a farm, in kennels, an animal welfare centre or zoo, or in a laboratory setting.

You'll find out more about careers and training from the Institute of Animal Technology.


With experience, you could become a senior animal technologist, unit or section supervisor or manager. You could also specialise in breeding, immunology or training.

With experience and further training, you could become an animal technologist or a named animal care and welfare officer.