- A hands-on job, working with and caring for animals every day
- With experience, become a supervisor or manager, or set up your own kennels or cattery
- Some of your work may be outdoors in all weather conditions
As a kennel worker, the type of kennel you'll work in will vary from boarding kennels and catteries, which provide care for animals when their owners are away for a short time; organisations like the RSPCA, which look after stray, abandoned or mistreated animals; kennels run by organisations like Guide Dogs; breeding or quarantine kennels; or other kennels such as hunt or racing kennels.
- Preparing food and feeding the animals
- Keeping animals clean and grooming them
- Exercising dogs in a yard or taking them for walks
- Cleaning out kennels and cages
- Maintaining cages, runs and grounds
- Looking after animals which are elderly, ill or distressed
- Answering telephone calls and greeting visitors to the premises
Your other duties may include keeping records, taking bookings and handling payments. You could also give advice to people who wish to adopt an abandoned animal.
You may be expected to start early in the morning and work some weekends, evenings and public holidays. A lot of the work will be outdoors and you'll be required to work in all weather conditions. In larger kennels you might be provided with accommodation and protective clothing.
There are no set entry requirements so direct application is possible. Employers might ask for GCSE grades at 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths and English. Experience of working with animals would be useful too.
You could take a college course such as Introduction to Animal Care, or Animal Management.
You could also do an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant, or an advanced apprenticeship in animal care.
Competition for full-time jobs can be high so volunteering is advantageous when applying for roles. Opportunities for volunteering in your area can be found from Blue Cross, RSPCA, PDSA, Dogs Trust, and Cats Protection.
With experience, you could become supervisor or manager, or set up your own kennels or cattery. You could also move into other kinds of work with animals, like dog trainer, RSPCA inspector or veterinary nurse.