Job type

Pet shop assistant

£14k - £17k

Typical salary

30 – 41

Hours per week

Pet shop assistants serve customers and look after animals in pet shops.

More info

  • Work with animals and pets, providing basic care and serving and advising customers
  • Good experience for other roles working with animals
  • Opportunity to specialise in areas like aquatics or reptiles, or to start your own business

As a pet shop assistant, you'll be helping run a pet shop, using both a love for and knowledge of animals.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

  • Giving food and water to the animals
  • Cleaning out cages
  • Grooming and exercising animals
  • Advising customers
  • Selling pet care products
  • Maintaining stock levels
  • Dealing with deliveries
  • Keeping the store clean and tidy
  • Checking the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
  • Checking all animals regularly for signs of disease

If you're based in a specialist shop, like an aquatic centre, you'll be expected to provide more in-depth advice and information to customers.

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

You'll work in a pet shop, and need to deal with animals on a daily basis. Your working environment may be dirty and smelly at times.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need customer service skills, the ability to work well with others, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, thoroughness and attention to detail, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to use your initiative, excellent verbal communication skills, and the ability to sell products and services.

Direct application is possible if you've got experience of working with animals or a background in retail customer service, however this is not essential.

You could do a qualification to improve career prospects in animal care or animal management.

You can get into this job through an animal care and welfare assistant intermediate apprenticeship.

Alternatively, you might be able to study with The College of Animal Welfare or the Pet Industry Federation for a qualification in animal care. Courses are offered online, in the workplace, and at college.

Volunteering is a great way of getting experience and possibly leading to paid work, such as with the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, or Cats Protection.

CAREER PROSPECTS

With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.