Animal Technician

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2018: 5,001 to 10,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: <$900 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2014
Brief Animal technicians help veterinary, medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and general scientists and students to care for and check on animals used for scientific purposes, breeding and zoological exhibits.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Animal Technician

Accredited (Award)

Education Requirements

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Animal Technology, Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care) and Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice). Pathways include Certificate II in Animal Studies and Certificate III in Animal Technology.

Still Unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as So You Want to Work with Animals, Basic First Aid for Pets or Veterinary Terminology. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

Career Path

Animal technicians are employed by universities, hospitals, government research institutions, zoos, private companies and veterinary practices.

Nature of the Job

Animal Technicians may perform the following tasks:
Check and record, on a daily basis, 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 research using animals, recording the results under supervision and according to relevant codes of practice, and the organisation's animal ethics committee rules;
Take samples of animal body fluids, faeces or tissue for analysis or veterinary inspection;
Inspect and test animals for worm infestation and disease;
Observe animals' reactions in research projects;
Make routine calculations and prepare graphs;
Clean and disinfect cages and facilities, and sterilise equipment;
Establish and maintain breeding programs;
Help with injections, surgery, dressings and care of animals after operations;
Assist in anaesthesia, monitoring and recovery;
Assist with the development and conduct of animal experimentation protocols;
Humanely put animals down and/or handle animals that have died;
Participate in embryo transfer procedures;
Carry out post-mortem examinations on dead animals.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Suitable for those who enjoy practical activities.
Intending animal technicians should be free from allergies aggravated by animal hair, feathers, fur and dust.
Need to be able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work

Typical Occupational Example

For further information, contact:

Adelaide Zoological Gardens
Phone: (08) 8267 3255

Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animals Association (ANZLAA)
Phone: (03) 9345 5125

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Phone: 1300 363 400

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online