Kennel worker

cattery worker

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


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What's it like?

You would care for dogs and cats when their owners are away or if they have been abandoned. You’d keep them happy and healthy.

You need to be confident in handling animals, and alert so you can spot changes in animals' behaviour.

You could work in kennels and catteries:

  • For boarding animals whose owners are away for a short time
  • Run by animal charities for stray, abandoned or mistreated animals
  • Run by organisations like Guide Dogs
  • For breeding dogs and cats or quarantining sick animals
  • For looking after hunting or racing dogs

You would:

  • Prepare food and feed the animals
  • Keep animals clean and grooming them
  • Exercise dogs in a yard or taking them for walks
  • Clean out kennels and cages
  • Maintain the cages, runs and grounds
  • Look after animals which are elderly, ill or distressed
  • Answer telephone calls and greet visitors to the premises

In some jobs you would also keep records, take bookings and handle payments. You could advise people who wish to adopt an abandoned animal.

Working conditions


You would work about 40 hours a week. You may be expected to start early in the morning and would probably work some weekends, evenings and public holidays. Part-time hours may be available.


Your job could involve cleaning out kennels and exercising dogs by taking them for regular walks. A lot of the work would be outdoors and you would be required to work in all weather conditions. In larger kennels you could be provided with accommodation and also work clothes such as protective overalls and safety boots.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Positive attitude
  • Reliable
  • Attention to detail
  • Cooperating
  • Social conscience
  • Empathising

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this job but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

An Animal Care National Certificate (SCQF level 2-6), Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) may be useful.

To enter an Animal Care National Certificate (SCQF level 2-6) usually requires three or more subjects at National 4 or 5.

To enter a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7)  or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) requires two Highers at CC or above. 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects especially biology

Helpful to have

Work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Animal Care (SVQ level 2/3) can be helpful when entering this role or can be achieved once you are in work.