Pet shop assistant

Support

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

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would serve customers and look after the animals in a pet shop. You might sell rodents, fish, birds and other pets as well as cages, food and accessories.

The animals would depend on you to treat them well while they were in your care. You would need to keep them healthy and happy and make sure that each customer is pleased with the pet they will take home.

You would:

  • Give food and water to the animals
  • Groom the animals and clean out their cages
  • Exercise the animals if needed
  • Promote animal welfare and advise customers on caring for their pets
  • Sell pet care products
  • Look after stock levels and deal with deliveries
  • Keep the shop clean and tidy
  • Check the water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks
  • Check the animals’ health and take them to a veterinary surgeon if they are ill

You’d need to be confident handling many different pets. It would be important for you to understand health and safety guidelines.

Some shops specialise in a particular type of animal. For example, aquatic centres sell mainly fish. If you were based in a specialist shop, you would be expected to provide more in-depth information to customers.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work around 40 hours a week, which will usually include weekends. Part-time hours are also often available.

Environment

You would be in close contact with the animals and may have to deal with unpleasant tasks and smells at times. You may not find this work suitable if you have certain allergies.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Helping customers
  • Working with your hands
  • Caring for animals
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

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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.

Qualifications

There are no set qualifications to enter this job. You would need to know about animals and have good customer service skills. 

You could complete a National Certificate or National Qualification in Animal Care (SCQF Level 5). Most colleges ask for National 4/5 qualifications to enter a course.

You may need to be 18 years old before starting an animal care course.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most employers)
  • Maths (required by most employers)
  • Biology
  • Business
  • ICT subjects
  • Health and food technology

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show good customer service skills and an interest in animal care such as:

  • Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF level 5)
  • a National Certificate / National Qualification in Animal Care (SCQF 5)