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Careers

Working with animals can be a very rewarding career.

There are a variety of employment and volunteer positions available at the RSPCA. Many of these roles require specific training and skills, particularly when working directly with our animals.

Below are examples of roles at the RSPCA, and the key responsibilities as well as training that you might need to undertake.

Attendant   Vet / Nurse   Inspector  

Animal Attendant

Animal Attendants provide RSPCA animals with the everyday care they need. This includes feeding, cleaning and maintaining the adoption and shelter areas. Our Animal Attendants inspect the animals first thing in the morning and report to our veterinary team if there are any animals in need of urgent care or attention. These staff members may assist our veterinary team in some tasks related to health and may assist with office duties when not helping the animals directly.

Our Animal Attendants may take a supervisory role in the shelter, training and leading junior staff and volunteers. They are also responsible for providing visitors with a friendly face to obtain information and advice.

Training

There are no prerequisite qualifications required to be an Animal Attendant.  There are a wide range of TAFE animal studies courses that will give you expertise and experience in animal handling and husbandry which is an advantage. The RSPCA also operates an accredited Certificate II in Animal Studies course.

Other opportunities

A career as an Animal Attendant may qualify you to work in similar roles at other animal shelters and pounds.
  

Vet

Vets provide RSPCA animals with critical care are highly skilled in their field. The RSPCA veterinary teams at Burwood East and Peninsula assist with more than 22,924 treatments each year. As well as providing critical care to animals in our shelters, our vets provide care to privately owned animals through our clinics.

Our vets undertake a full range of veterinary duties in the RSPCA clinics and shelters, including prescribing and administering medical treatment, performing surgery, using diagnostic techniques such as laboratory tests and X-ray examinations, providing obstetric services and vaccinating against disease.

An important element of working as an RSPCA vet is a passion for animal welfare and excellent communication skills. Each day, while working with members of the community, our vets must answer queries as well as educate and inform pet owners. Our vets also undertake regular training to ensure we have knowledge of the latest techniques in veterinary care and provide supervision to enhance the skills of less experienced veterinarians.  

Training

Veterinary Science can be studied by entering a three year Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedicine degree at Melbourne University.

Alternatively a three year Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at La Trobe University can be undertaken before transferring to Melbourne University to complete a four year graduate entry Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

University courses are available at a number of levels, including Bachelor, Master or Doctor of Veterinary Science, which will qualify students for professional registration to practice as veterinarians.

Vet nurse

RSPCA vet nurses play an important role in our two veterinary clinics at RSPCA Burwood East and Peninsula. Our vet nurses are often at the friendly face you meet at our clinics, on-hand to answer incoming enquiries, assisting with maintenance of animal records and educating pet owners. Our team of veterinary nurses also play an important role behind the scenes assisting veterinarians with animal treatment and surgery.

Training

TAFE courses such as those at NMIT and Box Hill TAFE are recommended  to provide potential nurses with all-round training. This training will equip you with the skills to operate a reception area, maintain kennels and animal housing facilities, as well as supervising of the clinic operations and staff.  Courses can often be undertaken while you are working as a trainee nurse.

Other opportunities

Veterinary nurses are skilled to work at veterinary clinics and other animal welfare organisations. This training is also useful for other animal care roles.

 

Inspector

RSPCA Inspectors are the only non-government officials permitted to enforce animal welfare legislation (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act).  Our Inspectors are responsible for investigating complaints of animal cruelty and performing rescues, while working to educate the community about animal care.  In a number of cases, RSPCA Inspectors are also involved in preparing briefs for prosecution.

To ensure we're on-hand to assist 24-hours a day, seven days a week, our Inspectors may be required to be on call for emergencies after hours and on some weekends.

Training

There are no prerequisite qualifications to be an RSPCA Inspector, although most of our Inspectors have a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science or experience in a similar position eg. Australian Quarantine Inspection Services.

Following a six-month probationary period based in Melbourne, RSPCA Inspectors may be posted anywhere in Victoria.  These postings usually last for at least three years. 

Other opportunities

A career as an RSPCA Inspector may prepare you for training in other fields including animal management, working as a Fisheries & Wildlife Officer, Conservation & Environment Manager/Officer, Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service Officer or a Parks Victoria Park Ranger.


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