About the course

About the course

Look no further if you are dreaming of an opportunity to pursue a career in the animal care industry, enhanced with access to unmatched industry practical experience at the RSPCA Burwood and our Elgar campus.

Complete our 16 week Certificate II in Animal Care course and gain the skills and knowledge required to provide the best care for companion, exotic, and farm animals. Students in this course gain the hands-on experience and job-readiness required to work in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, boarding facilities, pet stores, and a wide range of other animal-related businesses.

This course is the perfect fit for you if:

  • you are passionate about caring for animals and helping their owners
  • you have good communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • you enjoy working with teams of people
  • you have an eye for detail and enjoy practical/manual work

It provides general training for those wanting to enter the animal care industry or those already working who want to further enhance their knowledge in areas such as:

  • animal health
  • animal first aid
  • animal behaviour
  • nutrition
  • hygiene
  • enrichment
  • customer service

Practical work will involve working hands on with a variety of animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, sheep, guinea pigs, rats, goats, horses, and cows.

We deliver this course in partnership with the RSPCA. Students are taught, and are assessed by, experienced and knowledgeable teaching staff from both Box Hill Institute and RSPCA Burwood.

Course Details


Intake Dates & Course Length

Orientation: before each group commences, there is a mandatory orientation and induction process. 

Full time: 16 weeks 

You must attend seven practical days (multiple dates will be available for you to select from). In addition there will be study groups scheduled to assist with your learning.

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Career Outcomes

Once you've completed our animal care course you may find employment as an animal carer, shelter attendant, pet store professional, kennel hand or cattery worker.

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Entry Requirements

You must:

  • be at least 17 years old (parental/guardian consent is required for students under 18 years of age)
  • be able to attend orientation, teaching sessions, mandatory tutorial/study group sessions, and practical sessions at RSPCA Burwood and Box Hill Institute Elgar/Lilydale campus
    • March intake mandatory attendance dates - to be confirmed
    • August intake mandatory attendance dates - to be confirmed
  • bring your own laptop and charger to all orientation and tutorial/study group/teaching/practical sessions. The laptop must be able to connect to wifi, and must have a working charger, microphone and camera (the camera and microphone do not need to be internal). Tablets, iPads, and mobile phones are not suitable devices for this course.
  • meet the language, literacy, numeracy, and digital capability requirements set for this course
  • supply evidence of your current tetanus vaccination at Orientation
  • wear appropriate animal-handling clothing to all on-campus days, including flat/closed shoes, long, thick pants, and long hair tied back

You must also possess the physical ability to:

  • use animal care equipment (for example carry cages, opening kennel latch using reasonable grip and dexterity), and be able to use mops/brooms/pooper scoopers)
  • perform manual handling task (for example bending down to capture and restrain a variety of animal species, walking large and boisterous dogs)
  • perform repetitive tasks (for example reaching in to cages, bending, squatting, wiping surfaces, washing food bowls, brushing animals)
  • perform tasks that require visual and auditory skills (for example observing and identifying signs of disease and distress in animals)

PRE-TRAINING REVIEW - to assist prospective students to determine whether a course is suitable and appropriate for the individual needs, Box Hill Institute will assess all students’ language, literacy and numeracy and digital literacy by asking you to undertake a self-assessment review prior to the enrolment. A course advisor will discuss the outcomes of the review and make recommendations about whether the course is suitable for you, and identify additional support where required.

Pathways & Accreditation

After successful completion, you can apply for entry into:

This course is government accredited and has national recognition

The qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 2

Fees & Finance Options

This training is provided with funds made available by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.

Government Subsidised ConcessionGovernment Subsidised StandardFull Fee
Tuition Fee$554$2,768$6,150
Service & Amenity Fee$260$260$260
Material Fee$328$328$328
Retain Course Items$54$54$54
Total Course Estimate$1,196$3,410$6,792
Payable Estimate (at commencement)$1,196$3,410$6,792

Service & Amenity Fee may very depending on course commencement and enrolment duration. Retain Course Items are purchased once by the student prior to commencing. Those items then become the property of the student. Fees listed are at 2023 rates and may increase annually over the duration of delivery. The student tuition fees listed are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. For more information please contact our Course Advisors on 1300 BOX HILL.

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