Course Info

Certificate III in Captive Animals

National Course Code: ACM30317


The nationally accredited Certificate III in Captive Animals allows you to immerse yourself in the world of exotic animals as you positively promote, educate and make your impact on species conservation. Look after exhibit animals in zoos and wildlife parks as you work as an assistant zookeeper.


Through a mix of theory and practical course work, learn to:

  • Safely handle and restrain wild, non-domesticated animals
  • Move captive animals with minimum stress and maximum safety
  • Clean and maintain exhibit and enclosures
  • Monitoring the health and wellbeing of animals
  • Educate the public about conservation


Develop the attributes to help you get ahead:

  • Empathy and compassion for animals
  • A passion for animal welfare and conservation
  • A calm and patient nature
  • The ability to collaborate
  • Good communication skills


Completing this course provides you with:

  • A strong pathway to continue your study and enhance your career opportunities

Career opportunities:

  • Trainee captive animal keeper
  • Assistant keeper
  • Animal care attendant
  • Wildlife animal carer


Take your career further with:

  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

This course is superseded. You can still enrol in this course, and you will be contacted if you need to transition into the next version when it is available.

Course details

People who are successful in this industry have:

  • Empathy and compassion for animals
  • Passion for animal welfare and conservation
  • A calm and patient nature
  • The ability to collaborate
  • Good communication skills

Assessments give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned and to identify the knowledge or skills that may need further development. In this course you will complete:

  • Knowledge assessments: short answer, assignments
  • Skills assessments: hands on practical assessments
  • Practical skills assessments: demonstrations under observation at your work placement facility
  • Gain the underpinning knowledge to succeed in the animal industry with the Certificate II in Animal studies
  • Specialise your skills with exhibition animals with the Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Master your skills and move into senior roles with a Certificate IV in Captive Animals
  • Pair your specialisation with the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing to work as a zoo keeping veterinary nurse

Depending on your campus location and local partnerships with TAFE NSW, you may have the opportunity to participate in excursions that take you behind the scenes in the animal industry. Many of our teachers work in zoos and wildlife parks and excursions may include some behind the scenes tours and hands-on practical activities at these facilities.

You will gain hands-on experience in:

  • Working in the exhibited animals industry
  • Capturing, restraining and moving animals
  • Animal nutrition and feeding
  • Providing enrichment for animals
  • Maintaininig animal enclosures
  • Monitoring the health and wellbeing of animals
  • Conducting tours and talks to the public

At TAFE NSW, we want you to walk into the exhibited animals industry with confidence. We understand the importance of practicing your skills in authentic workplace scenarios. Projects will include:

  • Ensuring animals are getting the correct nutritional requirements
  • Preparing food and feeding animals
  • Preparing a presentation about a specific animal to the general public
  • Planning an enrichment strategy and designing enrichment items for animals
  • Caring for, housing and feeding young animals

TAFE NSW has industry standard facilities that simulate the places you would work in the captive industry. These facilities may include animal houses, aviaries and aquariums, animal handling, feeding and medicating equipment, food preparation areas, paddocks, yards and large animal facilities and ensure you are job-ready when you graduate.

Student facilities, amenities and support services include:

  • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service
  • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support
  • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)
  • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service
  • Smarthinking - online access to a tutor

You will enjoy a unique and rewarding career in a competitive field and work as an assistant keeper, animal care attendant or wildlife carer in zoos, wildlife parks, and conservation facilities.

There is growing demand in conservation as we see more species edging towards endangerment or extinction. Animal exhibit facilities have a strong focus on education and sustainability, and the Certificate III in Captive Animals offers you experience and education to aid the movement.

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed

This course is superseded

Browse our courses