International Course Info

Course code:


Course fee:



1 Year


The Certificate III in Captive Animals is a general industry qualification. Immerse yourself in the world of exotic animals as you learn the skills to positively promote, educate and impact on species conservation.

You will learn the nutrition, physiological and behaviour requirements of exhibition animals, and provide enriching environments to meet the needs of several different species in facilities including zoos or wildlife parks. You will also learn speak to the public about why conservation is important.

TAFE NSW has developed this course in close consultation with exhibit animal professionals and our extensive network gives you the opportunity to graduate with specialist technical animal care skills.


Learn more about Scholarships


Through practical experience and theoretical course work, you will:

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


TAFE NSW is known for delivering theory along with practical learning. You will strengthen your practical skills in conserving captive animals and sharpen your specialisation by:

  • 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


Stand out in a global job market with a range of key professional skills that equip you with:

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


Globally, we are seeing a push in animal conservation as we see more species edging towards endangerment or extinction. The industry requires specialised and knowledgeable employees who can promote species protection and educate the wider population.


When you study with TAFE NSW, we want you to succeed. Entry requirements allow us to make sure that you have the right pre-existing knowledgeand skills to achieve your chosen qualification. You will need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements listed in this section.

Academic Requirements:

English Language Requirements:

TAFE NSW makes every effort to ensure your Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) needs are met. The level of support you need may be assessed via a review of your LLN skills with written tasks and a one-on-one interview. If you need to strengthen your LLN skills, an individual training plan will be created with you.

TAFE NSW will assist students to secure a work placement and assist with coordinating the workplace learning and other workplace activities you will undertake. This is in line with TAFE NSW policy. Work placement is a learning opportunity, which means that you cannot be paid for your time there.

Work placements generally only begin after you have had a reasonable amount of contact with your teacher and they are satisfied that you are ready to benefit from workplace learning and perform workplace duties.

Work Placement Requirements:

  • You will complete a total of 288 hours (a minimum of 8 hours per week) of work placement in a suitable captive animal facility for the duration of the course.
  • You will be required to complete a logbook for record of the work placement to be signed by the workplace supervisor and reviewed periodically by the teacher throughout the duration of the course. The workplace logbook covers the performance and skill requirements of the units of competency. The teacher will communicate regularly with your workplace supervisor ( via workplace visits, phone and or email) to monitor your progress and performance in the workplace.

To be prepared for this course, it is recommended that you:

  • Are physically fit to meet the physical demands of working with animals
  • Enjoy working with non domestic animals
  • Enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Are able to work as part of a team
  • Able to follow instructions and workplace protocols on all occasions
  • Are happy to work early morning starts
  • Have a patient and calm nature
  • Are passionate about animal welfare and conservation

If you need help preparing for study, contact us about your options.

No Licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this qualification at the time of publication. However an individual unit of competency may specify relevant licensing legislative and/or regulatory requirements. Specific determination should be sought through the relevant State or Territory.


From mountains to oceans, from cities to country towns, international students can choose from a range of courses offered at multiple campus locations across the state. Experience our vibrant spaces such as libraries, cafes and gyms as well as places you can network and socialise.

Learn more about TAFE NSW study locations

LocationsStarting DatesCourse Fees
Richmond Feb , Jul A$8,930
LocationsStarting DatesCourse Fees
Richmond Feb , Jul A$8,930


Additional costs for uniforms, equipment, textbooks and materials (if applicable) range from A$300 - $1,000 per course.


TAFE NSW has industry standard facilities that simulate the places you would work in the animal care 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 Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service
  • Smarthinking - online access to a tutor


To receive this course students must complete all core units and a range of Additional units. 

Note: Additional units may vary between each semester and campus, and will depend on a number of considerations including the packaging rules for the qualification and demand for the unit at that location. TAFE NSW does not guarantee that speciality units listed will be offered at each location and semester. You will receive your timetable from the teaching section on commencement and speciality units offered will be provided at that time.

  • Packaging Rules
  • To achieve this qualification competency must be demonstrated in 16 units of competency
  • 11 core units plus 5 elective units
  • Core Units
  • ACMCAN301- Work within a captive animal facility
  • ACMCAN302- Prepare and present information to the public
  • ACMCAN304- Prepare and maintain animal housing
  • ACMCAN305- Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals
  • ACMCAN306- Monitor animal reproduction
  • ACMCAN311- Care for young animals
  • ACMGAS301- Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
  • ACMGAS302- Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMGAS303- Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals
  • ACMSUS201- Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMWHS301- Contribute to workplace health and safety processes

  • ACMATE306 Follow containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities
  • ACMCAN303 Support collection management
  • ACMCAN307 Rehabilitate native wildlife
  • ACMCAN308 Release native animals to natural environment
  • ACMCAN309 Develop institutional husbandry guidelines
  • ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning
  • ACMGAS305 Rescue animals and apply basic first aid
  • ACMGAS306 Assist with conditioning animals
  • ACMSPE301 Provide basic care of amphibians
  • ACMSPE302 Provide basic care of birds
  • ACMSPE303 Provide basic care of common native mammals
  • ACMSPE304 Provide basic care of domestic dogs
  • ACMSPE305 Provide basic care of domestic cats
  • ACMSPE306 Provide basic care of marine fish
  • ACMSPE307 Provide basic care of freshwater fish
  • ACMSPE308 Provide basic care of marine invertebrates
  • ACMSPE310 Provide basic care of mammals
  • ACMSPE311 Provide basic care of non-venomous reptiles
  • ACMSPE312 Provide basic care of rodents and rabbits
  • AHCFAU301 Respond to wildlife emergencies
  • AHCNAR202 Maintain wildlife habitat refuges


From certificates to diplomas, degrees to study packages, you can take your study further with us.


Whatever your career ambitions, we will help you get there with a range of courses to develop your skills, build your knowledge and prepare you for work.

TAFE NSW is here to create exceptional learner experiences and provide quality, personalised services to make sure you achieve your goals.

Explore your study options across a range of disciplines and talk to your TAFE NSW Education Agent or contact us.


Plan your study around your life with a TAFE NSW study package. Our study packages allow for multiple courses to be packaged together that can lead you to a TAFE NSW or an Australian University Bachelor Degree with credits. This gives you a one stop shop by completing your applications for the whole package through TAFE NSW allowing you to apply for one student Visa for the full duration of the package.