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TAFE NSW course meets surging demand for animal carers

TAFE NSW is training skilled animal services employees workers to meet the increased demand in the sector after an explosion in pet ownership during COVID-19.

When faced with a global pandemic, many people have turned to their pets for support. Since the pandemic began, nine TAFE NSW campuses across the state have started delivering of a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services after the demand for pets surged.

The Certificate III in Companion Animal Services has been introduced at TAFE NSW Gosford, Kurri Kurri, Taree, Dubbo, Wauchope, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Wollongbar, and Kingscliff.

It could not be a better time for the students to be considering a career in the animal care industry with Australia’s pet population of 29 million, now higher than its human population. The pandemic has led to uncertainty and many studies show that owning a companion animal has huge benefits for mental health.

A recent survey by the Waltham Foundation found that 86% of respondents felt they had bonded more with their animals in lockdown, whilst 60% thought their pet had helped them maintain a regular routine, and 43% said that their animal had reduced their anxiety.

TAFE NSW Animal Care and Management Team Leader Gary Zohrab said there is a unique opportunity right now for animal lovers to take advantage of increased job opportunities in the industry.

“Whether you’re looking to start your career or broaden your skills to get the job you want, TAFE NSW offers a variety of courses that equip students with the job-ready skills to be able to work in a variety of animal care fields.”

“There is a growing need for workers in the animal services sector right across regional NSW in everything from pet grooming and veterinary clinic assistants to workers in kennels, catteries, and council pounds,” Mr Zohrab said.

“TAFE NSW is here to help people get the practical training they need to make their goals achievable and find pathways into rewarding, successful careers.”

Mikala Thornton is studying the Certificate III in Companion Animal Services and has always had a love for animals. Ms Thornton is particularly passionate about animals that have been abused, neglected or need rehoming.

“I am passionate about caring for animals and I’m so excited about the career opportunities in the industry. TAFE NSW has set me on the right path and will give me the qualifications and skills I need to get my dream job,” Ms Thornton said.

The Certificate III in Companion Animal Services is a fully government-subsidised JobTrainer course. To explore the range of animal studies courses available at TAFE NSW and via TAFE Digital, visit or phone 131 601 for more information.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,