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With the number of pets in Australia now outnumbering humans, TAFE NSW is equipping the workforce of tomorrow with the skills to care for the growing pet industry. TAFE NSW teachers say the need for new workers in the veterinary industry has never been greater, this comes as World Animal Day approaches on 4 October. 

Approximately 61 per cent of households in Australia own pets. With an explosion in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s pet population of 29 million is now higher than its human population, as people turned to furry friends for comfort and support. 

TAFE NSW Head Teacher for Animal Studies, Lisa Tubnor said in her time working in the animal services industry, she has never seen such a high demand for vets and vet nurses. 

“Employers are screaming out for staff right now – there is an incredible boom taking place in the animal services sector so there are job opportunities galore,” Lisa said.  
“Our hands-on, practical courses at TAFE NSW ensure students can graduate on Friday and walk into a vet clinic with all the skills to start work on Monday.  
“If you have a love for animals, veterinary nursing is incredibly rewarding. Helping an animal that comes in sick recover and watching them go home happy and well with their owner is the best feeling in the world.”  
Many studies show that owning a companion animal has huge benefits for mental health. A recent survey by the Waltham Foundation found that 86 per cent of respondents felt they had bonded more with their animals in lockdown, whilst 60 per cent thought their pet had helped them maintain a regular routine, and 43 per cent said their animal reduced their anxiety.

T'Keyah Johnson is a 20-year-old Gulgong local who has scored her dream job in the industry at a pet medical centre in Dubbo after studying a Certificate II in Animal Studies and currently studying a Certificate IV Vet nursing at TAFE Orange.

“I love animals and grew up with lots of animals on my family farm– and it was always what I wanted to do,” T'Keyah said. 

“The TAFE NSW training took me three steps forward in my career. The connections I made through TAFE NSW, the support from teachers, and the skills I have gained have all helped me so much. 

“It’s amazing to now be in a clinic learning the practical side of things, and I loved it from the very first day. I just want to get as much experience as I can so I can give every animal the very best care.” 

Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information, visit or phone 131 601.  

Media contact: Callum Darby-Linfitt, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, 02 7921 1823