Offering Info

Certificate III in Captive Animals

  • National Course Code: ACM30317
  • TAFE NSW code: ACM30317-01V02-21RMD-215

Location – Richmond


Part Time


Virtual classroom on campus

Course Start Date

Enquire Now

Study Commitment

20.4 Hours per week


18 Months

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed
  • This training is fully government-subsidised under JobTrainer

Course Details

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This course is superseded.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.

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 knowledge and skills to achieve your chosen qualification. You will need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements listed in this section.


To be selected for a place in this course, you need to demonstrate the following:

  • That you have achieved the Certificate II in Animal Studies or an equivalent qualification evidenced by a copy of your transcript
  • That you have access to a captive animal care facility where you can gain practical skills during work placement, evidenced by a letter of support from your employer


TAFE NSW also offers the Certificate III in Captive Animals as a traineeship. In addition to meeting the above requirements, trainees must:

  • Be employed in the captive animal industry as this course is delivered in the workplace
  • Have a signed traineeship contract

Thinking about a traineeship? Enquire today.


Work placement provides you with opportunities to respond to situations and circumstances that cannot be replicated in a learning or simulated environment. Work placement strengthens your training and supports continued learning and assessment in the workplace.

During your course you will undertake a mandatory 8 hours of work placement a week with a suitable industry employer.


To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • Intermediate level fitness to manage the physical demands of the job
  • A passion for animal welfare and conservation, and enjoy working with non-domestic animals
  • The ability to rise early and work outside in all weather conditions
  • Patience and a calm nature
  • Good organisational skills and are able to multitask
  • Access to a computer with a reliable internet connection
  • Enclosed footwear for practical training

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


With 130 locations across the state, TAFE NSW tailors qualifications to meet the needs of the local community and specific student groups (like apprentices, fast-tracked and online students). To make sure this course is the right fit for you, we will need you to demonstrate that you can meet the additional requirements below.

To be enrolled in this course, you need to be able to provide evidence that you:

  • have completed ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or equivalent animal qualification.
  • have arranged work placement for 24 hours per week in a captive animal facility for the duration of the course.

To successfully complete this course, you will need:

  • to complete all units successfully including workplace components.
  • to have work placement or employment in a captive animal facility for the duration of this course - 24 hours per week over 18 months.

We are no longer accepting enrolments for Certificate III in Captive Animals On the Job on line Semester 2 2021. Please register your interest for this course starting Semester 1 2022.

TAFE NSW Richmond Campus is located 17 kilometres from the M7. Take the Richmond Road exit.
Alternatively, take a train to East Richmond Station and then a 20 minute walk down Bourke Street, then College Drive and through the WSU gates. Turn left at the sign into TAFE NSW Richmond Campus.


This is a part-time evening, online delivery course. You will need to attend approximately 1.8 hours of class, over 1 night a week, for 18 months. As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 18.6 hours of other study per week.

You may also be required to complete approximately 9.3 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, research, prep work, and work experience.

Students will be attending online class 1 day per week and 24 hours per week attending employment in industry.


This course offering is designed for people who:

  • are employed in a Captive Animal or Wildlife Park Facility wishing to gain the qualification for at least 24 hours per week.


There is a new version of this course coming soon. If it is available before you complete your studies, you will be notified of your options and may be transferred to the new course.


We offer student services and study support to ensure you can achieve your goals. Learn about TAFE NSW Student Services

As a TAFE NSW student in this course, you will have access to:

  • LinkedIn Learning (formerly
  • Smarthinking - after hours online study support service
  • Easy computing online short courses
  • Access to local TAFE libraries
  • Accessibility and Disability Support Services
  • Access to Read&Write learning support software at TAFE and at home

The way you learn may change during your enrolment to ensure the best learning experience or to keep you safe as COVID-19 restrictions change, and some of our face to face classes may change to online or virtual classroom learning. Also, to ensure that we keep you safe while studying, we may modify our face to face classes to meet physical distancing requirements and increased cleaning on campus. If work placement and the demonstration of practical skills are requirements of your course, there may be a modification or delay in the planned timeframe due to COVID-19 impacts. Be assured, we'll keep you informed every step of the way.

This course is currently scheduled on Thursday from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. This timetable may change and will be confirmed by your teacher.

This is a fully government-subsidised JobTrainer course. Eligibility criteria applies.


This course is government-subsidised, meaning you pay a portion of the full course fee to TAFE NSW and the NSW Government will pay the balance. However, you must meet certain eligibility criteria for this to apply.

Depending on your previous qualifications and experience, your fee may be less than the maximum fee quoted. Your actual fee and eligibility for concession/exemption will be calculated and confirmed during the enrolment process. Payment plans are available through TAFE NSW for Smart and Skilled eligible qualifications.

For further information about eligibility and explanations of the different fee categories, visit Are You Eligible?


Learners are required to be work ready, scrub top, long pants and appropriate footware. Scrub tops can be purchased at TAFE or students can aquire their own.


Learn about TAFE NSW Fees

Learn about TAFE NSW Payment/Funding


Recognition is a process of acknowledging previously completed qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience relevant to your course. This may reduce the amount of learning required, reduce your course fees and allow you to achieve your qualification faster.

Learn about Recognition at TAFE NSW Recognition

Enrolments for this course have now closed.

Enquire now and we will contact you when enrolments open. Visit our Online Courses to view our range of study options that you can start anytime.

Core Units
Number Title
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
Elective Units
Number Title
ACMCAN303 Support collection management
ACMCAN309 Develop institutional husbandry guidelines
ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning
ACMSPE302 Provide basic care of birds
ACMSPE310 Provide basic care of mammals

Note: Not all elective units listed may be available to study, please enquire for more information.

Trainee keeper
Pre-trade keeper
Assistant keeper
Animal care attendant
Wildlife animal carer

Whether you're a school leaver, an aspiring apprentice, looking to kickstart a career, or you're upskilling, reskilling, or re-training, there's a TAFE NSW course to give you the skills you need for the job you want.

Course Location

Cnr Blacktown & Campus Drive, Richmond
Phone 131 601

Fees information

We understand that many students are confused by different fees for similar courses, and want to reassure you that studying with TAFE NSW won't damage your hip pocket.

Learn more about Fees information.

Payment options and assistance

Explore payment methods, pay by instalment, scholarships and VET Student Loans.

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