Offering Info

Certificate III in Captive Animals

  • National Course Code: ACM30317
  • TAFE NSW code: ACM30317-01V02-22KCL-018

Location – Kingscliff - Seaworld - Paradise Country


Full Time



Course Start Date

Enquire Now

Study Commitment

12 Hours per week


36 weeks

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed
  • This training is subsidised by the NSW Government

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This course is superseded.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.


Work placement provides you with opportunities to practise responding 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 be required to do work placement in a suitable captive animal workplace such as a zoo, wildlife park, or wildlife care facility.

Depending on the campus you choose your work placement hours may vary, visit the campus location for further information about work placement requirements.

You are responsible for arranging your own work placement. Our team can offer support and guidance to assist you.


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

  • Be fit at an intermediate level to manage the physical demands of the role
  • Enjoy working with non domestic animals
  • Are passionlate about animal welare and conservation
  • Enjoy working outside in all weather conditions
  • Are empathetic and patient
  • Are happy to have early morning starts
  • Have good organisational skills, are able to multi-task and respond well to change
  • Have access to a computer and the internet
  • Have 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.

Work Placement is a mandatory requirement for entry into this course. Students must attend 1 day of work placement (8 hours) per week for the duration of the course.
Work Placement interviews with our partnering captive animal facility (Seaworld + Paradise Country) are organised by the section on behalf of the applicant, upon receipt of their completed 'Animal Care Application Form'.

Discover the skills you need, for the job you want at a TAFE NSW Information Session.

This is a full time, combined course. You must attend approximately 12 hours of class. You are also required to complete approximately 12 hours of additional study.
The course will run 2 days a week for 36 weeks.
Attendance Locations: Thursdays (Seaworld + Paradise Country) and Fridays (Kingscliff Campus). There will be Work Placement Inductions from Monday 31 January 2022 onwards.

This course is for NSW Students, seeking work placement at Seaworld + Paradise Country

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 and Friday with Day classes. This timetable may change and will be confirmed by your teacher.


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?


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
ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
ACMCAN307 Rehabilitate native wildlife
ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning
ACMGAS305 Rescue animals and apply basic first aid
ACMGAS306 Assist with conditioning animals

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

Kingscliff - Seaworld - Paradise Country
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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