Animal Technician

Job Description:

Animal technicians look after animals in medical and scientific research laboratories.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will do:

As part of your day-to-day duties you will:

  • provide exercise, food and water to the animals
  • carry out regular observations
  • make sure that animals are clean and comfortable
  • control heating, lighting and humidity
  • monitor animals’ weight and behaviour
  • follow hygiene rules in the facility
  • keep accurate records


You’ll need:

  • interested in animals and regularly building up your knowledge in this area
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • administration skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could apply directly for trainee animal technician jobs with having studied subjects, such as maths, English and science. In addition, some employers may also expect you to have animal care and laboratory skills. You could gain these through a qualification in:

  • animal care or animal management
  • applied science
  • biology
  • laboratory animal science and technology


You could gain some of the skills needed for this role, from an animal care and welfare assistant intermediate apprenticeship.

Depending on your previous experience and qualifications, you may be able to do an animal technologist advanced apprenticeship.

Direct Application

You may be able to apply directly if you have previous experience as an animal care assistant or veterinary nurse.

Career tips

Experience of lab techniques as well as handling and caring for animals, may improve your chances of finding a job or training.

You could get work experience:

  • on a farm
  • in kennels, an animal welfare centre or zoo
  • in a science laboratory

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays on a rota.

You could work at a research facility. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

You could become a senior animal technician and supervise or manage the work of other technicians.

With experience and further training, you could become an animal technologist or a named animal care and welfare officer.

You could specialise in working with animals in specific research areas like breeding, immunology or genetics.

There may also be opportunities to work as a trainer and assessor of new animal technicians.