Animal Welfare Inspector

Job Description:

Animal Welfare Inspectors investigate complaints about animal cruelty, rescue animals and give advice to animal owners.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will do:

Working day-to-day, you could:

  • advise owners on how to care for their animals
  • issue warning notices
  • rescue animals and arrange medical treatment
  • inspect kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
  • work with local authorities and emergency services to rescue injured animals
  • write reports
  • attend court
  • give talks to educate the public


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to work on your own (independence)
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness
  • have the ability to swim 50 metres fully clothed
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • have a full driving licence
  • be able to cope with working at height
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an animal welfare inspector, you typically do not need specific GCSE subjects. However, having a well-rounded education with a focus on certain subjects and skills can be beneficial and make you a more competitive candidate for entry-level positions in this field. Animal welfare inspectors are responsible for ensuring that animals are treated humanely and in accordance with animal welfare laws and regulations. Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. Biology: A strong foundation in biology can be valuable because it provides an understanding of animal anatomy, physiology, and behavior. This knowledge is important for recognizing signs of distress or neglect in animals.
  2. English: Good communication skills, including reading, writing, and oral communication, are essential for documenting inspections, writing reports, and communicating with animal owners and other stakeholders.
  3. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks such as recording data, measuring enclosures or living spaces, and calculating food portions and medication dosages.
  4. Chemistry: While not strictly required, a basic understanding of chemistry can be useful for recognizing potential hazards related to animal care and identifying harmful substances.
  5. Animal Behavior: While not typically offered at the GCSE level, if your school offers courses or extracurricular activities related to animal behavior or training, they can provide insights into understanding animal behavior and recognizing signs of distress or aggression.
  6. Legal Studies: Knowledge of legal principles and an understanding of animal welfare laws and regulations can be beneficial, as animal welfare inspectors often need to apply these laws during their work.

It’s important to note that while specific GCSE subjects can provide a foundation, the qualifications and requirements for animal welfare inspector positions can vary by location and organization. In some regions, you may need to meet specific educational or training requirements established by the relevant animal welfare authority.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

You can get experience by volunteering with an animal welfare charity, animal refuge or for example, at one of the RSPCA’s animal care centres.

You could do a course in animal care while you’re volunteering, which may help when you go to apply for a training place with an Animal Welfare organisation.

Direct Application
You can apply directly for trainee inspector vacancies. You should be willing to move to another part of the country to do your training, if necessary.



Working Hours and Environment:

Typical working hours are 38-40 hours a week.

You could be expected to work on the weekend, on public holidays or in the evening.

You could work in the community, at a client’s home, on a farm, at an abattoir or in a court.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically and emotionally demanding, dirty and you’ll travel often.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to chief inspector then regional superintendent.

You could also move into management or training roles at the animal welfare organisation’s headquarters.