Your start to a great future 

Many high school students and graduates aspire to work with animals and the Certificate II and III qualifications we offer are excellent pre-vocational courses that can lead to a wide variety of career pathways in the animal care industry.

Combining online learning with industry practical placements, our animal care courses will provide you with both the underpinning knowledge and practical skills needed to enter the workplace or move on to higher qualifications.


Which Animal Care course is best for you?

This depends on your individual experience and academic ability.  

High school student?

If you are at high school or a high school-aged student, we recommend commencing your animal care career with the Certificate II in Animal Care or the Certificate II in Horse Care. You can find out more detailed information on what age you need to be to commence the Certificate II in Animal Care here.


High school leaver?

Depending on a student's individual interests, we recommend all high school-leavers commence with the Certificate II in Animal Care or the Certificate II in Horse Care. The only time we recommend direct entry into the Certificate III in Animal Studies is when a student has already completed a Certificate II in either Animal Studies or Care or an alternative course or has considerable work experience in the animal care industry.


Are you a few years out of school or mature aged?

If you are new to the animal care industry and want to learn more about animals, we would suggest you commence with the Certificate II in Animal Care. If you have a special interest or experience with horses the Certificate II in Horse Care is also a good option. Both are excellent entry-level courses to introduce you to the world of animal care. If you have not studied for some time and/or have only previously completed studies up to year 10 in high school, the Certificate II courses are also an ideal starting point to give you the foundations for further study in this area.

If you are a mature-aged student who has considerable experience working with animals, has completed year 11 studies or higher at high school, and are seeking a general animal care qualification, we would suggest that you begin your studies at the Certificate III in Animal Studies.


How do they compare?

We offer both  Certificate II in Animal Care and Certificate III in Animal Studies as flexible online learning courses and blended course options. The Certificate II in Horse Care is only offered as an online learning course.

The online eLearning option requires you to organise your own practical training in an approved animal-related organisation. The blended options are a combination of on-campus classroom training, onsite practical training in which we organise and supervise your workplace practical training at a reputable WA based workplace as well as home online eLearning.

For anyone interested in pursuing a career in veterinary nursing, our animal studies qualifications meet the prerequisite for ACM40418 Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing. All applicants are subject to the AVT selection process once the prerequisite is met. 

Detailed Qualification Comparison

ACM20121 Animal Care (Online)
ACM20121 Intensive (Animal Health & Welfare, Vet Nursing Pathway, Zoo & Wildlife)
ACM20217 Horse Care
ACM30117 Animal Studies
ACM30117 at the RSPCA
1 year
10-14 weeks
Up to 2 years
Up to 1 year
6 months
Study Mode
Online only
Blended (online and on-campus/on-site)
Online only
Online only
Blended (online and on-campus)
No on-campus attendance required
Attendance required
No on-campus attendance required
No on-campus attendance required
Attendance required at the RSPCA
Work placement hours required
1 day per week
Dependant on Experience
1 day per week at the RSPCA
Who organises work placement
Organised by AVT
Organised by AVT
Not required
Not required
Not required
Not required
Not required
Detailed selection and interview process
Start date
Various times throughout year
February and July
No. of units
Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing
Meets initial pre-requisite for Vet Nursing
Animal Health & Welfare**/Zoo & Wildlife $3,525
Vet Nurse Pathway $3,648

Animal Welfare
VN Pathway
Zoo & Wildlife

*For more detailed information about fees visit the individual qualification pages as well as our student policies page

** Applicants for ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care Intensive (Health and Welfare) course may be eligible for the Jobs & Skills WA Participation Program, thereby significantly reducing the fees. See the course page for detailed information

Looking for more information?

Leaving school and working with animalsWant to find out more about course duration, work placements, course content and a bunch more? Make sure you visit the individual qualifications pages:-

For other relevant information visit:-

Download Course Guides