Information for

High school students and graduates

High school trainees - courses vet in schools with animals

Your start to a great future working with animals

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 practical training, 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.

High school student or leaver? Which animal care course is best?

This depends on your individual experience and academic ability.  

High school students

If you are at high school or a high school-aged student, we recommend commencing your animal care career with our on-campus course, ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (VETDSS High School) or our online version, ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (Online). You can find out more detailed information on what age you need to be to commence our Animal Care certificates here.

High school leavers

Depending on a student’s individual interests, we recommend all high school-leavers commence with ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care or ACM20217 Certificate II in Horse Care. The only time we recommend direct entry into ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Services 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.

High school students and leavers - jobs courses with animals

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 ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care. If you have a special interest or experience with horses  ACM20217 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 with ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Services (RSPCA) or ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Services (Online)

How do the Certificate II and III in Animal Care compare?

The Certificate II and III in Animal Care (Animal Studies) courses are both offered as flexible online learning courses and blended on-campus study modes. ACM20217 Certificate II in Horse Care is only offered as an online learning course.

Deciding which course is for you depends on your experience and skills. If you already have recent significant experience working or volunteering with animals including animal handling, and have good academic ability we would suggest starting at a Certificate III level. On the other hand, if working with animals and handling animals is completely new to you, we recommend starting at a Certificate II level. 

When it comes to deciding which study mode is for you, this again depends on your location and personal situation. The online eLearning option is the most flexible study option for high school leavers and graduates and requires you to organise your own practical training in an approved animal-related organisation. The blended intensive options are only available in Perth, WA and offer 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. If you enrol in our VETDSS High School specific course you will complete all practical trining and assessments on-campus at our Ascot Training facility and will not require an addiitonal work placement. 

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

Animal Care Qualification Comparison

ACM20121

Certificate II in Animal Care
Online Elearning
$ 2845
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Study Mode: Online
  • Attendance: Not Required
  • Work Placement: 150 hours
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Interview Process: No
  • Start date: Anytime during year
  • No. of Units: 12
  • Meets Prerequisite for Vet Nursing

ACM20121

Certificate II in Animal Care
Intensive On-Campus
$ 3648
  • Duration: 10-14 weeks
  • Study Mode: On-Campus
  • Attendance: 1 day/week
  • Work Placement: Included in training
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Interview Process: Yes
  • Start date: Intakes during year
  • No. of Units: 12
  • Meets Prerequisite for Vet Nursing
2 options

ACM20121

Certificate II in Animal Care
VETDSS High School
$ 3648
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Study Mode: On-Campus
  • Attendance: 1 day/week
  • Work Placement: Included in training
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Interview Process: No
  • Start date: 2 x intakes per year
  • No. of Units: 12
  • Meets Prerequisite for Vet Nursing

ACM30122

Certificate III in Animal Care
Services Online
$ 3795
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Study Mode: Online
  • Attendance: Not Required
  • Work Placement: 250 hours
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Interview Process: No
  • Start date: Anytime during year
  • No. of Units: 17
  • Meets Prerequisite for Vet Nursing

ACM30122

Certificate III in Animal Care
Services RSPCA
$ 5495
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Study Mode: On-site
  • Attendance: 1 day/week
  • Work Placement: Included at RSPCA
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Interview Process: Yes
  • Start date: January & July Intakes
  • No. of Units: 17
  • Meets Prerequisite for Vet Nursing
 
ACM20121 Animal Care
Online
ACM20121 Animal Care
On-campus
ACM20217 Horse Care
ACM30121 Animal Care Services
ACM30117 at the RSPCA
Duration
1 year
10-14 weeks
1 year
Up to 2 years
6 months
Study Mode
Online only
Blended
Online only
Online only
Blended
Attendance
Not required
Attendance required
Not required
Not required
Attendance required (RSPCA)
Work placement hours required
150 hrs
1 day per week
Dependant on Experience
250hrs
1 day per week at RSPCA
Who organises work placement
Student
Organised by AVT
Student
Student
Organised by AVT
Pre-requisites
Not required
Not required
Not required
Not required
Not required
Selection and interview process
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Start date
Anytime
Intakes throughout year
Anytime
Anytime
February and July
No. of units
12
12
14
17
12
Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing
Meets initial pre-requisite for Vet Nursing
Cost*
$2,845
Animal Health & Welfare**
Vet Nurse Pathway $3,648
$2,795
$3,795
$5,495

Animal Welfare


VN Pathway

Fees:  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

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