Study your Animal Care course online and launch your
dream career with animals!

Working or volunteering with animals is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, and the best place to start is with this entry-level course. 

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (formerly Animal Studies) will prepare you for a range of jobs such as an animal carer or animal attendant in a doggy daycare, kennel or cattery, stable, veterinary clinic, animal shelter or pet shop. This nationally recognised, 1 year course will give you the foundation skills and knowledge to get started in the animal care industry.

This course is the perfect option for someone who is considering further studies in animal care and veterinary nursing or upper high school aged students wishing to undertake vocational studies (VETDSS course online).

Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

Course snapshot

  • Study mode: Online
  • Duration: Up to 1 year
  • Application Status: Apply now
  • Start: Flexible start date to suit you
  • Practical Training: At an Approved Workplace of your choice
  • Online Study Time: Approx. 10-15 hours per week
  • Prerequisite: No prior qualifications are required
  • Best suited to: Students who have little or no prior knowledge or experience in the animal care industry, and have a genuine interest in the welfare and care of animals or wish to meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing. Or high school aged students wishing to complete a VETDSS online course. 
Study animal care online in Australia
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Course outline

This course is delivered online and you will not be required to attend classes. You will:

  • Be provided with a login to our Online Learning Platform where you will find all of the course materials including interactive learning material, videos, and assessments. 
  • Receive the personal support of our qualified Trainers and Assessors either via email, online chat or phone.  Our education team is made up of experienced and working veterinary nurses, veterinarians and animal scientists who have hands-on experience in a range of veterinary hospitals and animal related organisations and businesses, and 
  • Have help and assistance from our student support team to help you stay on track

To gain the valuable practical skills required to successfully complete this course, we recommend you complete 100 hours of workplace based training (a Work Placement).

You are ultimately responsible for finding and securing your work placement position. This means you have the flexibility to select a workplace that suits your location, availability and interests. If you do not wish to find your own placement, you can choose from one of our Intensive Courses (WA based)

If you are already working in an animal care related business, or volunteering in an animal related organisation, it may be possible to use your place of employment for your workplace training. You will still need to submit your workplace details for review and approval.

Ideal work placement facilities include kennels, catteries, doggy day care centres, animal welfare shelters, pet shops (with access to animals), wildlife rehabilitation centres, zoos or veterinary practices. Keep in mind, you will need to have access to at least two species of animals. For more information see our Work Placement FAQ’s below or visit Practical Work Placements in Animal Care.

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care is an ideal starting point if you have very little or no prior knowledge or experience in the animal care industry. There are no prerequisites for entry into this course, making it a great pre-vocational course.

To complete the course you will:-

  • have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer, laptop or electronic device. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online, therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • be physically capable of restraining animals, handling animal feed e.g. large bags of food of up to 10 kg and standing for extended periods of time.
  • need to be at least Year 10 high school age
  • to find a suitable workplace for your practical training where your supervisor can also read and write English.

We are unable to offer this course to students currently living overseas or those on a student visa. For more information visit our frequently asked questions below:-

When you visit your Work Placement you will be required to wear:

  • an AVT shirt and name badge (supplied by AVT),
  • suitable enclosed shoes (supplied by student),
  • neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

You will be required to wear the AVT uniform unless specified by your approved workplace. 

What will you learn?

You will complete 12 units of study covering a broad range of topics relating to the principles of working in the animal care industry.  You will be introduced to:-

  • The principles of working and volunteering in the animal care industry
  • Following and implementing animal feeding plans
  • Carrying out animal care hygiene routines such as bathing and grooming
  • Safely and correctly handling and restraining animals
  • Assist with assessing the health of animals
  • Identifying and interpreting animal behaviour
  • Working with animal care records
  • Administer basic animal first-aid techniques 

All of the skills and knowledge you will learn can be applied across a broad range of animal care facilities. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.

ACM20121 Animal Care Course - online studies

Course outcomes

Our graduates go on to a wide range of roles across the animal care industry. 

Job Outcomes

On successful completion of ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care you can go into roles such as:

  • Animal care attendant
  • Welfare shelter attendant
  • Kennel hand
  • Cattery attendant
  • Pet shop attendant
  • Assistant dog groomer
  • Pet sitters and walkers
  • Stable hand
  • Veterinary care assistant

Career Opportunities

This course will prepare you for career opportunities in a broad range of animal care organisations such as:

  • Doggy daycare centres
  • Dog kennels and boarding
  • Catteries 
  • Stables and agistments
  • Veterinary clinics  
  • Animal shelters, rehoming and rehabilitation centres
  • Pet shops and retail businesses
  • Groomers

Course content

Our ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care course is delivered in a clustered format. This means you can work through the theoretical and practical components  including assessments of your course in a streamlined and efficient manner. Our delivery method gives you an opportunity to progress quickly and complete your course sooner. 

 

All students must complete the following core units:

  • ACMWHS201 Participate in workplace health & safety processes
  • ACMGEN202 Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • BSBCMM211 Apply communication skills
  • ACMGEN203 Feed & water animals
  • ACMGEN204 Assist in healthcare of animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGEN201 Work in the animal care industry

Online eLearning students will also be required to study:

  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid
  • ACMGEN205 Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMGEN102 Approach and handle a range of calm animals
  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines

Students must select one species-specific elective unit from this list below which will correspond with a species they are working with as part of their work placement. 

  • ACMSPE316 Provide general care of domestic dogs
  • ACMSPE317 Provide general care of domestic cats
  • ACMSPE314 Provide general care of birds
  • ACMSPE322 Provide general care of rodents or rabbits

Why choose our Online eLearning option for your Animal Care Course?

  • Complete flexibility – you can start and study whenever you like to suit your lifestyle and commitments.
  • Professionally managed and delivered course – complete with online instructional videos and materials to help you understand and apply theory easily.
  • Our clustered course format has been designed to reduce repetition and allow you to progress quickly and complete your course sooner.
  • Affordable, all inclusive monthly payment plan to help you manage your student fees.
  • This course will allow you to meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing – you can gain your qualification in under 12 months and then apply for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing to become a qualified veterinary nurse*.
  • This certificate increases your opportunities for employment in the animal care industry and gives recognition towards entry into further studies.

*Please note: Completion of this qualification meets the prerequisite for ACM40418 Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing. However, it does not guarantee you a place on one of our own courses. Due to high demand, our AVT selection criteria also apply. Please read full details on our Veterinary Nursing Course Entry page.

Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students say about this course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $2,845*

Payable via our monthly payment plan. Initial payment of $260 plus 11 x $235 monthly payments and includes:-

  • Dedicated student support 
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT Trainers including online chat and forums
  • Membership to our Private Facebook Group
  • Access to the online AVT Virtual Animal Shelter
  • Access to the AVT interactive online eLearning centre 
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Workplace practical training insurance
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, Name Badge, Workbook and Goodies

*Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued. Please see our policies page for full details. Concession rates are not available for this course
 ** Workplace Practical Insurance Cover only applies to students undertaking practical training whilst in Australia

Enrol now

Course
Application Status
ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care
Course Application Status
ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care
Course
Application Status
ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies 2021
Online eLearning Applications Open
ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care
ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care
February 2022 Intake
Course commences Feb 2022
Applications opening soon

Ready to enrol? It’s easy, just complete our online application form.  Once we have received and reviewed your submission you will receive an email outlining the next steps to get started. 

FAQs

International – FAQ

All qualifications offered by Applied Vocational Training require students to learn and demonstrate knowledge and practical application of a significant amount of Australian local and state legislation, regulations and standards.

In other countries, legislation, regulations and standards are often different, making it difficult for us to assess and recognise competence in all areas.

As such, Applied Vocational Training no longer accepts applications from students living overseas.

 

Related FAQ’s:

I currently live overseas, can I apply for your on-campus full-time course? Will I need an international student visa?

Can an RTO enrol an overseas visitor into a course and not be CRICOS registered?

I wish to study in Australia on a student visa. Can I study with Applied Vocational Training?

Is the Australian Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing recognised worldwide?

I am a non-resident visa holder, can I study with AVT?

 

This answer specifically addresses students who wish to study in Australia on a Student Visa.

Unfortunately, we cannot assist individuals studying as international students as we do not hold the required CRICOS (The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) registration.

The following link outlines the main steps to study in Australia homeaffairs.gov.au. This will require applying for a student visa under the Vocational Education and Training Sector. However, you will need to have been accepted into a full-time study course by a CRICOS approved provider and then apply for a student visa. These normally take approximately 46 days to process.

You may find CRICOS registered training institutions in Australia that can offer qualifications to international students. Some TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions hold CRICOS registration and offer Animal Studies and Veterinary Nursing courses.

Related FAQ’s:

Can an RTO enrol an overseas visitor into a course and not be CRICOS registered?

I live overseas, can I still study your courses online?

Is the Australian Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing recognised worldwide?

I currently live overseas, can I apply for your on-campus full-time course? Will I need an international student visa?

I am a non-resident visa holder, can I study with AVT?

Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS

In some cases, registered training organisations (RTOs) may enrol non-resident students who are temporarily visiting or reside in Australia on certain visas, other than study visas. However, some visas include restrictions on training. Most visas and sub-class visas clearly outline what your study rights are in Australia. It is the responsibility of the individual to check their study and work rights according to their individual visa. Further information is also available from the Department of Home Affairs.

Visa information for Jobs & Skills WA Funding Jobs and Skills WA funded programs

Students wishing to be considered for funded places in the ACM40418 Certificate  IV in Veterinary Nursing should visit this page for more detailed information about eligibility

Students wishing to be considered for funded places in the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (Health & Welfare) course should visit this page for detailed information about eligibility.

Students wishing to be considered for funding places in the ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Services (RSPCA) course should visit this page for detailed information about eligibility.

    Related FAQ’s:

     

    In some cases, a registered training organisation (RTO) may enrol students who are temporarily visiting or reside in Australia on certain visas, other than study visas. However, some visas include restrictions on training. Most visas and sub-class visas clearly outline what your study rights are in Australia. It is the responsibility of the individual to check their study and work rights according to their individual visa* . Further information is also available from the Department of Home Affairs.

    *Any course undertaken by a student visa holder must be registered on CRICOS and training must be provided by a CRICOS registered provider (The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students). Applied Vocational Training is not a registered CRICOS provider and as such we are unable to accept applications from individuals wishing to study on a student visa.

    Related FAQ’s:

    I live overseas, can I still study your courses online?

    I am a non-resident visa holder, can I study with AVT?

    Is the Australian Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing recognised worldwide?

    I currently live overseas, can I apply for your on-campus full-time course? Will I need an international student visa?

    Is the Australian Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing recognised worldwide?

     

    Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS

    This answer specifically addresses international students who wish to study in Australia on a Student Visa.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to assist individuals with studying as an international student in Australia as we do not have the necessary registration with our government to enrol students in Australia on a Student Visa. The required registration for this is CRICOS ‘The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students’.

    To find out more about studying in Australia we recommend visiting the Australian Government website: homeaffairs.gov.au. This will require applying for a student visa under the Vocational Education and Training Sector. However, you will need to have been accepted into a full-time study course by a CRICOS approved provider and then apply for the student visa. These normally take approximately 46 days to process.

    You may find CRICOS registered training institutions in Australia who can offer qualifications to international students. Some TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions hold CRICOS registration and offer courses in Animal Studies and Veterinary Nursing

    Related FAQ’s:

    Is the Australian Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing recognised worldwide?

    Can an RTO enrol an overseas visitor into a course and not be CRICOS registered?

    I wish to study in Australia on a student visa. Can I study with Applied Vocational Training?

    I live overseas, can I still study your courses online?

    I am a non-resident visa holder, can I study with AVT?

     

    Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS

    Why choose AVT?

    Dedicated Animal Care College

    AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 25 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

    Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

    Outstanding Track Record

    A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 93% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT.

    Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

    Safe and Supported Learning

    Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They're approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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