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Animal Care and Management


This page provides high level information and data on the Animal Care and Management industry, which can be described as having eight sub-sectors: Veterinary Services, Animal Breeding Services, Pet and Companion, Assistance and Therapy Animal Services, Animal Technology Services, Captive Wildlife Operations, Animal Control Services, Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Services and Non-veterinary Health and Welfare Services.

In the Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast the decision was made to no longer record hunting and trapping as a sector of the industry as there are no nationally recognised training products for recreational hunting and trapping. It has been considered more appropriate to describe these activities when conducted in a professional context, as animal control services. For more context around this decision see the Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, or for more information about hunting and trapping as sector in 2018 visit the Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast.

Please visit Veterinary Nursing for more specific information and data on that specific sector.

Please visit Animal Services for information and data relating to the following sectors:

  • Animal breeding services
  • Pet and companion, assistance and therapy animal services
  • Animal technology services
  • Captive wildlife operations
  • Animal Control Services
  • Wildlife care and rehabilitation services
  • Non-veterinary health and welfare services.

Nationally recognised training for Animal Care and Management is delivered under the ACM – Animal Care and Management Training Package, which is maintained and developed by the Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee.

Information sourced from the Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

In 2019, there were approximately 26,000 people employed in the Veterinary Services industry, and 18,000 employed in Parks and Gardens Operations. The Veterinary Services sector has grown significantly since 2000, and although the Parks and Gardens Operations sector has grown, levels remained relatively steady between 2015 and 2018, before declining in 2019. The Hunting and Trapping sector continues to maintain a low employment level.

Veterinary Services is expected to continue growing to 2024, while Parks and Gardens is expected to further decrease to 2024.

In addition, census data shows that there were approximately 3,500 people employed in horse farming in 2016, slightly down from approximately 3,700 in 2006.

Enrolments in the Animal Care and Management Training Package have continued to decline since 2016 when close to 25,460 program enrolments were recorded. In 2018 there were approximately 23,310 program enrolments in this training package. Program completions have steadily increased from approximately 4,980 in 2015 to the 7,580 recorded in 2018. In addition, subject only enrolments have more than doubled between 2017 and 2018, from almost 320 to around 870.

Please visit the respective pages for more specific employment and training data on Veterinary Nursing and other Animal Services sectors.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlighted the following priority skills for the industry:

  • Companion and therapy animal skills
  • Pet grooming skills
  • Captive wildlife animal skills
  • Compassion fatigue skills
  • Ethical animal use skills
  • Animal awareness and behaviour skills
  • Emotional intelligence of animal skills.

In addition, the top generic skills identified for the Animal Care and Management industry include:

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy skills
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management skills
  • Customer service/Marketing skills.
  • Managerial/Leadership skills
  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence skills.

The Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies a range of factors which impact on the Animal Services industry and workforce. Some of the key challenges and opportunities for the industry include:

  • Addressing the above skills shortages and skills gaps, particularly with regards to the growing companion and therapy animal sector, pet grooming industry, captive animal breeding programs and effectively managing mental health issues within the industry.
  • The opportunity to develop the industry as an employer of people with disabilities as industry training programs currently have one the highest enrolment rates of people with a disability, and link into this significant area of government policy and development.
  • There is contention between the veterinary sector and others within Animal Care and Management industry with regards to the level of skills required for equine dentistry. The Australian Veterinary Association holds the view that dental procedures on horses should only be conducted by registered veterinarians, while others would like to regulate equine dentistry with trade qualifications.
  • Close monitoring and evaluation will be needed for the new skill set Promote Animal Health in Remote Communities which has been designed to support those in indigenous and remote communities with animal health and welfare responsibilities.
  • Meeting the demand for pet and companion animal services, with growth in alternative therapies such as animal rehabilitation, physiotherapy, massage and premium animal products becoming increasingly popular with animal owners, largely attributed to increases in population and disposable incomes.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Animal Ethics Committees

Animal Health Australia

Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)

Animal Medicines Australia (AMA)

Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA)

Association of Pet Boarding and Grooming (APBG)

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT)

Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA)

Australasian Association of Equine Dentistry

Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping

Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZLAA)

Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders (AAPDB)

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB)

Australian Cat Federation (ACF)

Australian Horse Industry Council

Australian National Cats (ANCATS)

Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)

Australian Pig Breeders Association

Australian Registered Cattle Breeders' Association (ARCBA)

Australian Standardbred Breeders Association (ASBA)

Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA)

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)

Cat Protection Society of NSW

Dogs Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ)

Equine Dental Association of Australia (EDAA)

Equine Veterinary Association

Guide Dogs Australia

International Association of Equine Dentistry

National Animal Technology Educators Forum (NATEF)

National Parks Australia Council (NPAC)

National Parks Conservation Associations

NSW Cat Fanciers Association (NSW CFA)

NSW Marine Estate

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)

Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA)

Pets Australia

Responsible Pet Breeders Australia (RPBA)

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA)

State and Territory National Parks Association

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA)

Vertebrate Pest Managers Association Australia (VPMAA)

Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA)

West Australian Horse Council

Wildlife Health Australia

Worldwide Association of Equine Dentistry

Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA)

Employee associations

Australian Workers Union

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)

Professionals Australia

Regulatory bodies

ACT Veterinary Practitioners Board

Veterinary Board of Tasmania

Veterinary Board of the NT

Veterinary Practitioners Board of New South Wales

Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria

Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland

Veterinary Surgeons Board of South Australia

Veterinary Surgeons’ Board of Western Australia

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2019, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2024
    • 042 Hunting and Trapping
    • 697 Veterinary Services
    • 892 Parks and Gardens Operations

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, Employed persons by industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 16 December 2019

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2019, May Quarter
    • 042 Hunting and Trapping
    • 697 Veterinary Services
    • 892 Parks and Gardens Operations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit industry
    • 0191 Horse Farming.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses, 2018 Program Enrolments by Animal Care and Management Training Package.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Animal Care and Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 16 Mar 2020
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