Animal technician

Animal technicians look after animals in laboratories.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 8% more Animal technician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll make sure that animals are well looked after and humanely treated in animal facilities, like:

  • contract research facilities
  • laboratory animal breeders
  • medical and veterinary colleges
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • universities

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • providing exercise, food and water
  • carrying out regular observations
  • making sure that animals are clean, comfortable and behaving as expected
  • controlling heating, lighting and humidity
  • monitoring weight and growth
  • keeping accurate records

You may also set up scientific studies, breed animals, and train other animal technicians.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You could do a higher national diploma or degree in:

  • pharmacology
  • biology
  • animal studies
  • animal care

You'll usually need:

  • GCSE English, maths and science at grade 4 (C) or above
  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, for a degree


You could do a Level 3 Diploma in:

  • animal care
  • animal studies
  • applied science
  • animal management

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course


You could get into this job through an animal technologist advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Career tips

Working with animals or in a lab may help improve your chances of finding a job or training.

You could get work experience:

  • on a farm
  • in kennels, an animal welfare centre or zoo
  • in a laboratory setting

You'll find out more about careers and training from the Institute of Animal Technology.

£15,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £15,000

Experienced salary: up to £20,000

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work 37 hours a week on a rota, including weekends, bank holidays, and nights. Part-time work may be available.

You’ll mainly be based in purpose-built animal facilities, but there’ll be some outdoor work. 

You’ll wear protective clothing and shoes, a face mask, and a hat or hair covering.

The working temperature, humidity, noise and lighting of your working environment will be strictly controlled.

With experience, you could become a senior animal technologist, unit or section supervisor or manager. 

You could also specialise in breeding, immunology or training.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register