Keeper and aquarist apprenticeship

Responsible for the everyday care and husbandry of animals within a collection

Keepers and aquarists are responsible for the everyday care and husbandry of animals within a collection at zoos, wildlife parks, aquariums, private animal collections, animal reserves and farms. During the keeper and aquarist apprenticeship, you’ll understand species-specific behaviour and needs and the basics of animal training. You’ll record and report any observed changes and concerns to senior animal keeping staff and learn to use up-to-date recording systems. You’ll use tools on the job that are needed for cleaning enclosures, enclosure maintenance, and design and food preparation. You’ll complete day-to-day tasks using your initiative, within a specific time period. This will vary with the size of the collection. In a smaller organisation, you will have complete autonomy, while in larger organisations you may work within a team. These roles may involve unsociable hours and working outside in all weather conditions.


Duration: 24 months

Relevant school subjects: Science

Entry requirements for the keeper and aquarist apprenticeship: Depend on employer, but likely GCSEs or equivalent qualifications or relevant experience

Achievement upon completion: Level 3 (Advanced)—equivalent to A-levels

Potential salary upon completion: £18,000 per annum

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