Animal Care Technician

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

Are you passionate about animal welfare? Do you have a love for science? If yes, then you may be interested in the Animal Care Technician job description. The primary function of an Animal Care Technician is to provide and maintain a comfortable and safe environment for laboratory animals. Animal Care Technicians perform activities essential to the welfare of animals, such as feeding, providing clean bedding, and monitoring animal behavior. They also work with lab animals and assist in experiments, monitoring and recording observations and data. They take vital signs, administer medication, and assist veterinary technicians with procedures. Animal Care Technicians must be knowledgeable about animal behavior and the range of tasks necessary to care for lab animals. They must adjust to a flexible schedule and work well in a team environment. If this job description appeals to you, consider becoming an Animal Care Technician in the science industry.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide daily care and monitoring of animals, including feeding, watering, and observation of behavior.
  • Maintain accurate records of animal care, including health status, treatment, and observations.
  • Support scientific research by providing necessary animal care and handling during experiments.
  • Maintain cleanliness and sanitation of animal living areas and equipment to prevent contamination and disease spread.
  • Monitor living conditions of animals to ensure they comply with animal welfare guidelines and regulations.
  • Administer medication and assist with medical procedures under the guidance of a veterinarian or supervisor.
  • Report any unusual behavior or health concerns of animals to supervisors for further evaluation.
  • Continually educate oneself on new animal care techniques and practices to improve overall care and welfare of animals.
  • Collaborate with other animal care staff and researchers to ensure efficient and effective animal care.
  • Follow strict protocols and guidelines to maintain high ethical standards and ensure animal welfare.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an Animal Care Technician in the Science Industry, you need a mix of education and experience. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required. But if you want to up your chances, some places prefer an associate or bachelor's degree in animal biology or a related field. In addition, experience working with animals in a research or clinical environment is a plus. You'll need to have good communication skills, be able to follow protocols, and keep accurate records. Some labs or institutions may require certification in animal care and handling. On-the-job training will prepare you for unique job requirements and make you the best candidate for the position.

Salary Range

Animal Care Technicians in the United States can expect an annual salary range between $25,000 to $50,000. Entry level positions usually start around $25,000, while highly experienced professionals can earn up to $50,000. Salaries may vary depending on the type of employer, with the highest paying industries being Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology. In Canada, an Animal Care Technician earns a median annual salary of CAD$38,000, while in Australia salaries range from AUD$46,000 to $65,000 per year. Beyond a strong passion for animals, employers typically require a high school diploma and on-the-job training experience. Some positions may require additional certifications or degrees in animal care. 


  • Indeed: Animal Care Technician salary range in the United States
  • Payscale: Animal Care Technician salary range in Canada and Australia

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Animal Care Technicians in the science industry over the next five years is looking positive. Demand for animal care workers is increasing in the research and development of new medicines and vaccines. This industry is anticipated to grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, individuals interested in becoming an animal care technician can expect to start with an entry-level salary of $24,000 while gaining experience and additional training can lead to higher salaries. Overall, it's an exciting time to be an animal care technician as the field is growing, and there will be plenty of job opportunities in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an Animal Care Technician?

A: An Animal Care Technician is a trained professional who is responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals used in scientific research.

Q: What are the job responsibilities of an Animal Care Technician?

A: An Animal Care Technician is responsible for providing basic care to laboratory animals including feeding, watering, cleaning, observing and reporting their health status, administering medications, and assisting in technical procedures.

Q: What are the qualifications needed to become an Animal Care Technician?

A: To become an Animal Care Technician, you need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, but some employers may require a degree in a related field. In addition, experience or certification in animal care and handling is preferred.

Q: Is working as an Animal Care Technician a physically demanding job?

A: Yes, working as an Animal Care Technician can be physically demanding since it involves lifting, carrying, and handling animals of different sizes and breeds. You may also need to stand for long periods, which can be challenging.

Q: What is the outlook for Animal Care Technician jobs?

A: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Animal Care Technicians is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This is due to the increased demand for scientific research using laboratory animals.

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