With employment opportunities in the veterinary industry expected to grow strongly over the next five years, there is no better time for animal lovers to be considering a rewarding career caring for all creatures great and small.
According to statistics published on the Australian Government’s JobOutlook website, there will be around 7000 new job opportunities for veterinarians over the next three years. Most of those jobs will be created by workers leaving the profession, although some will be new jobs.*
TAFE NSW research further reveals that in the animal attendants and trainers sector, the largest employment growth area between now and 2022 will be that of veterinary nurses, with almost 100 additional workers needed in NSW alone.
Riding the crest of this wave is Wellington resident and self-proclaimed animal lover, Natacha Richards, who is now working as a veterinary nurse, after studying at TAFE NSW.
“People would always say that I should work with animals and when I was at school there was no clear direction to any animal profession,” Richards said.
“It wasn’t until later in my working life that I looked at becoming a zoo keeper.
“I decided to study a number of courses at TAFE NSW including a Certificate II in Animal Studies and a Certificate III in Captive Animals whilst volunteering at zoos and I felt that a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing would be the next step in my career development.”
Richards studied the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE NSW Orange by blended delivery, which included online learning and traveling to Orange for a hands-on face-to-face class once per month.
“I felt really supported being able to study at my own pace and complete work placement at a local clinic as part of the course. I am now working as a veterinary nurse at the clinic where I undertook my work placement.
TAFE NSW Animal Studies teacher, Michelle Bond, said Richards was a passionate animal lover who was dedicated to the industry and her work placements.
“Natacha is the perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to get the hands-on skills and experience to be in a job they love.”
*An earlier version of this article mis-stated projected growth figures as applying to NSW only, where the source referred to national figures. The article has been amended to reflect the source, which is the Australian Government’s Job Outlook website.