A kennel technician is a professional who works in a kennel, animal shelter or other facility that cares for animals. These technicians are responsible for the daily care and well-being of the animals in their charge, including feeding, grooming, and providing medical attention as needed.
They may work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and small mammals.
In this article, we will delve into the duties and responsibilities of a kennel technician and the education and training required for this career. We will also explore the job outlook and salary expectations for kennel technicians.
Kennel Technician Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of a kennel technician vary depending on the specific facility and the needs of the animals in their care. However, some common responsibilities of kennel technicians include the following:
- Providing basic care for animals, including feeding, watering, grooming, and cleaning
- Monitoring the health and well-being of animals and identifying any potential health issues
- Administering medications and providing basic medical care as needed
- Maintaining clean and sanitary living quarters for animals
- Socializing with animals and providing mental and physical stimulation
- Training and exercising animals as directed
- Handling and restraining animals for medical procedures or other purposes
- Maintaining records of animal care, including feeding schedules, medical treatment, and behavior observations
- Providing customer service to clients, including answering questions and providing information about animal care
Kennel technicians may also have additional responsibilities depending on the specific facility and the needs of the animals in their care. They may work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and small mammals.
Kennel Technician Job Requirements
Kennel technicians should have a genuine love for animals and a desire to provide care and support for their well-being. The job requirements for a kennel technician vary depending on the specific facility and the needs of the animals in their care. However, there are some common qualities and characteristics that are generally expected of kennel technicians:
- Education: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for a Kennel Technician position. Some employers may prefer or require postsecondary education in a related field, such as animal science or veterinary technology.
- Training & Experience: On-the-job training is typically provided for Kennel Technicians. Prior experience working with animals, particularly in a kennel or veterinary setting, can be beneficial.
- Certifications & Licenses: Kennel Technician positions may not require specific certifications or licenses. However, some employers may prefer or require certifications in areas such as pet first aid or basic animal care. In some states or municipalities, individuals may be required to have a license to work in a kennel or other animal care facility.
In addition to these qualities, some facilities may have specific education and experience requirements for kennel technicians. For example, they may require a high school diploma or equivalent or may prefer candidates with experience working with animals.
Kennel Technician Job Skills
In addition to the qualities and characteristics listed above, there are certain skills that are typically required for a kennel technician position. These may include:
- Animal handling and restraint: Kennel technicians should be able to safely and humanely handle and restrain animals for various purposes, such as medical procedures or grooming.
- Knowledge of animal behavior: Kennel technicians should have an understanding of animal behavior and be able to identify signs of stress or illness.
- Basic knowledge of animal care: Kennel technicians should have a basic understanding of the needs of different types of animals, including their diet, grooming, and exercise requirements.
- Basic medical knowledge: Kennel technicians should have a basic understanding of animal anatomy and be able to identify and report any health issues. They may also be required to administer medications as directed.
- Time management and organization: Kennel technicians should be able to manage their time effectively and stay organized in order to meet the needs of the animals in their care.
- Physical stamina and strength: Kennel technicians may be required to lift and move heavy objects, stand for long periods, and perform tasks requiring manual dexterity.
- Communication skills: Kennel technicians should be able to communicate effectively with clients, supervisors, and other staff members.
- Customer service skills: Kennel technicians should be able to provide excellent customer service and handle inquiries and concerns from clients in a professional and friendly manner.
Kennel Technician Salary
According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for animal care and service workers, which includes kennel technicians, is $26,060. However, the salary for a kennel technician can vary depending on the specific facility, the location, and the individual’s level of education and experience.
As for the job outlook, employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for animal care and service workers is expected to increase as more people adopt pets and as the population grows.
It’s worth noting that these figures are for general animal care and service workers, and the salary and job outlook for a kennel technician may vary.
Kennel Technician Work Environment
The work environment for kennel technicians can vary depending on the specific facility in which they work. Kennel technicians may work in a variety of settings, including animal shelters, kennels, pet stores, or veterinary clinics.
Kennel technicians often work full-time and may have irregular hours, as they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work in an outdoor environment and may be exposed to extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
Working as a kennel technician can be physically demanding and may involve lifting and moving heavy objects, standing for long periods of time, and performing tasks that require manual dexterity. It can also be emotionally challenging, as kennel technicians may work with animals that are sick, injured, or in distress.
However, kennel technicians typically have a strong sense of fulfillment from the work they do and the positive impact they have on the animals in their care. They may also have access to a range of benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities.
Kennel Technician Trends
Some of the latest trends in kennel technician positions include:
- Emphasis on animal welfare: There is a growing emphasis on animal welfare in the field of animal care, and kennel technicians are expected to prioritize the well-being of the animals in their care.
- Use of technology: Kennel technicians may be required to use technology to improve efficiency and stay organized, such as using computer systems to track animal records and schedules.
- Specialization: Some kennel technicians choose to specialize in a particular area of animal care, such as canine behavior or feline health.
- Continuing education: Many kennel technicians seek out continuing education opportunities to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field and to improve their skills.
- Emphasis on customer service: As more people adopt pets and become concerned with the care and well-being of their animals, there is a growing emphasis on providing excellent customer service to clients.
It’s worth noting that these trends may vary depending on the specific facility and location in which a kennel technician works.
How to Become a Kennel Technician
There are several steps you can take to become a kennel technician:
- Earn a high school diploma or equivalent: While a high school diploma is not always required for a kennel technician position, it can be helpful in gaining the knowledge and skills needed for this career.
- Gain experience working with animals: Kennel technicians should have a genuine love for animals and a desire to provide care and support for their well-being. Consider volunteering at an animal shelter or other facility that cares for animals to gain experience and build your resume.
- Consider obtaining certification: Some facilities may require or prefer candidates who are certified as kennel technicians. Certification programs are typically offered through professional organizations and can provide training in animal care and handling, as well as customer service skills.
- Develop your skills: Consider taking courses or workshops to improve your knowledge of animal care, handling, and behavior. This can help you to stand out as a candidate and improve your chances of finding a job as a kennel technician.
- Network: Building connections within the animal care industry can be helpful for finding job openings and advancing your career. Consider joining professional organizations and attending industry events to make connections and learn about new opportunities.
It’s worth noting that the path to becoming a kennel technician can vary depending on the specific facility and location in which you work. It’s a good idea to research the specific requirements and expectations for kennel technicians in your area and tailor your career path accordingly.
Kennel Technician Advancement Prospects
The advancement prospects for a kennel technician depend on a variety of factors, including the individual’s performance, the size and nature of the facility, and the availability of higher-level positions. Some kennel technicians may advance to higher-level positions within their current facility, such as supervisor or manager. Others may seek out advancement opportunities with other facilities, either by applying for higher-level positions or by starting their own businesses.
Kennel technicians may also have the opportunity to advance their careers by acquiring new skills and knowledge through continuing education and professional development opportunities. This can help them to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in their field and to stay competitive in the job market.
It’s worth noting that advancement prospects can vary widely depending on the specific facility and location in which a kennel technician works. It’s a good idea to research the advancement prospects in your area and to take steps to position yourself for success.
Kennel Technician Job Description Example
Here is an example job description for a kennel technician position:
Job Title: Kennel Technician
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Position Type: Full-time
Salary: $28,000 – $32,000 per year, depending on experience
We are seeking an experienced and compassionate kennel technician to join our team. The Kennel Technician will be responsible for the daily care and well-being of the animals in our facility, including feeding, grooming, and providing medical attention as needed. This is a hands-on role that requires a strong commitment to animal welfare and excellent customer service skills.
- Provide basic care for animals, including feeding, watering, grooming, and cleaning
- Monitor the health and well-being of animals and identify any potential health issues
- Administer medications and provide basic medical care as needed
- Maintain clean and sanitary living quarters for animals
- Socialize with animals and provide mental and physical stimulation
- Train and exercise animals as directed
- Handle and restrain animals for medical procedures or other purposes
- Maintain records of animal care, including feeding schedules, medical treatment, and behavior observations
- Provide customer service to clients, including answering questions and providing information about animal care
- High school diploma or equivalent
- 1-2 years of experience working with animals
- Strong commitment to animal welfare
- Excellent customer service skills
- Basic knowledge of animal care and handling
- Physical stamina and strength to lift and move heavy objects
- Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
- Flexibility to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as needed
We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply. If you are passionate about animal care and have a desire to make a positive impact, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity. Please submit your resume and cover letter for consideration.