New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Companion Animals) (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Companion Animals) (Level 3)

Develop skills in caring for a range of companion animals. By studying this certificate you'll get an introductory knowledge in caring for cats, dogs and rabbits, amongst other companion animals. You'll gain workplace experience that will give you a taste of what it's like working in industry.

What you will learn

Flexible study options

This programme is delivered by blended learning i.e. face to face and online learning. This means some of your lessons may be delivered via Moodle (our online learning platform), which will require you to have a computer and internet access at home. Students will also need to be able to study from home should Covid-19 Alert Levels change.

More detail about this qualification

Teaching and learning

To succeed in this programme, you will need to attend all scheduled on-campus classes, complete all your work experience hours and complete your self-directed learning (most of which is online on Moodle). The programme is largely classroom-based, with theory to support practical application. You will be involved in practical lessons as well as regular self-directed learning, including group work, where you will undertake a variety of tasks such as research projects and case studies.

Work experience

Students must arrange, attend, and complete 40 hours of off-campus work experience in an animal care facility. Animal care facilities may include catteries, kennels, doggy day cares animal rescue facilities, grooming facilities, animal training facilities and animal control. Please note, vet clinics are not suitable. Students will be advised which is their work experience day early in the programme. Please note if your work experience day falls on a Public Holiday, you will be required to attend. You will need to arrange your own placement travel to and from your work experience; we encourage students to carpool if possible. Please note that even though the work is enjoyable, some students may find some situations emotionally distressing, such as animals that have been abused, are injured or sick, or require euthanasia.


If you have any allergies to animals, it is important to declare this at the time of enrolment, so this can be discussed with you.

Career options

Graduates could be employed in a range of businesses associated with the care of animals:

  • Pet shop employee
  • Dog daycare worker
  • Kennel/cattery assistance
  • Animal groomer
  • Animal shelters and welfare agencies

Entry requirements


NCEA level 1 or equivalent qualification/work experience and evidence of suitability based on a police check.

In the event of an adverse police report, entry into the programme is at the discretion of the Head of School.


IELTS (academic) score of 5.5 (with no band lower than 5.0) or equivalent.

Find your country's equivalent academic entry requirements here

 * International fees shown here do not include insurance and administration (currently approximately $924 per year of study)


All students are required to undergo a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) check at the time of entry into the programme. In the event of an adverse report, entry into the programme will be at the discretion of the Head of School.

Course-related costs

Medical equipment: $20
Textbook: $70
Uniform/shoes: $200
Stationary/calculator: $100
Work experience travel costs: $150-$300

Offering institute

This qualification is offered by WelTec.

From 2023, WelTec and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. All programmes offered by WelTec and other subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga are under review, to ensure they are portable, consistent and aligned with the needs of industry. The programme you have enrolled in may change over time.

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