Accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services

  • Qualification:

    Certificate IV

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    Payment plan
    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    Max 24 months

  • Start date:

    Anytime – start today!

  • Awarded by:

    Animal Industries Resource Centre (RTO 31424)

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This course meets Nationally Recognised Training standards. It is listed on the Australian government's National Register for Vocational Education and Training (VET). Studying this course leads to a qualification that's recognised throughout Australia, and lets employers know that you have the right skills for the job.

What you'll learn

About this course

The Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services program offered by the Animal Industries Resource Centre through Open Colleges will give you a nationally recognised qualification and high quality training in companion animal services and care.

Completing this certificate IV course will give you specialised skills and knowledge in animal services. You will develop the skills required for hands-on animal care and learn how to manage teams and small businesses that specialise in animal and pet services.

Practical work placement

The Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services includes a practical work placement component to ensure that you graduate job-ready, with a strong mix of practical work experience and academic foundation. The requirements of this course include 140 hours of paid employment or work experience in a companion animal workplace (veterinary practice, animal welfare organisation, pet shop, kennel or cattery). The workplace must also provide an industry experienced mentor (with at least three years of professional experience) to supervise and guide you. You must be able to access animals and the equipment required to complete your electives, and this might involve completing your work placement at more than one organisation.


Applicants must also meet the criteria to be eligible for this program:

  • Have completed Year 10 or equivalent; OR
  • Have a relevant qualification; OR
  • Have relevant vocational experience; AND
  • Be at least 16 years of age.

Areas of study

In this online animal services program, the subjects you'll study include: Core units:

  • Manage compliance in the companion animal industry
  • Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
  • Maintain occupational health and safety processes


  • Manage and maintain aviaries and bird rooms
  • Design, construct and maintain aquascapes
  • Develop enrichment strategies for companion animals
  • Provide training advice to companion animal owners
  • Conduct companion animal training classes
  • Provide basic care of birds
  • Provide basic care of common native mammals
  • Provide basic care of dogs
  • Provide basic care of domestic cats
  • Provide basic care of freshwater fish
  • Provide basic care of mammals
  • Provide basic care of rodents and rabbits
  • Market the small business
  • Monitor and manage small business operations
  • Manage a small team
  • Manage merchandise and store presentation
Open Colleges is one of the largest private education providers in Australia. It offers a wide variety of courses, from leisure courses to vocational and higher education courses, many of which are government-accredited and employer-recognised. Most courses are delivered online or via blended learning, allowing you to work at your own pace and around your own schedule. Studying with Open Colleges is perfect for people with busy lifestyles, and those wishing to work and learn for themselves.
As a student of Open Colleges, you will have access to a range of student and administrative support options. Your course trainers are available via email, messaging and through your online course forums in OpenSpace. You will also have access to help with study skills such as time management, essay writing and referencing.

Career outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised, accredited Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services from Animal Industries Resource Centre.

This online animal care and services course will not only equip you with companion animal care skills, but will also give you training in how to manage a small business. With this qualification under your belt, you can work in a variety of animal services and pets contexts.

Curious about where a career in animal care could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
  • Animal Care Attendant
  • Pet Shop Manager
  • Animal Shelter Supervisor
  • Boarding Kennel Manager
  • Cattery Manager
  • Animal Shelter Manager

Payment options & support

Finance options

Open Colleges offers two flexible payment models to help make studying more affordable:

Pay in weekly instalmentsPay in full
Pay just $79.29 per week with a $100 depositPay $3,632 upfront and save 20%


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Related Courses

Certificate III in Companion Animal Services

The online Certificate III in Companion Animal Services course run by the Animal Industries Resource Centre will give you a nationally recognised qualification and high quality training in animal care.

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