Personalised for LOCAL students.
Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
Personalised for INTERNATIONAL students.
International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Certificate II in Animal Care

Code: ACM20121

Sorry, this course is not available for international students.

If you are a local student you may be eligible.

Switch to local student

To find a course that's available to international students, please visit the search page:

Go to search page



6 months full time / 12 months part time

Next Intake

February, July

Next Intake


Begin your dream career caring for animals

Australians are spending more than ever on our pets. From grooming and veterinary services to animal care services, we’re spending an enormous $12.2 billion per year, a figure that almost doubled in the past five years. With a Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121 at Melbourne Polytechnic, you can begin your journey towards a specialised career in the growing animal care industry. This course provides you with the skills and knowledge to take care of a range of animals.

Find your specialised practice

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121 will provide you with a broad base of knowledge and practical experience with animals, with an aim to help you decide how you would like to specialise in animal care. Melbourne Polytechnic has a range of well-equipped laboratories, a dog hydro-bathing room, dedicated animal care facilities and simulated veterinary clinic, so you will receive practical experience with a variety of animals as part of your studies. During the part-time component of the course, you’ll participate in practical placement of your choice. We encourage you to secure this placement yourself with assistance from our industry contacts and teachers here at Melbourne Polytechnic. During the full-time part of the course, you will participate in practical activities on an animal farm on a rostered basis, ensuring you have hands-on experience to make you job-ready.

Turn your passion for animals into a fulfilling career

Once you complete this course, you’ll be qualified to work as an animal attendant, allowing you to work in animal shelters, pounds, kennels, catteries, pet shops and veterinary clinics. You might choose to step straight from education to employment or you can use this qualification as a springboard to further study. The Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121 is the minimum compulsory pre-requisite course for the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418. You can pathway to this course with Melbourne Polytechnic.

Career Pathways

Where will the Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121 take me?

You may gain employment in the animal care industry and/or continue with your studies for a higher qualification.

  • Animal Pound Assistant
  • Kennel Assistant
  • Animal Shelter Assistant
  • Cattery Assistant
  • Pet Shop Assistant
  • Veterinary Clinic Assistant

Study Pathways

You will be able to enrol in the Certificate III in Animal Care Services ACM30122, or Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418.

I didn't know what to expect when I went into my vet nursing course, but the teachers really helped bring everyone together...and made everyone feel very comfortable.
Tiffany Kobakian
Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Outstanding Food, Fibre and Animal Industries Vocational Education Student of the Year 2024
A girl with blonde hair smiles at the camera while holding her white polar bear toy

Course Details

Delivery methods

During the part-time component of the course, you’ll participate in practical placement of your choice. We encourage you to secure this placement yourself with assistance from our industry contacts and teachers here at Melbourne Polytechnic. Some theory classes are online.

  • Work placements

How you will study

Each course has a dedicated learning method that is designed to let you thrive in your studies.

On-campus / Virtual classroom

A blend of both face-to-face and virtual learning with scheduled classes taking place on-campus and in virtual classrooms. Visit the How You'll Study page for more information.

Class Schedule

Full time: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday OR Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Part time: Monday and Wednesday.

Full time: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday OR Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Part time: Monday and Wednesday.

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods include written activities and assignments, oral activities, group participation, written and oral tests, practical demonstrations or exercises and projects.

Units of Study

The hours displayed are nominal, actual classroom hours delivered may differ. Please contact us for the latest student contact hours information.

Code Subject Elective Hours
ACMGEN201 Work in the animal care industry Core 30
ACMGEN202 Complete animal care hygiene routines Core 30
ACMGEN203 Feed and water animals Core 40
ACMGEN204 Assist in health care of animals Core 40
ACMGEN205 Source and provide information for animal care needs Elective 40
ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid Elective 40
ACMGEN310 Provide reception services for an animal care facility Elective 30
ACMSPE316 Provide general care of domestic dogs Elective 40
ACMSPE317 Provide general care of domestic cats Elective 40
ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices Core 20
ACMWHS201 Participate in workplace health and safety processes Core 40
BSBCMM211 Apply communication skills Core 40

Attend an Information Session

Our information sessions will give you an in-depth look at your chosen area of study and answer your questions about your course.

Fees & Costs

Tuition Fees
Concession Government subsidised fee Non-subsidised fee
Tuition fee $510 $2550 $5600
Maximum annual amenities $175 $250 $250
Total payable $685 $2800 $5850
Per year $0
Per semester $0

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment.

Displayed course fees are indicative only. There are many variables that impact the total amount of your full course costs including qualification for government subsidies, concessions or recognition of prior learning. Tuition fees do not include the cost of student amenities or material costs.

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. Contact us to find out if you’re eligible for a Government subsidy.

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a range of payment options to help you pay your tuition fees, so you can get on with your studies.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1st of November. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.

Fees explained

The fees for those ineligible for a government-funded enrolment. 

Check your eligibility here.

The cost of tuition for those eligible for government funding.

Check your eligibility here.

Concession fees are charged at 20 per cent of the standard fees for enrolments in Certificate I to IV courses. To be eligible students must meet Skills First eligibility criteria and present a valid:

  • Commonwealth Health Care card, or
  • Pensioner Concession card, or
  • Any dependent spouse or dependent child of one of the above cardholders, or
  • Veterans Gold card.

The following groups are eligible for concession fees from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma level:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Asylum Seekers and victims of human trafficking

Additional expenses

The Student Services and Amenities Fee is charged at forty cents (40 cents) per student contact hour and is capped over a twelve (12) month period, effective from the enrolment date, to:

  • $250 for full fee-paying students; and
  • $175 for concession-paying students studying Certificate I, II, III, or IV.

Amenities fees are used to improve non-academic services including libraries, counselling services, student support, and recreational activities.

A list of equipment, reference material, and writing materials that you will need will be given at the start of the course. You will be required to wear appropriate footwear (covered-in shoes) to campus and to practical placement.


There are no prerequisites to enrol in this course.

Next Steps

The first step to enrolling is completing the application short form from the Apply Now page.

After you complete that form we will send you an email with a link to an application form webpage. If you don’t receive the email, check your spam and junk folders.

Complete the application form on the application form webpage.

You will be required to complete an online literacy and numeracy assessment.

Once you are ready to enrol, you will be invited to attend an enrolment appointment over the phone or on campus.

For certificate-level courses, you can pay by weekly or fortnightly direct debit using our Tuition Payment Plan. Read more about Tuition Payment Plans here.

If you need assistance with your application and the next steps, you can contact one of our Education and Course Advisors on 1300 635 276 or follow a step-by-step guide to enrolling for vocational education local students.

Recognising Organisations

Nationally Recognised Training

Nationally Recognised Training This course is government accredited and has national recognition.

You are currently looking at information for local students

Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.