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

Have a passion for working with animals? This entry level qualification provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to maintain the husbandry and welfare of companion animals in both domestic and commercial environments.

You'll learn to care for companion animals and have the added benefit of practicing your handling skills through our onsite animal facility, which houses a wide range of species. Alongside your practical skills you'll gain theoretical knowledge of the following:

  • Animal welfare and hygiene practices
  • Animal health and behaviour
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Animal husbandry and handling
  • Parasitology and zoonotic diseases of companion animals

Content Details

The Companion Animal topic includes learning and assessment of general skills and knowledge relating to the care and handling of a minimum of three species commonly kept as domestic pets, or assistance animals, including but not limited to; cats, dogs, birds, rabbits rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.


Planned intakes*: February, July
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Rotorua (Waipa Campus), Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: 1 semester

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $3,452.00

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive:

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

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this qualification are likely to be employed in a range of businesses associated with the care of animals. This may include people working as assistants in pet stores, animal rescue centres, pet grooming, animal day care, greyhound racing kennels, animal breeders, animal training, boarding facilities, aquarium services, horse recreation businesses, and lifestyle block owners.

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Companion Animals) (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology strand in Veterinary Nursing Assistant (Level 5)

Entry Criteria

  • NCEA Level 1
  • Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who do not meet the academic entry requirements above, but whose skills, education or work experiences indicate that they have a chance of success, may be eligible for special admission
  • International Learners are not eligible for the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Companion Animals) (Level 3) programme due to current student visa rules restricting eligibility to those attending face to face programmes


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 3 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic, or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.