Professional Animal Workers (PAWS) - Individuals with Disabilities, Continuing Education Workforce Certificate

Entry level animal workers are employed in kennels, animal day care centers, groomers, and other animal-centered businesses. They perform duties including basic animal care, feeding, and clean up, as well as routine clerical tasks like answering phones, greeting customers, scheduling appointments, and correspondence.
This program features courses that will provide students with learning differences or disabilities entry level skills to effectively care for, work with, and identify the needs of animals in a safe, calm, and sensitive manner in a professional setting. Students will also learn essential skills for employment. Internships are arranged and provided by program staff. This program provides instruction that is multisensory, multimodal, personalized, and incorporates elements of universal design for learning. Classes are taught with a low student-teacher ratio to better meet the needs of individual learners.​

Students entering this program should have a desire to work with animals of all types and breeds, basic computer skills, and be detail-oriented.

Entry level animal care jobs can be  found with for-profit and non-profit organizations. Additional career information may be found in Career Coach:

Program objectives

Upon successful completion of this Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, students will be able to:

​1. prepare for an entry-level job in the animal care industry, and

2. demonstrate readiness to enter the workforce.

Program Credentials

Successful Completion:

CCBC Credential: Students will earn a CCBC Workforce Certificate and have access to a Continuing Education academic record (transcript).

External Credential: Canine and Feline First Aid and CPR Training (Pet Emergency Education)

Financial Aid and Payment Options

We offer financial aid by packaging public and private funding options to those who qualify, in select Continuing Education courses and programs. Additional opportunities for financial support include partial payment options through Nelnet Business Solutions and tuition waivers for those who qualify. Resources outside of CCBC may also be available through employer/sponsor paid tuition,  the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), and your local office of workforce development.

Program Length

15 weeks (daytime)

Courses start in August and late January at CCBC Dundalk.

Program Requirements

6th Grade Reading Level - according to an assessment that will be administered during an intake interview​, and the ability to lift 50 lbs.

This program is eligible for Baltimore County Public Schools Blueprint funding

Prior Learning Assessment

This program has potential options for waiving select courses based on previous coursework or articulated coursework from an approved curriculum.  A maximum number of 68 program hours may be earned from prior learning.

Application Process

To apply, go to and complete the CCBC Non-Credit Workforce Training Certificate application.  An email will then be sent with program information and any additional requirements necessary to apply for the program.

Selective Entry – Please call 443-840-3262 to schedule an interview and assessment.

Program Course Sequence

​Course Number

Course Title

Course Hours

Textbook Information

(approximate cost; subject to change)




Basic Animal Studies






Basic Animal Studies II






Skills and Concepts for Clerical Work






Vocational Readiness






Office Applications 1






Professional Animal Workers Practicum





 Course Series Totals:






Additional Information

Career Opportunities:

Assistant/caregiver and front office worker at an animal rescue, animal day care center, veterinary clinic, kennel, or groomer.​

Career Coach

Research your career interests, explore live job postings, take a career assessment, discover which companies in the Baltimore region are hiring, and more.  View a brief tutorial video on how to use Career Coach at  Explore career and training opportunities at

Program Contact Information

Program Coordinator: Jennifer Cabana | | 443-840-3451 | Dundalk MASH 105
Administrative Assistant: Gennifer Toich | | 443-840-3262 | Dundalk MASH 104​