How to Become an Animal Trainer

Pets have quickly become a part of many families.

The perfect pet may have to undergo a few obedience classes before fitting in with a structured family and their routine.

Animal Trainers are the perfect professionals to teach pets some basic obedience manners.

Household pets are not the only types of animals that Trainers may instruct.

Animal Trainers may work with farm animals such as horses.

A small quantity of Animal Trainers may even work with exotic animals such as tigers for entertainment purposes such as the circus or capuchin monkeys for movies.

If you love animals and teaching read the information below to learn more about this profession.

The information below includes education requirements to enter the field, a general job description, salary and wage data and the future job outlook.

Education Requirements to Become an Animal Trainer

Education requirements to become an Animal Trainer will vary depending on the type of animal a candidate will focus their career on.

For example, a Marine Animal Trainer will require much more education than an Animal Trainer working with dogs.

The majority of candidates who want to become an Animal Trainer will need a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Students who want to become an Animal Trainer should attend a program or gain on the job experience that will strengthen their ability to work with animals.

Candidates should have the knowledge and experience regarding the following concepts:

  • Obedience teaching
  • Obedience cues
  • Problem solving methods related to animals
  • Safety protocol and precautions
  • Learning theory of animals
  • Basic information regarding the type of animal they will train

Many of these concepts can be learned with prolonged exposure to animals.

For candidates who do not have to ability to spend time with animals such as ho

Candidates with a high school diploma or related certification will still need experience and training in order to enter this field.

Dog Trainers can attend classes or workshops at a community college or a vocational school in order to gain a basic understanding on how to train dogs.

Animal Trainer Job Description

An Animal Trainer will speak with a pet owner to determine the behavior modification they wish to change.

They will then need to meet with the pet and create a behavior modification program to implement.

During their meeting with an animal, Trainers will observe an animal’s capability to learn, behavior and abilities.

Animal Trainers will create and follow a pet behavior modification program in order to create the following results:

  • Obedience
  • Competition
  • For security purposes
  • Entertainment
  • Riding (horses)

Following their behavioral modification program, an Animal Trainer will work with the pet repeatedly until the pet has picked up on the desired behavior change.

During training an Animal Trainer will make sure to observe whether there are any physical conditions that are affecting an animal’s capability to learn new tricks or obedience requests.

Animal Trainers will need to display a lot of patience for animals who are reluctant to change their behavior and may have to work with them through several sessions in order to create the desired results.

Animal Trainer Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual wage in 2010 for Animal Trainers was approximately $31,000.

The salary range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $17,000 to $53,000 per year.

Exact wages for these professionals will depend on several factors including years of experience, geographical location and the industry an Animal Trainer is employed in.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the projected job growth for Animal Trainers and other related careers will experience fast growth.

Career opportunities for professionals who want to become an Animal Trainer should see a growth of approximately 21 percent through the year 2018, a much higher rate than other careers and occupations in other industries.

Animal Trainers who work specifically with mammals such as horses should expect strong competition from other candidates.

This is due to the high interest in working with these animals which outpaces the number of job opportunities.

Animal Trainers who work with dogs should expect more favorable job prospects especially larger metropolitan areas.

This is due to pet owners’ high interest in teaching their dogs obedience.

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