Animal Training as a Career

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Animal Training Career

There are several career within the animal training industry, but most involve training animals to complete such tasks as assisting the disabled, locating specific items or entertaining audiences. Animal trainers use positive reinforcement to reward animals for following instructions. Animal trainers also take care of animals by supervising dietary habits, maintaining clean animal habitats and by playing with the animals.

Animal Training Career Information :

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) predicted that between 2008 and 2018, open positions in animal care and service worker industries would increase by 21%, not all career fields were expected to experience an equal amount of growth ( ) . For example, animal trainers who work with whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions will probably experience a very slow rate of job growth. In comparison, animal trainers who focus on domestic animals, such as dogs, are more likely to experience a faster rate of job growth since the amount of domestic pet owners was expected to increase significantly.

Animal Training Career Salary Statistics :

According to the BLS salary statistics for May, 2010, animal trainers earned an annual median salary of $26,580. During that same year, the industries that reported paying animal trainers the highest annual average salaries included the following :

  • Amusement Parks – $44,970
  • Professional, scientific and technical services – $43,430
  • Animal production support activities – $36,020
  • Individual and family services – $35,120
  • Other personal services – $34,870.

Additionally, the BLS showed that in May of 2010, the highest average annual salaries for these professionals were in Minnesota ( $41,200 ), Delaware ( $40,290 ), Virginia ( $40,160 ), Kansas ( $38,210 ) and Florida ( $37,770 ).

Animal Training Career Education Requirements :

Since there are multiple careers related to animal training, education requirements vary, although basic requirements for most animal training careers include a high school diploma, per the BLS. Some animal training careers require a formal degree. For example, individuals training marine mammals or other zoo animals usually need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as marine biology, animal science or biology.

There are also several animal specific training programs available through colleges, vocational institutions, non – profit organizations and other private academies. Horse trainers, for instance, often learn how to train horses by completing horse training certificate and degree programs. Horse training coursework includes horse health and first aid, horse handling, obedience training, grooming and horse assessment.

Animal Training Career Certification Programs :

Most training certification programs are designed to verify if workers know how to train animals to complete certain tasks. Many of these programs also prove demonstrate a trainer knowledge in animal physiology or laws regarding animal cruelty.

Animal related organizations that offer these certification programs usually require applicants to pass written and practical tests in order to become credentialed. Several organizations require trainers to complete continued education coursework every few years in order to renew certification.

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