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All animal trainers have the same basic job description: they teach animals to obey, perform, or assist people with disabilities. Yet depending on where your interests lie, there’s a whole world of career options in this diverse field.
You could work with dogs, putting them through the rigorous training to become a guide for the blind. You
might find yourself interacting with dolphins at an educational aquarium. You could even land on a film set, wrangling horses for the latest cowboy movie.
Wherever you use your skills, you must have a love for animals, a passion for their wellbeing, and a whole lot of patience.
Why the job outlook is good:
Because of the increasing demand for both well-behaved pets and therapy/assistant animals, there are a growing number of jobs for domestic animal trainers. However, if you’ve got your sight set on being a marine trainer (Hello, SeaWorld!), expect some tough competition.
What training you need:
Technically, teaching Rover to roll over is animal training. However, if you wish to work at a higher level, you generally need at least a college degree in animal science and plenty of extracurricular time working with your animal of choice.
Show me the money!
The BLS puts the average salary of an animal trainer between $17,000 and $54,000.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site that helps people discover and pursue a career that excites them. Check out the website for more information about different types of animal trainers or join the conversation on Twitter.