Animal Trainers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Animal Trainers train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.

  • Train horses or other equines for riding, harness, show, racing, or other work, using knowledge of breed characteristics, training methods, performance standards, and the peculiarities of each animal.
  • Cue or signal animals during performances.
  • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
  • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.
Read more about what does an Animal Trainer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$35260 per year

Average hourly wage
$17 per hour


Animal Trainers with little to no experience tend to make between $20270 and $23310 while the more experienced ones can earn over $40710 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
IA$35$72,160
KY$29$60,660
IL$22$46,150
WA$20$41,880
CA$20$41,600

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Animal Trainer is to move to a higher paying state like IA. Right now, the highest paying states for Animal Trainers are IA, KY, IL, WA and CA.

However, a higher pay at IA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at IA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Animal Trainer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Animal Trainers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Animal Training
Equestrian/Equine Studies
Read more about how to become an Animal Trainer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Animal Trainer.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
69%

Is this job meaningful
60%


69% of Animal Trainers said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.




Learn more about Animal Trainers

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Related career information

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