Complete guide: Easiest way to Become an Animal Trainer in 2023


Animal training can be a rewarding and exciting career option, but it demands hard work and attention.

To become an animal trainer, you must understand fundamental animal behavior, care, nutrition, safety, and have previous experience with animals.

A degree in the sciences or technologies relevant to animals is also advantageous.

Before you begin, you must decide what kind of animals you want to work with, which might range from horses and cats to dolphins and bears.


After choosing on the species of animal you wish to train, the following stage is to obtain hands-on experience with them.

Volunteering in animal shelters or internships at pet stores or private facilities that provide training services for those animals could be examples of this.

Aside from these processes, there are a few more things you should know about being an animal trainer if you want to follow this vocation.


In this section, we will go over the processes to becoming an animal trainer, such as obtaining suitable certifications and experience and looking for work possibilities in the profession.

Who is an Animal Trainer?

A practitioner who works with animals to change their behavior is known as an Animal Trainer.

They train animals to learn new behaviors, modify current ones, and fix any problems that develop during the training process.

Depending on their specialty, they may deal with a variety of animals, though some specialize in certain species, such as horses or marine mammals.


An Animal Trainer’s major role is to help protect the safety of both humans and animals.

This entails giving handlers instructions and direction so they may effectively regulate animal behavior while also taking into account the specific needs of each animal being trained.

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To establish successful training programs that fulfill their clients’ goals and offer a safe environment for everyone involved, an Animal Trainer must be informed about animal physiology, psychology, and learning theory.

Different Fields of Animal Trainers

There are various types of animal trainers. They are as follows:

Service Animal Instructor

Service animal trainers, such as guide dog trainers, teach dogs to assist people with disabilities who require extra support, have impaired vision, or are blind.

They educate certain dogs how to help people in emergency situations, such as an epileptic seizure.

Other dogs assist law enforcement in detecting people or illegal substances.


Some people also learn to protect themselves and fight if required.

Obedience Coach

One of the most prominent approaches is the practice of training animals to obey.

Dog owners frequently take their pets to a dog trainer to educate them how to behave, obey directions, walk on a leash, and become housebroken.

These trainers will then teach pet owners how to engage with their animals following the sessions.

Animals are trained one-on-one by trainers, who frequently reward them when they do well. When an animal learns that they will receive positive reinforcement and a treat if they act in a certain way, they are more likely to obey a command.

Animal Trainers in Film

Animals are trained to do specific actions for film and television animal trainers.

Their responsibilities include transporting the animals to shooting locations and sets, feeding them, administering medication, monitoring their physical and mental well-being, and cleaning cages and enclosures.

These animal trainers work with veterinarians to ensure that animal care meets or exceeds industry standards.

Some of the most well-known movie animals include big cats, dogs, reptiles, horses, bears, elephants, parrots, farm animals, and birds of prey.

What Do Animal Trainers Do?

Animal trainers work with animals to teach them tricks, commands, and jobs such as helping people or moving goods.

Many animals, including dogs, horses, and aquatic creatures, can be trained by them. Animal training seeks to teach the animal to respond to and follow commands.

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An animal may be required to assist a person with a disability, for security, or in the case of horses, to allow someone to ride them.

Basic skills can be taught to animals by animal trainers to help them cooperate during veterinary procedures.

Animal trainers spend a lot of time with their charges, frequently providing primary care and monitoring for signs of illness or injury.

The following are the roles of an animal trainer in any organization:

  • Animal trainers converse with trainers or owners to learn about their expectations and goals.
  • An animal trainer learns about animal behavior.
  • They also set up animal training routines.
  • Observing and researching animal behavior and health, as well as understanding each animal’s particular abilities.
  • Animal care and feeding.
  • They employ techniques such as positive reinforcement and others to train animals to act the way you want them to.
  • Keeping interested parties informed of the animals’ growth and wellbeing.
  • Grooming, sterilizing abodes or resting quarters, and acclimating animals to human sounds and contact are all examples of general animal care.
  • Some roles may require animal breeding help.

How much do Animal Trainers Earn?

Animal trainers make an average of $31,280 per year. In terms of pay, they normally range from $23,160 to $58,790.

A senior-level animal trainer earns around $21.46 per hour and $44,630 per year.

A mid-level animal trainer may expect to make around $15.04 per hour and $31,280 per year.

Junior-level animal trainers, on the other hand, earn between $13.51 per hour and $28,110 per year.

Meanwhile, the starting compensation for a new employee in the field is $11.13 per hour. And around $23,160 every year.

What are the Requirements for Becoming an Animal Trainer?

Animal trainers are specialist professionals that are in charge of the care, handling, and training of animals.

The qualifications for becoming an animal trainer vary. It is determined by the type of animal being taught as well as the environment in which they will be working.

Most employers want potential animal trainers to have some formal education in biology or zoology-related subjects, as well as experience working with a variety of animals.

Furthermore, many businesses prefer individuals who are familiar with behavioral science ideas such as operant conditioning and reinforcement theory.

Animal trainers must also have excellent communication skills as well as understanding of correct diet and medical care for their charges.

Finally, all animal trainers must follow local rules concerning the acquisition and use of dangerous or unusual animals with which they may operate.

In summary, an animal trainer must have:

  • A high school diploma is required.
  • Working knowledge of animals is essential.
  • Working with animals, such as marine life, may necessitate a bachelor’s degree.
  • More on-the-job training is usually required.
  • Extensive knowledge of animal behavior and care.
  • Interpersonal, communication, listening, and presentation skills are essential.
  • Excellent teaching ability and patience.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving abilities that are second to none.

Animal Trainer’s Job Outlook

In the United States, around 14,830 animal trainers are employed.

Animal trainers are employed by a wide range of organizations, including stables, dog-training and companion pet programs, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums and oceanariums, amusement parks, rescue centers, pet stores, and circuses.

Many work for themselves, and a small number of really successful animal trainers work in the entertainment sector, working with hazardous or wild animals or teaching animal “actors.”

Some careers, on the other hand, demand substantial travel and relocation.

Despite the creation and expansion of several new zoos and aquariums, the number of job opportunities for animal trainers at these facilities will remain limited.

How To Become an Animal Trainer?

Animal trainers must have some formal education, although there are other career pathways that can lead to careers in this industry.

Some persons may find work without a college degree, beginning in entry-level or apprenticeship roles under an experienced animal trainer and learning the necessary skills for several years before becoming prepared to train animals on their own.

Others pursue a career as animal trainers through education.

Many people who want to teach dolphins, for example, go to college and earn bachelor’s degrees in animal sciences or marine biology.

Certain persons may be able to enter the sector with a certificate in animal training from a trade, community, or vocational college.

Many horse trainers received early experience working on farms or competing in equestrian sports.

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Through this experience, kids develop the knowledge and skills required to successfully train horses for competition success when they are adults.

Regardless of the path you choose to pursue a career as an animal trainer, aptitude and experience will be required to thrive in the profession.

With only a high school diploma, you may require assistance to enter the field of animal training.

A formal college education may assist you in getting started.

Volunteering at a zoo, farm, or animal shelter may put you in touch with other animal trainers if you need assistance finding job after graduation.

If you want to be a professional trainer, you must accomplish two things after earning your degree and finding a job.

Get Certification

With certification, you can earn a good living.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers offers certification as a Professional Dog Trainer.

This qualification is intended for trainers with at least five years of experience.

Join a Professional Group

Being a member of a professional organization demonstrates dedication. Among the organizations or groups are:

  • The International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association
  • Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
  • National Trainers Association

Progression Chart for Animal Trainer

We have provided information on these professions based on the professional progress of animal trainers.

Those who want to train animals must start their careers in entry-level roles.

Animal behaviorists

Some animal behaviorists retrain or train animals. They also deal with behavioral issues in household dogs.

A bachelor’s degree is required to excel in animal behavior, and many more occupations require a Ph.D. or veterinary medicine degree.

Furthermore, depending on the field of work, certification or state licensure may be required.

Animal Breeders and Technicians:

Animal breeders use their understanding of genetic factors and animal science to select and breed animals that produce offspring with the desired characteristics.

For example, they breed pigs with thinner meat, a large number of egg-laying chickens, and sheep with thicker wool.

Others care after and breed domestic animals such as cats, dogs, and other pets.

 Animal caretakers

Animal caregivers create a variety of enrichment components to introduce the animal to new objects and situations.

Each animal must be fed and provided access to water on a daily basis, and its cage must be maintained clean, safe, and warm, as well as stocked with supplies if necessary, to preserve its focus and health. They can train or exercise.

How much does becoming an Animal Trainer cost?

Most professions for animal trainers do not require a degree; however, some may.

Certifications are not necessary for pet trainers, however they may assist you in demonstrating your qualifications to potential employers.

Courses for dog and horse trainers are available in community colleges and vocational schools.

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Working alongside a more experienced trainer is another opportunity for animal trainers to advance their skills.

If you want to specialize in teaching dolphins or other marine mammals, you may need a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, or a closely related area.

A four-year bachelor’s degree program in animal science normally costs around $180,000.

How long is the training process to become an animal trainer?

Although a certification from a community college or vocational school can help you develop your skills, there are no educational requirements to become an animal trainer.

An associate’s degree or diploma program in this profession will take you two years.

Some dog trainers obtain practical experience by working alongside more experienced trainers.

Benefits of Becoming an Animal Trainer

A lucrative and fulfilling career as an animal trainer is possible. You not only get to work with animals, but you also get to make a difference in their lives. Here are some of the advantages of working with animals:

You Will Have the Opportunity to Work With Animals:

As an animal trainer, you will be working with animals on a daily basis. You’ll learn about their behavior and how to train them to perform various tasks. This is a fantastic method to connect with animals and better understand their needs.

You Have the Power to Make a Difference:

Animal trainers have the ability to make a significant difference in the lives of animals. Training may help animals become more obedient and fearless, as well as teach them new behaviors that will benefit their owners. This is a wonderful approach to help animals live happier and healthier lives.

You Will Acquire New Skills:

Learning new skills and techniques is required to become an animal trainer. Understanding animal behavior, developing successful training methods, and staying up to date on the latest research and trends in animal training will all be required. This is an excellent opportunity to broaden your knowledge and advance professionally.

You Can Make a Living:

Animal trainers that are successful can earn a decent life. You can earn a good living based on the animals you work with and the services you provide. Furthermore, you may often choose your own hours and work from home, giving you the flexibility to work when and when you want.

You Can Assist Others:

People can benefit from animal trainers by learning how to care for their pets. By offering guidance and teaching, you can assist pet owners in strengthening their ties with their animals and ensuring their pets’ health and happiness.


Becoming an animal trainer is a difficult but rewarding vocation that takes commitment and patience.

Knowledge of animal behavior, expertise with animals, solid communication skills, and the ability to work independently are all required.

Anyone with the necessary training and certifications can work as an animal trainer and make a difference in the lives of animals.

Aspiring animal trainers can learn how to apply their skills in this interesting area by following the procedures outlined above.

With hard effort and perseverance, you may succeed as an animal trainer.

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