Animal Trainers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Agility Instructor
  • Animal Handler
  • Bronc Breaker
  • Bronc Buster
  • Canine Service Teacher
  • Cutting Horse Trainer
  • Dog and Cat Behavior Specialist
  • Dog Handler
  • Dog Show Judge
  • Dog Trainer

What They Do

  • Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
  • Cue or signal animals during performances.
  • Administer prescribed medications to animals.
  • Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.
  • Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
  • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
  • Conduct training programs in order to develop and maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding and related areas.
  • Keep records documenting animal health, diet, or behavior.
  • Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.
  • Instruct jockeys in handling specific horses during races.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: R.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Relationships and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $31,030 with most people making between $17,570 and $52,460

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 45,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 47,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 5,000 replacement openings for approximately 5,000 total annual openings.