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

  • Whale Trainer
  • Trick Rodeo Rider
  • Trainer
  • Snake Charmer
  • Show Horse Driver
  • Show Dog Trainer
  • Service Dog Trainer
  • Seeing Eye Dog Trainer
  • Seeing Eye Dog Teacher
  • Ring Conductor

What They Do

  • Instruct jockeys in handling specific horses during races.
  • Organize or conduct animal shows.
  • Train and rehearse animals, according to scripts, for motion picture, television, film, stage, or circus performances.
  • Place tack or harnesses on horses to accustom horses to the feel of equipment.
  • Train dogs to work as guides for the visually impaired.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking, bolting, or resisting bridling or grooming.
  • Use oral, spur, rein, or hand commands to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment.
  • 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.
  • Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.

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.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $31,990 with most people making between $18,350 and $46,900

Outlook

1.88%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 800 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 950 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 15 openings due to growth and about 15 replacement openings for approximately 30 total annual openings.