Animal Trainers
SOC: 39-2011.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
36,800 employed

Projected (2024):
40,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Agility Instructor
  • Animal Handler
  • Bronc Breaker
  • Bronc Buster
  • Canine Service Teacher
  • Dog Handler
  • Dog Obedience Instructor
  • Dog Show Judge
  • Dog Trainer
  • Dolphin Trainer
  • Elephant Tamer
  • Equestrian
  • Equestrian Trainer
  • Guide Dog Instructor
  • Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI)
  • Guide Dog Trainer
  • Hearing Dog Trainer
  • Horse Breaker
  • Horse Trainer
  • Horse Wrangler
  • Horseman
  • Lion Tamer
  • Lion Trainer
  • Marine Animal Trainer
  • Marine Mammal Trainer
  • Monkey Trainer
  • Obedience Trainer
  • Outrider
  • Pet Handler
  • Pet Training Instructor
  • Racehorse Trainer
  • Ring Conductor
  • Seeing Eye Dog Teacher
  • Seeing Eye Dog Trainer
  • Service Dog Trainer
  • Show Dog Trainer
  • Show Horse Driver
  • Snake Charmer
  • Trainer
  • Trick Rodeo Rider
  • Whale Trainer

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use oral, spur, rein, or hand commands to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment.
  • Place tack or harnesses on horses to accustom horses to the feel of equipment.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking, bolting, or resisting bridling or grooming.
  • Train and rehearse animals, according to scripts, for motion picture, television, film, stage, or circus performances.
  • Organize or conduct animal shows.
  • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.
  • Evaluate animals for trainability and ability to perform.
  • Train dogs to work as guides for the visually impaired.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Agility A-frames
  • Agility dog walks
  • Agility jumps
  • Agility pause tables
  • Agility see-saws
  • Agility tire jumps
  • Agility tunnels
  • Agitation sticks
  • Agitation whips
  • Bite sleeves
  • Bite suits
  • Bite tugs
  • Clicker targets
  • Dog cooling vests
  • Dog muzzles
  • Dog training collars
  • Draw reins
  • Equine ear plugs
  • Equine training harnesses
  • Flat halters
  • Lead ropes
  • Long leashes
  • Personal computers
  • Pin brushes
  • Rope halters
  • Side reins
  • Slicker brushes
  • Stud chains
  • Swivel carabiners
  • Training forks
  • Training surcingles
  • Training whistles
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Word
  • Tracks Software
  • Work scheduling software

  • personal care and service

    industry stats

    SOC: 39-0000

    Total Employed: 4,307,500

    Average Annual Salary: $25,650