Animal Trainer

1 January 2017

For education animal trainers often need just a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some require a bachelor’s degree and additional skills. For example marine mammal trainers usually need a bachelor’s degree in biology, marine biology, animal science, psychology, or a related field. Skills needed for the job are moderately challenging because of the amount of hard labor work involved. They include training, feeding, grooming, bathing, exercising, and cleaning the animals as well as disinfecting and repairing the cages. For references there isn’t much needed. Having a certification is advantageous.

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For a certification applicants have to demonstrate their practical skills and pass two written exams. As for summer jobs, there are a few that can be helpful to shelter workers or veterinarians. Just volunteering is a good way to get your foot in the door for a good job in that field such as an animal trainer. As an entry level job u would start with on-the-job training learning the basics of taking care of the animals. Employees do prefer to hire people with experience so it’s better to start with an education and work your way up. The working conditions of an animal trainer are tough.

It’s unpleasant and physically or emotionally demanding at times. Most workers have to clean cages and lift hold or restrain animals, risking being bitten or other injuries. Trainers may work outdoors in all kinds of weather, and the work setting can be noisy. For animal trainers hours are very irregular. Often weekend and holiday shifts. Some are on duty 24 hours a day. For vacation time, that isn’t blatantly specified, but based on the facts I know already unless a person is off on the holiday shifts it seems like animal trainers don’t get much of a vacation.

Salaries for this job are significantly low at around a max of $31,590 a year. Average salaries are between 16k and 24k. Physical and emotional stress is big in this job. All of the hours worked caretaking for animals, lifting, cleaning; the skills needed basically, can really take a toll on someone in this job. Usually the people that work in this field are veterinarians, animal control, other animal helpers, etc. and they are usually animal lovers. I personally am not an animal lover but I like to have a dog or pet.

You’re evaluated by your peer employees and the employees above you or at a higher authority such as the manager of the establishment. To me there aren’t many advantages to this job besides it works with animals and it’s an easy job to be hired at. The disadvantages are numerous. The hours worked, the time not spent with family, the amount of pain possibly involved and with all of that hard work, not very much in return with a very low salary. If I chose to apply for this job it could definitely help me in the long run if I play my cards right.

The more I work as an animal trainer the more I am recognized and could possibly be advanced which includes a higher salary, more time with family, and higher salary, as well as a better future! As an animal trainer I’d also have a lot of opportunities in my career path, such as advancing up to adoption coordinators, animal control officer, emergency rescue driver, assistant shelter manager, or shelter director. In conclusion, am I suited for this career? , in my opinion no. Referring back to the disadvantages, the amount of hours away from family is a big part of that and the stress involved.

That kind of work I can do but it’s not something I’d enjoy as a career. The positive side is there are a lot of job openings for an animal trainer that if all else fails it are something to fall back on. To possibly attain the goal of being an animal trainer and enjoy it is a stretch but very possible. Possibly a raise or knowing that I will have fun at times. Being able to see my family is what bothers me the most, but a job is a job. I’ll need one anyway I can get it especially in the shape the economy is in.

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