Animal Trainers

Description

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arrange for mating of stallions and mares and assist mares during foaling.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

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
Dolphin Trainer
Elephant Tamer
Equestrian
Equestrian Trainer
Guide Dog Instructor
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
Guide Dog Trainer
Hearing Dog Trainer
Horse Breaker
Horse Trainer
Horse Wrangler
Horseman
Instructor
Licensed Guide Dog Instructor
Lion Tamer
Lion Trainer
Marine Animal Trainer
Marine Mammal Trainer
Monkey Trainer
Obedience Instructor
Outrider
Pet Handler
Racehorse Trainer
Ring Conductor
Seeing Eye Dog Teacher
Seeing Eye Dog Trainer
Show Dog Trainer
Show Horse Driver
Snake Charmer
Trainer
Training Director
Trick Rodeo Rider
Whale Trainer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$12.15 hourly, $25,270 annual.
Employment (2008):
11,170 employees