Average Salary
$44,593
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
23,033
Job Openings

K9 Handler Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a k9 handler. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.44 an hour? That's $44,593 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 37,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a K9 Handler Do

There are certain skills that many k9 handlers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, empathy and good judgment.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a k9 handler, we found that a lot of resumes listed 32.0% of k9 handlers included company vehicle, while 20.1% of resumes included training records, and 8.6% of resumes included explosive detection. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the k9 handler job title. But what industry to start with? Most k9 handlers actually find jobs in the non profits and health care industries.

How To Become a K9 Handler

If you're interested in becoming a k9 handler, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 31.4% of k9 handlers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.6% of k9 handlers have master's degrees. Even though some k9 handlers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a k9 handler. When we researched the most common majors for a k9 handler, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on k9 handler resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a k9 handler. In fact, many k9 handler jobs require experience in a role such as police officer. Meanwhile, many k9 handlers also have previous career experience in roles such as security officer or deputy sheriff.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$44,593
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
23,033
Job Openings

K9 Handler Career Paths

Top Careers Before K9 Handler

Top Careers After K9 Handler

K9 Handler Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a K9 Handler

K9 Handlers in America make an average salary of $44,593 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $56,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,593
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
K-9 Handler for Bed Bug Detection Dogs
Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions
07/28/2020
$37,56607/28/2020
K-9 Handler for Bed Bug Detection Dogs
Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions
05/30/2020
$37,56605/30/2020
Security-K9 Handler
The Walt Disney Company
03/10/2020
$46,43603/10/2020
K9 Handler
Walt Disney Co.
12/18/2019
$46,43612/18/2019
K9 Handler
The Walt Disney Company
11/06/2019
$46,43611/06/2019

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

K9 Handler Demographics

Gender

male

75.5 %

female

21.2 %

unknown

3.3 %

Ethnicity

White

64.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.0 %

Black or African American

12.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0 %

German

10.0 %

Turkish

10.0 %
Show More K9 Handler Demographics

K9 Handler Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

31.4 %

Associate

26.0 %

High School Diploma

23.1 %

Top Colleges for K9 Handlers

1. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

3. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

4. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

6. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

7. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

8. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

9. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,369
Enrollment
5,229

10. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039
Show More K9 Handler Education Requirements

Online Courses For K9 Handler That You May Like

Introduction to Criminal Law
ed2go

An in-depth look at criminal law and the real world of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the paralegals who work closely with them...

Criminal Law in 120 Minutes: A Fast Track Course
udemy
4.4
(280)

A 2 hour fast track summary of Criminal Law, targeting all common law LL.B examinations!...

Introduction to International Criminal Law
coursera

About the Course - From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates - no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law. Taught by one of the world's leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. We will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, a...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a K9 Handler

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 32.0% of k9 handlers listed company vehicle on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and empathy are important as well.

  • Company Vehicle, 32.0%
  • Training Records, 20.1%
  • Explosive Detection, 8.6%
  • Public Safety, 7.4%
  • CPR, 6.7%
  • Other Skills, 25.2%
  • See All K9 Handler Skills

How Do K9 Handler Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a K9 Handler? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a K9 Handler?
Rate how you like work as K9 Handler. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top K9 Handler Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$47,123
K9 Handlers Hired: 
14+
2. United States Marine
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$44,427
K9 Handlers Hired: 
8+
3. MSA Security
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$35,438
K9 Handlers Hired: 
7+
4. SOC
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,475
K9 Handlers Hired: 
6+
5. The Walt Disney Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$47,784
K9 Handlers Hired: 
5+
6. RONCO Consulting
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$48,405
K9 Handlers Hired: 
4+
Updated August 18, 2021