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Average Salary
$29,694
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
16%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
17,118
Job Openings

Marine Animal Trainer Careers

What Does a Marine Animal Trainer Do

Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.

Duties

Animal care and service workers typically do the following:

  • Give food and water to animals
  • Clean equipment and the living spaces of animals
  • Monitor animals and record details of their diet, physical condition, and behavior
  • Examine animals for signs of illness or injury
  • Exercise animals
  • Bathe animals, trim nails, clip hair, and attend to other grooming needs
  • Train animals to obey or to behave in a specific manner

Animal care and service workers train, feed, groom, and exercise animals. They also clean, disinfect, and repair animal cages. They play with the animals, provide companionship, and observe behavioral changes that could indicate illness or injury.

Boarding kennels, pet stores, animal shelters, rescue leagues, veterinary hospitals and clinics, stables, aquariums and natural aquatic habitats, zoological parks, and many laboratories house animals and employ animal care and service workers.

Nonfarm animal caretakers typically work with cats and dogs in animal shelters or rescue leagues. All caretakers attend to the basic needs of animals, but experienced caretakers may have more responsibilities, such as helping to vaccinate or euthanize animals under the direction of a veterinarian. Caretakers also may have administrative duties, such as keeping records, answering questions from the public, educating visitors about pet health, and screening people who want to adopt an animal.

Animal trainers train animals for obedience, performance, riding, security, or assisting people with disabilities. They familiarize animals with human voices and contact, and they teach animals to respond to commands. Most animal trainers work with dogs and horses, but some work with marine mammals, such as dolphins. Trainers teach a variety of skills. For example, some may train dogs to guide people with disabilities; others teach animals to cooperate with veterinarians or train animals for a competition or show.

Groomers specialize in maintaining a pet’s appearance. Kennels, veterinary clinics, or pet supply stores employ groomers, where they groom mostly dogs, but some cats, too. In addition to cutting, trimming, and styling pets’ fur, groomers clip nails, clean ears, and bathe pets. Groomers also schedule appointments, sell products to pet owners, and identify problems that may require veterinary attention.

Groomers may operate their own business, work in a grooming salon, or run their own mobile grooming service that travels to clients’ homes. Demand for mobile grooming services is growing because these services are convenient for pet owners, allowing the pet to stay in its familiar environment.

Grooms care for horses. Grooms work at stables and are responsible for feeding, grooming, and exercising horses. They saddle and unsaddle horses, give them rubdowns, and cool them off after a ride. In addition, grooms clean stalls, polish saddles, and organize the tack room where they keep harnesses, saddles, and bridles. They also take care of food and supplies for the horses. Experienced grooms sometimes help train horses.

Keepers care for animals in zoos. They plan diets, feed, and monitor the eating patterns of animals. They also clean the animals’ enclosures, monitor their behavior, and watch for signs of illness or injury. Depending on the size of the zoo, they may work with one species or multiple species of animals. Keepers may help raise young animals, and they often spend time answering questions from the public.

Kennel attendants care for pets while their owners are working or traveling. Basic attendant duties include cleaning cages and dog runs, and feeding, exercising, and playing with animals. Experienced attendants also may provide basic healthcare, bathe animals, and attend to other basic grooming needs.

Pet sitters look after animals while their owner is away. Most pet sitters feed, walk, and play with pets daily. They go to the pet owner’s home, allowing the pet to stay in its familiar surroundings and follow its routine. More experienced pet sitters also may bathe, groom, or train pets. Pet sitters typically watch over dogs, but some also take care of cats and other pets.

How To Become a Marine Animal Trainer

Most animal care and service workers have a high school diploma and learn the occupation on the job. Many employers prefer to hire people who have experience with animals.

Education

Most animal care and service worker positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

Although pet groomers typically learn by working under the guidance of an experienced groomer, they can also attend grooming schools. The length of each program varies with the school and the number of advanced skills taught.

Most zoos require keepers to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, or a related field.

Animal trainers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some positions may require a bachelor’s degree. For example, marine mammal trainers usually need a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, animal science, biology, or a related field.

Dog trainers and horse trainers typically qualify by taking courses at community colleges or vocational and private training schools.

Training

Most animal care and service workers learn through on-the-job training. They begin by performing basic tasks and work up to positions that require more responsibility and experience.

Some animal care and service workers may receive training before they enter their position. For example, caretakers in shelters can attend training programs through the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association. Pet groomers often learn their trade by training under the guidance of an experienced groomer.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills. For example, several professional associations and hundreds of private vocational and state-approved trade schools offer certification for dog trainers.

The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers certification for master status as a groomer. Both the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International offer a home-study certification program for pet sitters. Marine mammal trainers should be certified in scuba-diving.

For self-employed workers, many states require animal care and service workers to have a business license.

Other Experience

For many caretaker positions, it helps to have experience working with animals. Nearly all animal trainer and zookeeper positions require candidates to have experience with animals. Volunteering and internships at zoos and aquariums are excellent ways to gain experience in working with animals.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Animal care and service workers must be compassionate when dealing with animals and their owners. They should like animals and must treat them with kindness.

Customer-service skills. Animal care and service workers should understand pet owners’ needs so they can provide services that leave the owners satisfied. Some workers may need to deal with distraught pet owners. For example, caretakers working in animal shelters may need to reassure owners looking for a lost pet.

Detail oriented. Animal care and service workers must be detail oriented because they are often responsible for keeping animals on a strict diet, maintaining records, and monitoring changes in animals’ behavior.

Patience. Animal caretakers and all animal trainers need to be patient when training or working with animals that do not respond to commands.

Physical stamina. Stamina is important for animal care and service workers because their work often involves kneeling, crawling, bending, and lifting heavy supplies, such as bags of food.

Problem-solving skills. Animal trainers must be able to assess whether the animals are responding to teaching methods and identify which methods are most successful.

Reliability. In order to meet the customer’s needs, animal care and service workers need to care for animals in a scheduled and timely manner.

Trustworthiness. Pet sitters must demonstrate that they can be trusted when caring for animals and properties while the owner is away.

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Average Salary
$29,694
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
16%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
17,118
Job Openings

Marine Animal Trainer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Marine Animal Trainer

Volunteer
13.5 %

Top Careers After Marine Animal Trainer

Marine Animal Trainer Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Marine Animal Trainer

Marine Animal Trainers in America make an average salary of $29,694 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $43,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,694
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Albany, CA
Salary Range28k - 49k$37k$37,179
Elmont, NY
Salary Range27k - 50k$37k$37,153
Berkeley, CA
Salary Range28k - 48k$37k$37,093
North Salem, NY
Salary Range27k - 50k$37k$36,918
Amenia, NY
Salary Range26k - 49k$36k$36,421
San Diego, CA
Salary Range27k - 43k$34k$34,449
$15k
$50k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Animal Trainer I
Animal Trainer I
San Diego Humane Society
San Diego Humane Society
05/20/2021
05/20/2021
$36,18905/20/2021
$36,189
Animal Trainer I
Animal Trainer I
San Diego Humane Society
San Diego Humane Society
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$32,16103/25/2021
$32,161
Machine & Marine Training Program
Machine & Marine Training Program
Skills for Rhode Island's Future
Skills for Rhode Island's Future
10/13/2020
10/13/2020
$31,30510/13/2020
$31,305
Animal Trainer
Animal Trainer
WCI Corp.
WCI Corp.
05/08/2020
05/08/2020
$80,00005/08/2020
$80,000
Marine Animal Trainer
Marine Animal Trainer
San Diego Humane Society
San Diego Humane Society
08/02/2019
08/02/2019
$32,16108/02/2019
$32,161
See More Recent Salaries

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Marine Animal Trainer Demographics

Gender

female

51.0 %

male

42.9 %

unknown

6.2 %

Ethnicity

White

82.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.4 %

Black or African American

3.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.6 %

French

14.3 %

Italian

14.3 %
See More Demographics

Marine Animal Trainer Education

Majors

Biology
21.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

50.2 %

Certificate

17.5 %

Associate

14.8 %
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Marine Animal Trainer That You May Like

Certificate in End of Life Care
ed2go

(19 contact hours) The Certificate in End-of-Life Care will enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals and individuals who work with or care for those experiencing a terminal illness...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

Palliative Care Always
coursera

Palliative Care Always is a specialization for health care practitioners, patients and caregivers. We've designed this specialization to demonstrate how palliative medicine integrates with patient care, and to help you develop primary palliative care skills. Over the next five courses, you will develop skills in symptom management, goals of care and effective communication to improve the quality of life for patients and families suffering with serious illness. Our hope is that you feel increasin...

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Top Skills For a Marine Animal Trainer

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, 29.5% of marine animal trainers listed animal care on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Marine Animal Trainer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a marine animal trainer. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, South Dakota, Ohio, and Kentucky. Marine animal trainers make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $62,712. Whereas in South Dakota and Ohio, they would average $43,725 and $43,134, respectively. While marine animal trainers would only make an average of $41,499 in Kentucky, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Marine Animal Trainer Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
Location Quotient:
1.56
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Louisiana

Total Marine Animal Trainer Jobs:
313
Highest 10% Earn:
$61,000
Location Quotient:
1.69
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total Marine Animal Trainer Jobs:
642
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Marine Animal Trainer Employers

1. United States Marine
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$28,295
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
9+
2. Six Flags
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$25,542
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
7+
3. Science Applications International ...
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$56,431
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
4+
4. SeaWorld
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$25,261
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
3+
5. PetSmart
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$27,581
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
3+
6. Zoological Society Of San Diego
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$26,178
Marine Animal Trainers Hired: 
2+
Updated October 2, 2020