Animal Trainers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Agility Instructor
  • Animal Handler
  • Bronc Breaker
  • Bronc Buster
  • Canine Service Teacher
  • Dog Handler
  • Dog Obedience Instructor
  • Dog Show Judge
  • Dog Trainer
  • Dolphin Trainer
View All

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Cue or signal animals during performances.
  • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
  • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.
  • Use oral, spur, rein, or hand commands to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment.
  • Retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking, bolting, or resisting bridling or grooming.
  • Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
  • Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: R.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Relationships and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Kansas City, MO-KS was $26,780 with most people making between $17,250 and $44,630

Outlook

7.77%
avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 309 people in Kansas City, MO-KS. It is projected that there will be 416 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 24 openings due to growth and about 83 replacement openings for approximately 107 total annual openings.



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