Working with pet animals is an exciting and advantageous career choice for those who have a passion and love for them. A pet trainer teaches animals certain responses to specific conditions and exercises them for purposes such as companionship, detection, protection, and entertainment.
Apart from this, pet trainer jobs involve preparing pet animals to get accustomed to human contact and teach them to respond to particular commands, orders, and situations.
Pet animals are taught the task of obedience, security, entertainment, and racing to assist disabled people. Pet training is a vast field that includes working with different types of pet animals like dogs, elephants, horses, cats, birds, marine mammals, etc.
If you have a passion for pets and have decided to choose your career as a pet trainer, then you first have to decide on what type of pet animals you would like to work with.
How to Become a Pet Trainer
When it comes to pet training, no formal education qualification is mandatory. However, the candidates are expected to be 12th pass or at least have a high school certification. Please note that irrespective of the skill, to become a proficient pet trainer, one has to undergo pet training programs offered by experienced institutes or trainers.
Anyone who aspires to become a pet trainer should enroll in a pet instructor training program that includes online modules and hands-on instruction. The training also includes CPR, First Aid & Care.
At the end of the instructor training, a pet lover can choose to become a pet obedience trainer, kennel operator, pet retailers, pet sitters, pet groomers, etc. The career scope as a pet trainer is vast. Over 85 million families own pets in the United States, and they spend around 60+ billion dollars on their pets a year.
To become a pet trainer, you have to learn through on-the-job training and can enhance your skills from an experienced pet trainer. Many professional associations, private and state-approved schools like the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, offer a home-study certification program for the pet sitters.
Job Roles of a Pet Trainer
A pet trainer should be compassionate when dealing with pet animals and pet parents. The two essential virtues a pet trainer must possess are kindness and patients towards pets. Pet instructors need to be patient when dealing with pet animals.
They must understand the needs and requirements of the pet parents and must ensure to provide them excellent customer service. Pet instructors are often responsible for monitoring changes in the pet animal’s behavior and keep track of them while maintaining records.
Pet trainer jobs include a lot of physical tasks. So a pet trainer should have an excellent physical and mental stamina and must be fit enough to take up physical tasks such as kneeling, crawling, bending, restraining animals, and lifting heavy supplies such as bags of pet food, etc.
They should have excellent instructing skills, and as the animals cannot speak, they should be able to understand the activities and mood swings of the animals. Critical thinking, time management, and decision making are the skills needed for this profession.
Job roles of pet training vary according to the type of pet animals they are dealing with. Apart from training pet animals for different purposes, the key responsibilities of pet trainers are to keep the pet animals on a strict diet, maintaining track records of their health, and keep an eye on identifying minor injuries or changes in the pet animal’s behavior.
Types of jobs in pet training
Pet trainers teach animals a variety of skills, such as obedience, performance, riding, and security. They teach animals how to respond to instructions and commands.
Most of the pet trainers work with dogs and horses while some work with marine mammals like dolphins. Pet trainers also train pet animals for pet shows and competitions.
Pet Groomers: These trainers are often specialized in maintaining a pet’s appearance. They typically groom dogs and cats that include trimming, cutting, shampooing, and styling their fur, clipping nails of the pet animals, and cleaning their ears. Groomers often work in or operate their grooming salon, kennel, veterinary clinic, pet supply store, mobile grooming service that travels to pet parents’ homes.
Kennel Attendants: These trainers care for pets mostly overnight. They clean the cages and dog runs and feed, exercise, and also play with the pets. An experienced and qualified kennel attendant provides healthcare, bathe animals, and other basic grooming needs.
Pet Sitters: These pet instructors look after the pets while the pet parents are away. Pet sitters, apart from training the pets to follow specific commands, also feed, walk, exercise, and play with the pet animals.
Pay Scale of Pet Trainer Jobs
The median annual wage for animal trainers and nonfarm animal caretakers as of May 2018 was $29,290 and $23,760, respectively. Some pet trainers work on an hourly basis, and in that case, they earn $10.90 per hour.
Pet trainers who are working in the film and entertainment industry, government organizations, and research facilities earn a lucrative salary when compared to those employed in other sectors.
The outlook of job growth for pet trainers is expected to increase. It will be highest in major metropolitan areas in states such as California and New York, where a large number of pets and pet parents are concentrated.