Home Explore Job Ideas Assistance dog trainer

Job Description

An animal trainer uses a variety of techniques to train animals to behave in certain ways. They will teach animals to respond to commands and will work with show animals, service animals and family pets.

Entry Requirements

There are various ways in which you can get into this job role and the entry requirements can vary depending on what you choose to do:

An apprenticeship 

You may be able to start by doing an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in animal care.

You could then move onto an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some experience of working with dogs. Employers will look for:

  • knowledge of basic dog handling and behaviour management
  • understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities

Each organisation sets its own entry requirements for job vacancies. For example, you may need up to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for some jobs.

Employers may ask for sign language skills and experience of working with deaf people.

Restrictions and requirements

  • pass enhanced background checks
  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a full driving licence

Career Tips

You'll have an advantage if you've got experience of working with dogs. Examples include volunteering at a kennels, helping at a dog rescue centre or working for an animal welfare organisation.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you could progress to a role like area team supervisor, training manager or regional training manager.

Your experience as a trainer could lead to a care support job, like rehabilitation worker. 

You could move into a related field, like veterinary nursing or working as an RSPCA inspector.

You could also set up your own business, and provide services like dog obedience classes or private dog training.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Animal care worker
  • Dog groomer
  • Kennel worker
  • Pet behaviour counsellor

Required Skills

  • A very keen interest in animals and their welfare
  • Patience and compassion
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Good physical stamina that allows you to bend, lift and kneel
  • The ability to work on your own

Salary Range

£13,500 to £27,000

My Page