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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

Each organisation sets its own entry requirements for job vacancies, like:

  • Guide Dogs – you’ll need 3 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English
  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People – you’ll need sign language skills (although training is given in British Sign Language) and experience of working with deaf people

You must be at least 18 years old.

You’ll usually need a full, clean driving licence.

It would be useful to have experience of working with dogs, like volunteering at a kennels, dog rescue centre or other animal welfare organisation.

Knowledge of basic dog handling and behaviour management methods would be helpful.

You’ll also need some understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities.

It may help if you have a qualification in animal care work, although this isn’t essential.

You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship in animal care.

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

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

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

Starting Salary

£13,000 to £27,000

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