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Animal Trainers
SOC Code: 39-2011.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Agility Instructor, Dog Obedience Instructor, Dog Trainer, Guide Dog Instructor, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI), Guide Dog Trainer, Horse Trainer, Racehorse Trainer, Service Dog Trainer, Trainer

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
  • Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
  • Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.
  • Administer prescribed medications to animals.
  • Keep records documenting animal health, diet, or behavior.
  • Evaluate animals for trainability and ability to perform.
  • Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Train dogs to work as guides for the visually impaired.
  • Place tack or harnesses on horses to accustom horses to the feel of equipment.
  • Organize or conduct animal shows.

Technology Skills

  • Calendar and scheduling software - Work scheduling software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Database software; Tracks Software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Animal collars - Dog training collars; Stud chains
  • Domestic pet training kits - Agility A-frames; Agility dog walks; Bite tugs; Clicker targets (see all 10 examples)
  • Ear plugs - Equine ear plugs
  • Harnesses or its accessories - Equine training harnesses; Flat halters; Training forks; Training surcingles (see all 5 examples)
  • Leashes or leads - Lead ropes; Long leashes
  • Muzzles - Dog muzzles
  • Personal computers
  • Pet grooming products - Pin brushes; Slicker brushes
  • Protective coveralls - Bite suits
  • Reins - Draw reins; Side reins
  • Safety sleeves - Bite sleeves
  • Swivel carabiner - Swivel carabiners
  • Therapeutic heating or cooling blankets or drapes - Dog cooling vests
  • Whips - Agitation whips
  • Whistle - Training whistles

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Gross Body Coordination - The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Stamina - The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Interests

  • Interest code: R
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 80% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Contact With Others - 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 50% responded “Very important results.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 42% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 35% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 38% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 36% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 31% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 32% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 32% responded “About half the time.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 40% responded “Never.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Letters and Memos - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
44%High school diploma or equivalent
23%Less than high school diploma
17%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $13.88 hourly, $28,880 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 55,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 7,000

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