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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Phoenix, Arizona

Animal trainers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Phoenix, Arizona area. There are currently 270 working animal trainers in Arizona; this should grow 33% to about 360 working animal trainers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for animal trainers are expected to grow by about 20.4%. Animal trainers generally train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities.

A person working as an animal trainer can expect to earn about $11 per hour or $24,950 per year on average in Arizona and about $13 hourly or $27,270 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for animal trainers are better than earnings in the general category of Animal Care in Arizona and better than general Animal Care category earnings nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can study to be an animal trainer, among seventy-six schools of higher education total in the Phoenix area. Given that the most common education level for animal trainers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an animal trainer if you already have a high school diploma.


Animal Trainer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, animal trainers train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. They also accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands.

Animal trainers evaluate animals in order to establish their temperaments and aptitude for training. They also conduct training programs in order to develop desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, and riding. Equally important, animal trainers have to talk to and interact with animals so as to familiarize them to human voices and contact. They are often called upon to observe animals' physical conditions in order to uncover illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care. They are expected to feed and exercise animals, and furnish other general care such as cleaning and maintaining holding and performance areas. Finally, animal trainers advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.

Every day, animal trainers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for animal trainers to keep records documenting animal health and behavior. They are often called upon to administer prescribed medications to animals. They also cue or signal animals during performances. They are sometimes expected to place tack or harnesses on horses so as to accustom horses to the feel of equipment. Somewhat less frequently, animal trainers are also expected to manage mating of stallions and mares, and assist mares during foaling.

They also have to be able to train horses or other equines for riding or other work, using knowledge of breed characteristics and the peculiarities of each animal and use oral and/or hand commands so as to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking and resisting bridling and grooming.

Like many other jobs, animal trainers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:

  • Animal Daycare Provider. Feed, water, or otherwise care for pets and other nonfarm animals, such as dogs, cats, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.
  • Residential Life Director. Coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May refer residents to counseling resources if needed.


Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated five and ten students respectively in 2008.


Certified Pet Dog Trainer: A trainer who has received the Certified Pet Dog Trainer credential has met eligibility requirements and has successfully demonstrated his or her knowledge by passing the certification exam.

For more information, see the Certification Council For Pet Dog Trainers website.


Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.