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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Los Angeles, California

Animal trainer career and educational opportunities abound in Los Angeles, California. Currently, 3,800 people work as animal trainers in California. This is expected to grow by 26% to about 4,800 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for animal trainers, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.4% over the next eight years. Animal trainers generally train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities.

The income of an animal trainer is about $13 per hour or $28,870 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 per hour or $27,270 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Animal Care, people working as animal trainers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Animal Care nationally.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as an animal trainer. Given that the most common education level for animal trainers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be an animal trainer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Animal Trainer

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 Los Angeles include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Animal Trainer Training

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated two, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Instructor (Guide Dogs)

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, 400 R Street, Suite 5100-A, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 324-9328
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind

Occupational Participants in Horse Racing License

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-6000
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs California Horse Racing Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.