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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Sacramento, California

Animal trainer career and educational opportunities abound in Sacramento, California. Currently, 3,800 people work as animal trainers in California. This is expected to grow by 26% to 4,800 people 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%. In general, animal trainers train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities.

A person working as an animal trainer can expect to earn about $13 per hour or $28,870 yearly on average in California and about $13 per hour or $27,270 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Animal trainers earn more than people working in the category of Animal Care generally in California and more than people in the Animal Care category nationally.

There are forty-two schools of higher education in the Sacramento area, including one within twenty-five miles of Sacramento where you can get a degree to start your career as an animal trainer. Animal trainers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Animal Trainer Training

Sierra College - Rocklin, CA

Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin, CA 95677-3397. Sierra College is a large college located in Rocklin, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,608 students. Sierra College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Equestrian/Equine Studies.

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: Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California photo by Urdangaray

Sacramento is located in Sacramento County, California. It has a population of over 463,794, which has grown by 13.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Sacramento, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Sacramento are valued at $185,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, nine hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Sacramento, down from 1,337 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Sacramento are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 23.9% of Sacramento residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sacramento is 14.7%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Sacramento residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Pearly Gate Missionary Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Parkview Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Sacramento. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Assemblies of God.

Sacramento is home to the Southern Pacific Shops and the Bing Maloney Golf Course as well as Alkali Flat North Historic District and Silva Field. Shopping centers in the area include Farmers Center Shopping Center, Florin Square Shopping Center and Franklin and Florin Shopping Center. Visitors to Sacramento can choose from Best Western Sutter House, Best for Less Motel-Cababa Lodge and AAA Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.