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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for animal trainers in the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky area. About 1,380 people are currently employed as animal trainers in Kentucky. By 2016, this is expected to grow 23% to 1,700 people employed. 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.

Animal trainers earn approximately $15 per hour or $31,270 annually on average in Kentucky. Nationally they average about $13 per hour or $27,270 yearly. Animal trainers earn more than people working in the category of Animal Care generally in Kentucky and more than people in the Animal Care category nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Lexington-Fayette where you can study to be an animal trainer, among twenty-two schools of higher education total in the Lexington-Fayette area. Animal trainers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Animal Trainer Training

Bluegrass Community and Technical College - Lexington, KY

Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 470 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40506. Bluegrass Community and Technical College is a large college located in Lexington, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,200 students. Bluegrass Community and Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated eight and one students respectively in 2008.

Midway College - Midway, KY

Midway College, 512 E. Stephens St, Midway, KY 40347-1120. Midway College is a small college located in Midway, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,323 students and an admission rate of 58%. Midway College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated seven and zero students respectively in 2008.

Asbury College - Wilmore, KY

Asbury College, 1 Macklem Dr, Wilmore, KY 40390-1198. Asbury College is a small college located in Wilmore, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,521 students and an admission rate of 56%. Asbury College has a bachelor's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated one student 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky photo by Jonesey

Lexington-Fayette is located in Fayette County, Kentucky. It has a population of over 282,114, which has grown by 8.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lexington-Fayette, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lexington-Fayette are valued at $167,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, seven hundred seventy-one new homes were built in Lexington-Fayette, down from 1,227 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lexington-Fayette are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 35.6% of Lexington-Fayette residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.5%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Lexington-Fayette residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Victory Baptist Church, Aldersgate Church and Trinity Hill United Methodist Church are all churches located in Lexington-Fayette. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Lexington-Fayette is home to the Tates Creek Country Club and the Home of Henry Clay as well as Kentucky State Horse Park and Duncan Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fayette Mall, Turfland Mall and Lexington Mall.