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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Worcester, Massachusetts

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for animal trainers in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. There are currently 150 working animal trainers in Massachusetts; this should grow by 33% to 200 working animal trainers in the state 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. 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 $14 hourly or $30,360 per year on average in Massachusetts and about $13 per hour or $27,270 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Animal trainers earn more than people working in the category of Animal Care generally in Massachusetts and more than people in the Animal Care category nationally.

The Worcester area is home to thirty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Worcester where you can get a degree as an animal trainer. The most common level of education for animal trainers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Worcester 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.


Becker College - Worcester, MA

Becker College, 61 Sever St, Worcester, MA 01609-2165. Becker College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,752 students and an admission rate of 76%. Becker College has 2 areas of study related to Animal Trainer. They are:

  • Animal Training, associate's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • Equestrian/Equine Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts photo by Yassie

Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.