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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Norman, Oklahoma

For those living in the Norman, Oklahoma area, there are many career and education opportunities for animal trainers. There are currently 510 jobs for animal trainers in Oklahoma and this is projected to grow 26% to 640 jobs 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.

Income for animal trainers is about $9 hourly or $19,060 per year on average in Oklahoma. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,270 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Animal Care, people working as animal trainers in Oklahoma earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Animal Care nationally.

The Norman area is home to thirty-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Norman 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, 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.


Mid-America Technology Center - Wayne, OK

Mid-America Technology Center, 27438 State Hwy 59, Wayne, OK 73095-0210. Mid-America Technology Center is a small school located in Wayne, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 777 students. Mid-America Technology Center has a one to two year program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated eleven students 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.


Racehorse Owner/Assistant Trainer

Licensing agency: Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission
Address: 2401 N.W. 23rd St., Ste. 78, Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Phone: (405) 943-6472
Website: Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission

Racehorse Owner/Trainer

Licensing agency: Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission
Address: 2401 N.W. 23rd St., Ste. 78, Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Phone: (405) 943-6472
Website: Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission


Norman, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma photo by Okguy

Norman is located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 106,957, which has grown by 11.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Norman, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Norman are priced at $184,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixteen new homes were built in Norman, up from four hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Norman are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.8% of Norman residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Norman is 4.7%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Norman residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Alameda Baptist Church, Alameda Church of Christ and All Welcome Victory Church are among the churches located in Norman. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Norman is home to the Cerebral Palsy Institute and the Park on Main as well as Owen Field and Rotary Park. Shopping malls in the area include Colonial Estates Shopping Center, Anatole Shopping Center and Carriage Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Norman can choose from Ramada Days Inn, Montford Inn and Guest Inn - Norman for temporary stays in the area.