Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Amarillo, Texas
Animal trainers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Amarillo, Texas area. There are currently 1,220 working animal trainers in Texas; this should grow 25% to 1,520 working animal trainers in the state 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%. Animal trainers generally train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities.
Animal trainers earn about $13 hourly or $27,740 per year on average in Texas and about $13 hourly or $27,270 per year on average nationally. Incomes for animal trainers are better than in the overall category of Animal Care in Texas, and better than the overall Animal Care category nationally.
There are six schools of higher education in the Amarillo area, including one within twenty-five miles of Amarillo 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 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
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
West Texas A & M University - Canyon, TX
West Texas A & M University, 2501 4th Ave, Canyon, TX 79016-0001. West Texas A & M University is a medium sized university located in Canyon, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,552 students and an admission rate of 66%. West Texas A & M University has a bachelor's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated seventeen 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo is situated in Potter County, Texas. It has a population of over 187,236, which has grown by 7.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Amarillo, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Amarillo are priced at $245,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, four hundred seventy-one new homes were constructed in Amarillo, down from six hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Amarillo are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and food. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 20.5% of Amarillo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Amarillo is 5.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Amarillo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 86.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Church of God, Pentecostal Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Holiness Church are among the churches located in Amarillo. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Amarillo is home to the Amarillo Globe Dream House and the Wolflin Historic District as well as Martin Road Park and Will Rogers Park. Shopping malls in the area include Western Plaza Shopping Center and Westgate Shopping Center. Visitors to Amarillo can choose from 3B Machine & Custom Fabrication, Bailey's Lounge and Comfort Inn Airport for temporary stays in the area.