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Career and Education Opportunities for Animal Trainers in Huntington, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for animal trainers in the Huntington, West Virginia area. The national trend for animal trainers 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.

Animal trainers earn about $11 per hour or $23,070 per year on average in West Virginia and about $13 per hour or $27,270 per year on average nationally. Earnings for animal trainers are better than earnings in the general category of Animal Care in West Virginia and better than general Animal Care category earnings nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Huntington where you can study to be an animal trainer, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Huntington 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.


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.


Ohio University-Southern Campus - Ironton, OH

Ohio University-Southern Campus, 1804 Liberty Ave, Ironton, OH 45638. Ohio University-Southern Campus is a small university located in Ironton, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,824 students. Ohio University-Southern Campus has an associate's degree program in Equestrian/Equine Studies which graduated four 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.


Racing Trainer

Licensing agency: West Virginia Racing Commission
Address: State Capitol Complex, Building 1 Room 317 PO Box 3327, Charleston, WV 25333-3327

Phone: (304) 558-2150
Website: West Virginia Racing Commission

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington, West Virginia photo by DelanoPatterson

Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.