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Animal Trainers - 39-2011.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or for assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact, and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Agility Instructor
  • Dog Obedience Instructor
  • Dog Trainer
  • Guide Dog Instructor
  • Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI)
  • Guide Dog Trainer
  • Horse Trainer
  • Racehorse Trainer
  • Service Dog Trainer
  • Trainer

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Administer prescribed medications to animals.
  • Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.
  • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.
  • Cue or signal animals during performances.
  • Evaluate animals for trainability and ability to perform.
  • Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.
  • Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
  • Instruct jockeys in handling specific horses during races.
  • Keep records documenting animal health, diet, or behavior.
  • Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
  • Organize or conduct animal shows.
  • Place tack or harnesses on horses to accustom horses to the feel of equipment.
  • Retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking, bolting, or resisting bridling or grooming.
  • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
  • Train and rehearse animals, according to scripts, for motion picture, television, film, stage, or circus performances.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Train dogs to work as guides for the visually impaired.
  • Train horses or other equines for riding, harness, show, racing, or other work, using knowledge of breed characteristics, training methods, performance standards, and the peculiarities of each animal.
  • Use oral, spur, rein, or hand commands to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Care for animals.
  • Clean facilities or work areas.
  • Direct productions or performances.
  • Discuss service options or needs with clients.
  • Document client health or progress.
  • Evaluate capabilities or training needs.
  • Maintain facilities.
  • Monitor health or behavior of people or animals.
  • Organize recreational activities or events.
  • Train animals.
  • Train others on performance techniques.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Dog Handler (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Dog Trainer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Investigator (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Kennel Master (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Marine Mammal Systems Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Master-At-Arms (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Military Police (Army - Enlisted)
  • Military Working Dog Handler (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Apprentice, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Helper, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman, Combat Arms (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Journeyman, Military Working Dog Handler (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Security Forces Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Working Dog Handler (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Animal Trainer
  • Horse Trainer

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Animal Trainer
  • Horse Trainer