Dolphins are known for their intelligence, playfulness and curiosity about human beings. These qualities make them highly trainable and generally the star attraction at an animal theme park or oceanarium. Learning how to train them, however, isn't easy. There aren't many positions available, so competition is fierce. You must also pass rigorous swimming tests, often in very cold water, before you can enter the apprenticeship, which typically lasts one year.
In spite of the training and effort that go into becoming a dolphin trainer, a starting salary of around $10 an hour, or minimum wage, is standard, according to the website Marine Mammal Trainer. Larger facilities such as SeaWorld may begin trainers at $12 an hour. According to the Dolphin Research Center, entry-level trainers average between $18,000 and $20,000 a year, while those with eight to 12 years experience average between $25,000 and $40,000. Trainers at the very top can earn as much as $35 an hour.
- Photo Credit Cliff Parnell/iStock/Getty Images
Marine Mammal Training Job Description
Marine mammal trainers train animals such as dolphins, sea lions and seals. They work in zoos, aquariums and other wildlife facilities. They...
Salary for a Dolphin Veterinarian
Dolphins are marine mammals, with an intelligence, playful behavior and social structure that make them popular in marine theme parks, aquariums and...
Annual Salary of a Marine Animal Trainer
Marine animal trainers work with dolphins, sea lions, whales and other marine mammals. The training work allows people to see the talents...
How Much Does a Dolphin Trainer Get Paid a Year?
Dolphins are intelligent animals that respond well to training. Dolphin trainers teach these cetaceans to perform tricks and synchronized movements on the...
Salary of an Aquarist
An aquarist is basically a zookeeper in scuba gear. Like a zookeeper, an aquarist cares for many types of animals that live...
Salary and Benefits of Marine Mammal Training
Marine mammal trainers have a variety of job responsibilities. A typical day includes helping prepare their animals' food as well as manually...