How Much Does Animal Training School Cost?

A career as an animal trainer gives the opportunity to individuals to work in settings that allow them to train dogs, horses, exotic animals and marine mammals, among others, so that they can act in desired ways. It is also one of those careers that provide capable individuals the chance to become self-employed and have flexibility in their work schedule and even enable them to form their own business.

Animal trainers can work as dog trainers, dolphin trainers, horse trainers and exotic animal trainers. Before they can work in these occupations, however, they will have to attend the specific animal training school for the animals that they wish to train later on. And as in any other educational program, the cost of tuition and other fees will always be a prime consideration for those who wish to enroll in these programs.

To start with, dog training programs can be given as certificate courses in community colleges. For certificate programs, tuition ranges from anywhere from a little over $3,000 to about $5,000. For example, the dog obedience instructor program at the Animal Behavior College costs anywhere from $3,365 to $5,165. The actual tuition cost will depend on the payment arrangements and any applicable discounts. Also, it covers study materials, dog training videos, uniform, up to 24 hours of hands-on experience with a professional dog trainer and others. At CATCH Canine Trainers Academy, their Master Class which enables graduates to earn the Certified Dog Trainer title after graduation, the tuition cost for the program ranges from $3,710 to $4,675. Meanwhile, Bergin University of Canine Studies has a program for those who wish to become therapeutic dog trainers. It offers the Associate of Science in Assistance Dog Education which costs about $9,000.

Online dog training courses are more affordable. Penn Foster Career School offers online Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Career Diploma which can be finished in as short as four months. The full cost of the program is $759 to $899 depending on the mode of payment and covers books and learning aids, references and a dog breed chart as well as instructional support.

For those who are interested in learning how to train exotic animals, the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College is one of the well-known programs in the nation. The two-year program costs $13, 000 to $15,000 for California residents and about $20,000 for non-residents. The estimate covers tuition, books and supplies, housing, transportation and related expenses and personal expenses.

Trainers for dolphins and other marine mammals are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree animal science or related fields. On the average, the annual out-of-state cost for this program is about $31,986. However, the Brigham Young University in Idaho offers the same program for $8,668. In-state programs are typically cheaper because of the discount given to state residents. The animal science program at Kansas State University is one of the more popular with 159 graduates. Its out-of-state total cost is $30,340 but its in-state total is only $17,395.

There are student financial aid options for those who may need assistance to complete their degrees. These can be in the form of discounts for military spouses, scholarships and grants for bachelor’s degree courses and student loans. It’s best to talk with the financial aid department of the school to explore these options. Students can also work to help pay for their tuition fees and fund their personal expenses.

Career Spotlight: Animal Trainer

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