The animal trainer is the profession par excellence for all animal enthusiasts, who wish to intervene for their well-being and ensure good health. This profession is growing, but it is not always easy to understand its role and how to access it. In our article, we will give you all the information and advice you need to become an animal trainer.
Animal healer, who is he?
First of all, it is important to understand who the animal healer is, what his role is and on what missions he is involved.
The animal trainer is a person who takes care of the welfare of animals. It feeds them, washes them, cleans their habitat and their place of life (especially if it evolves in a zoo or an animal refuge) and much more.
The animal trainer works on all categories of animals, namely:
- exotic animals: parrots, snakes, turtles, etc.
- pets: cows, pigs, goats, etc.
- wild animals: tigers, wolves, bears, etc.
- domestic animals mainly in animal shelters.
The animal trainer also takes care of keeping an eye on the health of the animals in his care. He is the privileged interlocutor between the animal and the veterinarian. Indeed, he is the one who knows best the animals he pampers and will be the first person to recognize the signs of a change in behavior.
In addition, the animal trainer assists the veterinarian, who visits the animals, in his actions. He participates among other things in vaccination, medical monitoring by administering the necessary drugs, weighing and everything related to the hygiene of the coat, claws or hooves, ears.
What are the missions of the animal healer?
The missions of the animal healer are very varied. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the various activities entrusted to it:
- cleaning and arrangement of the enclosure and the animal’s living area;
- maintenance of the animal in accordance with the rules of hygiene and well-being of the latter;
- management of all the food part, the rations to be given and the stocks so that the animal does not lack anything;
- privileged interlocutor of the veterinarian whom he assists when this one comes to check the state of health of an animal.
Where to practice the profession of animal trainer?
The animal trainer can intervene in several structures:
- an animal park or a zoo: to integrate this type of structure, it is preferable to have some knowledge of the animal species that reside there (wild animals, pond, aquarium and vivarium). To join this type of structure, training is strongly recommended and a competition is often offered;
- in a refuge such as the SPA (Society for the Protection of Animals): in this structure, there are mainly pets as well as NACs. The trainer will also be responsible for the daily outings of the dogs;
- in a ranch or equestrian center: here, the animal trainer will only intervene with equines;
- in an educational farm: the trainer rarely intervenes in the breeding farms, but rather in the educational farms.
An animal trainer can also intervene in a veterinary clinic, however, depending on the structure and the role given to each member of the staff, he will have more the role of holding the reception and the secretariat than anything else.
What diploma does it take to become an animal healer?
The profession of animal trainer can be practiced without a diploma. However, in view of the few positions available, if you want to have an additional chance to integrate a structure, it is more than recommended to follow a training.
To obtain an animal trainer diploma, there are two possibilities:
- follow a certifying training in a school (work-study or continuous);
- follow a training course in a private organization remotely by carrying out practical internships.
Currently in France, only 4 establishments offer training courses recognized by zoos and animal parks. It’s about :
- of the CFAA (Agricultural Apprentice Training Center) de Gramat (46);
- the Maison Familiale Rurale de Carquefou (44);
- of the CFAA (Agricultural Apprentice Training Center) from Vendôme (41);
- from the private agricultural school of Saint-André (42).
Contact the establishments directly or visit their website to see what the conditions are required to integrate their training.
What is the salary of an animal trainer?
No matter where he works, the animal trainer cannot earn less than the minimum wage. Then, depending on the structure in which he operates, his experience, if he manages a team, his knowledge of animals and the species he takes care of, the salary will have to be negotiated.