Animal Trainer Licensing

States Licensed


of 50 states and D.C.


Burden Rank


for average burdens 1st is worst


Combined Rank


for states licensed x average burdens 1st is worst

Change from 2017 to 2022, if any:
Burden increased
Burden decreased
Mixed burden change
New license
Eliminated license
2022 Licensing Burden Rank
Lower Burden Rank
Higher Burden Rank
No state license

How does my state compare to others?

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Animal trainers train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, obedience or disability assistance. They accustom animals to human voice and contact and condition animals to respond to commands. They may train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition or train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of a pack team. This report does not look at animal racing licenses.

2022 Snapshot

  • 44 unlicensed states
  • Days lost range from 0 (6 states) to 3 (New Hampshire)
  • Fees range from $0 (Connecticut) to $1,408 (Nevada)
  • 2 states require 1+ exam
  • 2 states set minimum age
  • 0 states set minimum grade

Changes Since 2017

  • 2 licenses removed by Alabama and California; none created
  • Connecticut and New York decreased fees, while Nevada increased them; Connecticut eliminated its exam requirement
  • Burden rank improved 14 spots and combined rank improved 3 spots, largely because of 2 eliminated licenses, including 1 with a heavy education burden

2022 Licensing Burden in Detail

N New License
E Eliminated License

Data Notes: 2022 data collected between February 3, 2020, and March 18, 2022. Fees include charges for application review and license issuance; exams; background checks, credit reports and fingerprinting; recovery fund contributions; third-party certification; and certain fees for training courses. Calendar days lost were estimated based on required education and experience; except for amounts smaller than one day, days lost are rounded to whole days and thus may not reflect very small changes between 2017 and 2022. Appendix A details methods for estimating days lost and calculating burden ranks. Complete data, including revised 2017 data, are available at

Additional Resources