Animal Trainer

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 20 states
70th most burdensome licensing requirements
53rd most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Animal trainers train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, obedience or assisting persons with disabilities; 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 and may train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.


Twenty states require a license to work as an animal trainer. On average, these laws cost aspiring trainers 105 days of experience and $93 in fees and require them to take one exam. Animal trainer ranks as the 53rd most widely and onerously licensed occupation of the 102 studied. License requirements for animal trainers vary widely across states. California has the most burdensome requirements of three years lost to experience and $250 in fees, while another three states require 90 days or more. Sixteen of the states require no experience. Alabama and Maryland only require a $5 fee.

(Last updated May 2, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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