Requirements to Become a Dolphin Trainer
Have you been dreaming of working with marine mammals like dolphins or sea lions? If so, a career as a marine mammal trainer working in exotic locales, like in a Bahamas dolphin encounter, might be perfect for you. If this is something you are interested in, you will first need to learn about the requirements of this career and what you can start doing now in order to succeed.
Start Off with the Right Education to Become a Dolphin Trainer
In order to be a great marine mammal trainer, you will need to make sure that you have the right education. Most employers, including those hiring for work in a Bahamas dolphin encounter, will prefer trainers who have a formal education. Typically, they will look for employees who have majored in disciplines like psychology, zoology, marine biology or similar. Even if you can't find a school you like with those majors, taking classes in those areas can be helpful. Internships or volunteering at a local zoo or aquarium can also be very helpful when getting started in the field. If you don't have an aquarium or zoo nearby, any type of animal experience, like volunteering at a pet shelter, can be a very good background for marine mammal training.
Consider the Other Requirements to Work as a Marine Animal Trainer
In addition to a solid education, you will also need to make sure you meet other requirements in order to become a marine animal trainer. For instance, you will need to be in good physical shape. This is an active job, and you will need to be a top-notch swimmer. You will also need to be athletic and strong in order to work with these animals.
Additionally, make sure that you are comfortable interacting with the public when you are a marine mammal trainer. You may, for instance, be required to put on public presentations, teach informative classes or answer questions about these animals.
Relocation may also be necessary. Many of these positions are near water, of course, or in zoos, aquariums or other marine animal based organizations. Since this is the case, you may need to leave your home and family behind, depending on where you are located, in order to become a trainer.
What About an Apprenticeship for Future Dolphin Trainers?
After you have attended school, graduated and even served as an intern, you will also need to become an apprentice in order to learn about dealing with these mammals. This is the absolute best way for you to learn about the behaviors of the mammals, learn about the training concepts, apply the information that you have obtained and get to know the animals you will be working with. Like people, these animals have different personalities and can present challenges, and it is important to get to know them with other trainers who can help to introduce you to each other.
If you are ready for the challenge of becoming a marine mammal trainer, it is recommended to start your research into the career as soon as possible. Organizations such as the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) or the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA,) among others, can be great resources for those looking to enter into this rewarding field. You also might want to contact local marine mammal trainers in your area to learn about the possibility of shadowing or even meeting with them for information on the career. This will be an ideal first step for anyone looking to enter into this career path.