To become a dolphin trainer, learn to swim well, get an animal-related college degree, and participate in volunteer or paid positions working with animals. When you feel competent with large animals, get your scuba diving certification, join a professional organization for marine mammal trainers, and start applying for internships.
- Start a fitness routine that includes swimming
Dolphin trainers need stamina, strength and excellent swimming skills. Start a regular fitness routine to develop and maintain your competence in those areas.
- Get a college degree in a related field
Although not every dolphin training has a degree, a degree greatly increases your chance of employment. A bachelor's degree in zoology, animal science, animal husbandry or marine biology opens doors in the field.
- Participate in volunteer or paid work with animals
Participate in as many volunteer and paid positions with large animals as possible. Look for opportunities at zoos, veterinary offices, marine biology facilities and stables.
- Become a certified scuba diver
Current scuba certification is a job requirement.
- Join a professional organization
The International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association and the Society for Marine Mammalogy have newsletters with the latest information in the field as well as internship and job postings. Keep up to date by regularly reading organization publications.
- Apply for an internship
Apply for a dolphin training internship at a research facility, aquarium or theme park.