Trainers of marine mammals can expect to be paid anywhere from $8 to $35 an hour depending on the experience of the trainer and the facility the trainer is working at. Trainers working with large, dangerous whales such as killer whales may be paid extra as compensation for the danger.
Seaworld pays its senior whale trainers only around $30,000 a year, and most are required to leave the job at the age of 35. The physical demands of working with whales are high and include excellent swimming skills.
The wage of $35 an hour translates into a yearly income of $72,000, but the average annual income of animal trainers, including whale trainers, is only $30,500 per year.