In 2010, the Minyanville Media reported that the average yearly salary for a senior dolphin trainer at SeaWorld was approximately $30,000. Dolphin trainers apprentice for a year or longer while killer whale handlers serve about four.
Entry into the employment ranks at SeaWorld is difficult to achieve. The entrance exam includes a freestyle swim, underwater swim and a free dive to retrieve a weight at the bottom of a pool. The exam also includes a test of public speaking skills and a very difficult interview. An undergraduate degree in marine biology as well as hands-on experience working with animals is mandatory.