Dog Trainer Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Dog trainers make around $30,772 to $64,262 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a dog trainer’s salary in the US ranges between $30,772 and $64,262, with an average salary of $44,371. As of July 2022, the base salaries for dog trainers are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Dog Trainer? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of a Dog Trainer is determined by a number of factors, including education, experience, and job location. In this article, we will take a closer look at how these factors impact salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a dog trainer, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your dog trainer salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$28,302
Early career (1 to 4 years)$32,079
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$39,072
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$50,708
Late career (20+ years)$72,537

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a dog trainer. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average dog trainer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Los Angeles, CA$63,885
Portland, OR$60,646
San Francisco, CA$56,683
Seattle, WA$55,595
Washington DC, DC$46,967
Oklahoma City, OK$34,421
Nashville, TN$34,222
Pittsburgh, PA$30,458
Atlanta, GA$29,674
Cincinnati, OH$28,867

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a dog trainer’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Animal Trainer$36,211
Animal Behaviorist$43,968
Veterinary Technician$31,601
Animal Control Officer$30,354
Pet Sitter$25,194
Kennel Technician$20,819

How to increase your dog trainer salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a dog trainer, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Animal Behavior: Understand how animals think, feel, and behave in order to train them more effectively
  • Canine Psychology: Study the behavior and psychology of dogs specifically to better understand their needs
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use rewards and praise to encourage desired behaviors in dogs
  • Behavior Modification: Help dogs to overcome behavioral issues, such as aggression, separation anxiety, and barking
  • Training Methods: Implement different training methods, such as clicker training, operant conditioning, and desensitization
2. Negotiate your job offer

When you’re offered a job, be sure to negotiate your salary. This is especially important if you’re being offered a lower salary than what you were expecting. Be prepared to explain why you deserve a higher salary, and have data to back up your claims. If you’re successful, you could end up with a higher salary than you originally expected.

3. Get a good performance review

A great way to increase your salary is to get a good performance review. If your boss is happy with your work, he or she may be more likely to give you a raise. You can also try asking for a raise directly, but be prepared to negotiate.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Dog Trainer Hourly Pay,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “DOG Trainer Annual Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

6. “Dog Trainer Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Dog Trainer Salaries,,11.htm.” Accessed July 2, 2022.


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