Salary

Service Dog Trainer Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Service dog trainers make around $30,772 to $60,086 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a service dog trainer’s salary in the US ranges between $30,772 and $60,086, with an average salary of $42,885. As of July 2022, the base salaries for service dog trainers are listed as follows:

PayscaleZipRecruiterIndeedSalary.comGlassdoor
$42,750$33,458$47,358$30,772$60,086

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 Service Dog Trainer? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of a Service 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 service dog trainer, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your service dog trainer salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$27,354
Early career (1 to 4 years)$31,005
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$37,763
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$49,010
Late career (20+ years)$70,107
Location

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a service 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 service dog trainer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Los Angeles, CA$61,745
Portland, OR$58,615
San Francisco, CA$54,784
Seattle, WA$53,733
Washington DC, DC$45,393
Oklahoma City, OK$33,268
Nashville, TN$33,076
Pittsburgh, PA$29,437
Atlanta, GA$28,680
Cincinnati, OH$27,901

How does this compare to similar jobs?

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

Related JobsAverage Salary
Dog Trainer$34,246
Animal Trainer$36,211
Pet Sitter$25,194
Veterinary Technician$31,601
Zookeeper$19,773
Animal Control Officer$30,354
Animal Caretaker$22,826
Farm Manager$56,518
Ranch Manager$47,350

How to increase your service dog trainer salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a service 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:

  • Canine Behavior: Understand how dogs think, feel, and learn in order to train them effectively
  • Canine Training Methods: Know a variety of training methods and when to use them for specific behaviors
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques to shape desired behaviors
  • Behavior Modification: Understand how to modify undesired behaviors through operant conditioning
  • Canine Health: Know how to identify and address health concerns in dogs
2. Know Your Value

As a service dog trainer, you have an important and unique skill set. Be sure to research the going rate for your services, and don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth. You may also want to consider offering discounts for referrals or package deals for multiple sessions.

3. Grow your network

Service dog trainers typically work with clients one-on-one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from networking. Getting to know other trainers in your area, or even connecting with trainers in other parts of the country, can give you a better sense of the going rate for your services. You can also use your network to find out about job openings, or to get recommendations for new clients.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey, https://www.bls.gov/ncs/.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes392011.htm.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Dog Trainer Hourly Pay, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Dog_Trainer/Hourly_Rate.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Service Dog Trainer Annual Salary, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Service-Dog-Trainer-Salary.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder, https://www.indeed.com/career/salaries.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

6. Salary.com. “Dog Trainer Salary, https://www.salary.com/research/salary/hiring/dog-trainer-salary.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Dog Trainer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/service-dog-trainer-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm.” Accessed July 2, 2022.

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