A Dolphin Trainer's Life

National Aquarium - Dolphin Trainers

Turn Your Passion for Animals Into a Career

A Day in the Life of a Dolphin Trainer

A career as a dolphin trainer has a lot of perks, but our trainers also work really hard.

Our trainers work on a staggered schedule with our dolphins. The Aquarium has 13 trainers who team up with groups of dolphins for different daily activities.

The early shift of trainers begins the day at 6:30 a.m., bucketing out the dolphins' food for the day. Before they're finished, the second shift will be busy working with the dolphins.

And because dolphins can eat more than 20 pounds of fish per day, much of our trainers' days is spent on food preparation and cleaning!

In addition to their already-packed daily schedule, trainers also each have a project they are in charge of, such as: repairing wet suits, ordering fish and supplies, diving to clean pools, running the internship and volunteer programs, safety, filing, and entering records into the computers.

How to Become a Dolphin Trainer

Interested in learning what it takes to become a marine mammal trainer? It's never too early to lay the foundation for your career.

Working as a dolphin trainer is a position that often seems glamorous to outsiders, but patience, skill, and a unique understanding of animal behavior are required. SCUBA certification and public speaking skills are also necessary.

To become a marine mammal trainer, we recommend you get a degree in psychology, biology, or zoology. Additionally, most of our trainers started out by gaining hands-on experience through internships or volunteer programs, either at the National Aquarium or at other facilities.

Above all, consider volunteering or working where you can get first-hand experience with animals, study hard in school, and keep a positive attitude!

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