Dolphin Trainer

Woke up the other day wondering about my career, and trying to figure out how it is that I didn’t end up as a dolphin trainer, which was clearly my destiny. Life is strange. Dad sagely reminded me that as a dolphin trainer (probably living out of a van behind SeaWorld) I would have days where I’d wake up wishing I had become a webmaster. I’m sure he’s right, but dang, just imagine what it would be like to work with dolphins rather than professors!

Music: Brian Eno :: Energy Fools The Magician

66 Replies to “Dolphin Trainer”

  1. … just imagine what it would be like to work with dolphins rather than professors!

    Both have blowholes and a fashion of “intelligence” not understood by most people.


  2. A compatriot from work adds this text, from SeaWorld’s web site:

    “Dolphins often show aggression by scratching one another with their teeth, leaving superficial lacerations that soon heal… These marks have been seen in virtually all species of dolphins. Dolphins also show aggression by emitting bubble clouds from their blowholes.”


  3. I am 14 years old and i really want to become a dolphin trainer when i leave school please can you help me to make my dream come true

  4. thats my dream to ….i have a bunch of books and binders FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of info on what you need to do and have the knowledge of to become a dolphin trainer …mines mosty on the requirements that seawolrd has …cause that is where i would like to train and work with dolphins….and im only fourteen …and i have all that stuff…..shows how commited i am..huh well thats really what you ahve to think of…how commited are you to learn what you need to know..i mean i looked it up and to become a dolphin trainer you obviously have to know how to swim lol but you also have to have a bacholers or associates degree in either drama, psycology, or biological sciences . you also have to know everything about dolphins,how they sleep,what they eat,what care they need , how to care for them basicly….you also have to have a scuba certification…and this is just seaworlds requirements……who knows what the other places requirements are…most likely the same…when you become a dolphin, i have learned that in fact , you are most likely taking care of one dolphin, and you care for it just like you wuld a child, feeding it everyday , cleaning it , cleaning its habitat, making sure the water temp. is right, check on it all the time, make sure it has no injuries, taking it to the vetrinary clinic ,giving it the proper amount of food , and just loving and caring for it mostly……. if you ever would like to know more information you could go to or you can email me …. i know how you feel …. you feel like its so easy and you can get it but then it seems so far away….. well good luck trying to become a dolphin trainer… may God be with you……. :) BYE!

  5. Hi my name is Craig Acton im 18 and i have recently come back from the dominican were we went to ocean world i realy enjoyed it.i would love to become a dolpintrainer but dont no what to do next i mean how do i get a job? were do i go to find out what skills i need?thanks craig

  6. i am only 12 and i wat to be a dolphin trainer so baddly. i have looked up so much info. i told my mom that i wanted to become a dolphin trainer n she sayed you dont get paid well but i dont care. atleast i will do something i love. the main places were i wanna work at is miami seaquerium or sea world. But wat i dont get is why you have to be scuba certified? if you know the answer please e-mail me.

  7. dream – you’ll be spending a lot of time in the water, and I’m sure a lot of that time is underwater – hence the scuba requirement. You’ll never regret getting your scuba certification! You’ll use it on every watery vacation for the rest of your life.

  8. Katie, im not sure if you still come on this website but i would like to know where you get all of your information on dolphin training becuase i am 14 and really want to be a trainer at seaworld so if you (or anyone else that can help) reads this, please email me about what i can do to become a trainer. my email address is… thanks so much

  9. I am 13 and i really want to be a dolphin trainer and i have decided all my exams i need to do and everything. People might just think its another girl thats dreams of working with dolhpins but i really want to make it happen, and i ready for whatever might come my way! Im really want this to happen for me and i understand how much other people might what this dream too! please if there is any information on training with dolphins send it to me THANKYOU very very very much x_____kathryn_____X

  10. It’s very difficult to become a marine mammal trainer, there are a only a few spaces available each year and for every one person that becomes a trainer LOADS of people dont, you need 2 be willing to carry out strenuous tasks, be comfortable in water, be scuba certified and have a college degree in a relevant subject, you need 2 be good at speaking in public, etc…the list can go on and on and on, basically if you want to become a trainer you need to be very dedicated to it, if your not then just dont waste your time!

  11. hey for everyone who wants to be a marine mammal trainer you are soo awesome!. im a senior in high school and becoming a marine mammal trainer is my dream. i plan on moving to orlando so i can work at sea world. but if this is your career choice.. just some pointers because they help alot.. stay in school get scuba research you can even email places like sea world if you have questions.. keep your swimming skills strong..volunteer at animal hosptial a zoo vetenairy clinic..the palce doesnt have to have marine mammals as long as your getting exsperience with being around large animals..and i always so do what you love! that’s what im doing icould care less about how much MMT make, i’s something that i have dreamed about forever and something i know i’ll be able to wake up to everymoring and not dread going to work! keep researching and GOOD LUCK!

  12. Hi, I am a 14 year old girl. Ever since I was 10 I have deamed about being a dolphin trainer. On the 1st of November I was given an assignment for school. I was supposed to choose a career that I was interested in and I had to Reaserch
    -Traning- collage- how long-where
    -Details-what would I do
    And -Where to go-Hawii-California-Flordia
    If you have any information concering this topic please e-mail me OR

  13. hey guys since i was a little kid i have always loved dolphins and want to have a futer with them!. i was wondering if you could help me for fill my dreams and become a dolphin trainer. if you could give me some information that would be great.

    see ya sherona smith xoxo

  14. HeY well ever since i was about 10 and i went to sea world i fell in love with dolphins and want to become a dolphin trainer .. im 15 now .. and ive been searching what do you have to do to become a dolphin trainer since now im currently a freshman .. i hope my dream comes true and everyone else .. if any one has any information they can give me or tips email me ok bye

    ____xo JuLiE xo____

  15. hey, i’ve been interested in dolphin training and marine biology for a lifetime, and i need some more information on what classes to take in school and then college, and the other activites to participate in, where to find these, good schools to go to, any information u can feed me would be totally appreciated!

  16. Heya. I’m thirteen years old, and living in Pennsylvania isn’t excatly the ideal place to look for a college that teaches classes required to train marine mammals. I haven’t been to Seaworld since I was five or six, but watching programs on the television that followed the daily responsibilities of some whale and dolphin trainers, I quickly was infatuated with the career idea. I did some research, and found out that you’d most likely be qualified for the profession if you found a college that had so classes containing marine biology or coastal biology. I’m sure if you want to be a vet to the dolphins instead, you’d have to go to medical school just as any vetrinarian would. Assuming this is right, the greatest chance that you’d have would be to find some colleges and read through their programs to find out their majors. If you want to work with these beautiful animals, I think this would be the right place to start. I hope I’ve helped, and good luck!


  17. Hey, I love dolphins. Send me information about how and where I can go to become a dolphin trainer. ANd that scot hackey character is a faggot.

  18. Thanks Ash Dog! Hard to understand why you think I’m a faggot, or whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing. What made you say that, anyway?

  19. I am 12 years old and I want to become a Dolphin Tranier When I grow up. My Dad said to hold on to my Deram.
    So Please help me Become my Dream

    Thank you so much

  20. i really wana work with marine animals mainly dolphins , sharks, and killer whales but im not sure how to get there. i live in australia and there arent any marine places near were i live which is a shame but im still determined to do it. its just do you have to have ure HSC (yr 12) i don have the patience 2 b at school i rather go to TAFE (college) but i heard you have to have completed your yr 12 is that right?

  21. I’m 13 and I want to work with dolphins. I know it’s going to take alot of time to get the proper training to do so but I keep thinking of what it would be like to swim with them. I live in canada and have never done that. I’ve only been to marine land once, and the largest body of water i ahve ever swam in is the lake near my house. But I don’t care if it takes forever, I know what I want to do and no one can take it away from me. I’m wondering what qualifactions are required to work with dolphins and other marine mammals. If annyone can help me out. it would be greatly apreciated. (I have a guest book on my website )

  22. Hello All!! I was lucky enough to obtain my dream of becoming a marine mammal trainer several years ago. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    1. You generally need a 4-year college degree in some sort of science- biology, psychology, zoology, etc.
    2. Scuba certification is a must!!
    3. Volunteering/Internships help you learn about the career (and help you get a foot in the door)
    4. Public speaking skills is very important
    5. Follow your dream!! If you work hard it can happen!!

  23. I have read about the degree requirements in order to become a dolphin trainer. Psychology interests me the most, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me how many science courses are required along with this major. Just curious because I have never been too strong in science courses, but I would love to be a trainer. If someone could let me know I would appreciate it, thanks!

  24. I’m doing a reasearch on dolphin training for class project I need to know how much you make and what do you do on a daily basis? What are the lowest and highest salary you could have? I also want to become a dolphin trainer but can’t seem to get started anywhere can you please help me!



  25. This is obviously a very popular career topic, but, as several of the entries have correctly stated, the jobs are few and the competition is strong. A very good place to find more info is the free Career Guide page at

  26. hi i’m 18 years old and i would like to become a dolphin’s trainer, i love dolphins and i know i can do it please help me out

  27. THis is so weird. I just googled some stuff, and I came here! Well, I love dolphins, but my dream is to become an Orca Whale trainer at Sea World in San Diego. I had no idea there were so many people my age (17) with the same dream…maybe we’ll meet eachother at Sea World someday. =)

  28. I am doing a class project on what it would be like 2 be a whale trainer . and I need a interview with a person of this profession is their any way I could get one ?

  29. Hello. I’m 16 years old and I know it seems silly that a Junior in high school would want a career like this but…it’s true. I know there are tons of people after this job and I’m not here to say that any of them don’t deserve this. I just had some questions:
    What is the yearly salary for a marine mammal trainer?
    I live in Kentucky and I know that the people at Sea World won’t want to hire someone who went to a Kentucky college degree, so in your opinion, which colleges are better suited for this career?
    thank you for helping me. God Bless,

    please email me at I appreciate it.

  30. Hello. I’m 15 years old and I love the water and would love to wake up every morning and know I get to swim with orcas all day. I’m with Natalie, I want to know good colleges that I could go to to become a trainer. I live in Texas and I am a big Texas Aggie fan and always have been and dreamed of going there but I know that I will not be able to get the things I need to become a trainer from A&M. I also wanted to know what is the starting salary for an orca trainer?
    Thanks for the help,

  31. im 15 and I want to become a dolphin trainer I love dolphin and I like to swim and work with dolphins. It is my dream that I want to work with them because I care about animals and dolphins as much as you do.

  32. Hi, I just wanted to say that becoming a dolphin or any kind of animal trainer is hard work, it isn’t all fun and good times, there are times when you will be out in the cold weather when you would rather be inside, and then the really hot days, or days you get tired, these animals depend on you, and so you don’t get to just take a day off whenever you want 2. Allot of Sea World trainers have to work holidays, like Christmas, and Thanksgiving. This carrer needs allot of thought and commitment. I have been doing things to get ready to become a Sea World trainer for the past 5 years. I am now almost 16 and there is still so much that I need to know to be the kind of trainer that I want to be. I have had a special touch with animals ever sence I was little, I didn’t even realize it until some animal trainers told me that I should become some kind of animal trainer. I don’t know what it is about animals, but I just understand what they want, what they are thinking, by their body movements and the way they look at me, I love every kind of animal but I am especially attracted to Marine Animals, I did the Keeper for the day at Sea World and that opened my eyes even more to what it ment to be a Dolphin or any kind of marine mammal trainer, it is hard work, but if you truly are there for the relationships with the animals then you will get back so much more then what you are giveing. I wish all of you the best of luck and I hope to see some of you at Sea World with me.
    Just remember just because someone says it can’t be done, doesn’t mean it can’t!

  33. im 14 and wake up 2 that thought every day that is my dream life and shal try and succeed in doing that in my life im still young and can do it i no it is hard 2 get into but someone has to do it. if i fail at least i know i have tried my hardest.

  34. hey i am 14 years old and i really want to help people and work with dolphins i just have feeling that this is what i should be doing so can you please send me info on how to do this.

  35. Hello. Obviously the competition for this kind of work is very high. I am still striving for that goal of becoming a marine mammal trainer. I am fortunate to have already taken a few steps towards reaching this goal…I first became interested in becoming a marine mammal trainer when I participated in the “Trainer for a Day” program at Discovery Cove when I was about 10-years-old. Although I had been to Discovery Cove previously, when I was eight, I did not see animal training as a future career. Now, ever since I was ten I have been dedicated to making this dream a reality…
    I was Open Water scuba certified last year in mid-October. Now, I am also Stress & Rescue, and Navigation certified. I am halfway certified in Night/Low Visibility. If it wasn’t for my age, I would also be certified in wreck and deep diving. I volunteer for, where I go to the animal shelter and take photos of the animals and write up their information and then put it online. I am also taking a marine biology course at school, as well as a career studies course. I hope that I will be able to do some volunteer work at the Georgia Aquarium once I am old enough and then eventually work at Discovery Cove or Sea World if I have a chance. I have lots of information on what is required to become a marine mammal trainer but the majority of it is already listed in other posts. I have a few books to recommend for those interested in this career; “Don’t Shoot the Dog” by Karen Pryor (an absolutely great book on training not just animals but people as well), “The Oceans” by Ellen J. Prager, and “Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” by Amy Sutherland.

  36. I’m 15 and I’ve always loved dolphins. It has been a very big dream of my to be a Dolphin trainer. I’m starting to research now so i’m ready when the time comes.

  37. Hey!! im 13… i wanna b a dolphin trainer so bad. ever since i was six ive been dreeeeeeming about it. i have attended 3 oceanography camps and am attending a sea world career seminar in november. i hope u all kno that there r many qualifications to be a dolphin or whale trainer. i have plans for myself, but if u wanna succeed START EARLY!! u cant just wake up when ur 18 and b like “i wanna b a dolphin trainer!” good luck all… and theres gonna b pretty stiff competition when im 18… haha!!

  38. I have been looking up information to become a dolphin trainer.U have to have a degree in zoology and animal management.I was wondering if u know of where u can go to college with a degree in animal management?Where can u be a dolphin trainer at after u are done with college?Email me Lindsey I am 15

  39. I am 14 years old, and ever since I was little i’v loved dolfins and whales. The first time I went to Sea World and I saw the shows I could have died. There so beautiful. It’s alway been my dream to become a whale/dolfin trainer. My dad told me to hold on to my dream, but it is hard to do that when I have no extra support on it….
    Thanks for Listening


  40. Dolfins r crazy cool! they r so pretty and colorful! i want to swim with them my whole life for a job!

  41. Hi. I am a 17 years old and have always loved being in the water and being around animals. I realize being a marine mammal trainer requires a lot of dedication and hard work. I would love to wake up in the morning and prepare fish, i would not mind the smell at all. :) .I feel I work and communicate well with others and can be part of a team. I’ve read that having good public speaking skills are needed and this is the one thing that concerns me. As long as I can remember, I have been very neverous and anxiety ridden talking in front of groups. In your opinion, do you think this will hold me back and I should reconsider or is this something that can be over come and I can still pursue this as my career? Exactly how important is public speaking? i would love to hear any suggestions or advice that you might have. Thank You, Alicia

  42. Alicia- i wouldnt worry about being anxiety ridden, that is something that you can overcome with various different practices and techniques. If this is honestly your true dream, dont let anxiety get in the way. As for everybody else that has the dream to become a dolphin trainer, just keep your mind set to it. When it comes time for it and your looking at colleges, look for schools that have good marine biology programs. you can also have a degree in psychology or biology programs. sometimes even zoology. also choose a college/university that is close to places that may offer you strong marine mammal internships(seaworlds etc). finding the right college in the right place, or finding the right internship can help ser you up for success aswell. if you passionate about it, you’ll make it. follow your dreams :-)

  43. Hi all,

    I was a dolphin trainer and then an exotic animal trainer and now travel around the world teaching people how to train animals. I developed a training system called SATS. You can read about this and how to become a dolphin trainer on my website (see link). I put together an online learning page on how to research becoming a dolphin trainer. It has many links and outlines the steps that I followed to get myt first job.

    HOWEVER! I get many letters from young people who SAY they want to be a dolphin trainer more than anything, and don’t bother to work through the website. They want me to tell them what they need to know. This is not the way to get a job. The competition is fierce, and the animals deserve the very best, so if you want it, you better be ready to work for it (well done, Elizabeth and Catherine).

    Further, dolphin training is based on communication. You better have good language skills in your native language (English, versus texting) – so clean up the writing and speech. As for public speaking – anyone can learn. I have addressed over 2.5 million people so far. It is just a conversation, but with more people. You don’t need to do anything but love people, love what you do, and speak from the heart about something you know a lot about. As for shows, you learn a script, and it takes practice and work, and once you have it memorized, you practice using your skills to give it the greatest possible impact to your audience. Your job is to translate the wonder and love you have for these animals, as well as the information you have. We want all people who leave us to care as much about dolphins, or other animals, as we do.

    To learn to care for animals, you can go to any land grant college and get good preparation in an Animal Science degree. I have one. I also have a Masters of Science in Education. However, an animal science degree is not specifically directed at dolphin training. But you learn a lot about diseases, feeds and feeding – and you could become a farmer if you don’t end up training dolphins (or many other fields). I also did a lot of work in science – biology, chemistry, cell biology. And I worked my way through school the first time, in medical research labs (did not finish my degree because I left to become a dolphin trainer), the second time in animal science research, and the third time as a trainer in my own business.

    Good luck all. Dreams are good. They aim our intent. Next, manifest that intent. Become the best, most qualified person to be a dolphin trainer, and then work your tail off to get seen. Keep your integrity – that is important for keeping you safe with the animals. (No matter how much you want to be a dolphin trainer, don’t take short cuts. Earn your way in.) Animals read us on a different level than many people do. You must be open (no secret agendas) and clear (lack of emotional baggage) to do your best and be safe. Animals can respond very badly, sometimes aggressively, to inconsistencly, emotional instability, and ploys. And they remember.

    Best wishes,
    Kayce Cover, MSEd

  44. Kayce,

    Hi. I am currently a PhD student in developmental biology and am seriously considering changing to a career in marine mammal training or research. I was wondering if you would be willing to let me pick your brain for advice. Do you mind sending me your email address when you have time? I completely understand if you are too busy for direct contact. Just thought it would be worth asking. It’s not often you come across someone with your experience and knowledge. Thanks so much for the info you’ve already given. My email address is Thanks again!!

  45. hey my name is Jessica and I too would like to become a dolphin trainer. Later I am wanting to be an orca trainer but think its best to start with the dolphins. I am slowly figuring out what I need to become one but still need help.

  46. hey,
    ive loved dolphins since i was little and i still dream now (age 17) of working with dolphins and other marine mammals. the only problem is that i have info of jobs abd what kind of things i need, such as scuba diving experience and working with larger animals but what kind of exact course would i need to do (either uni or tafe). i have only 3 months to get this info before i need to chose unis or tafes and apply for coarses. if anyone knows this info plz let me know by emailing me at: ….. thanx :)

  47. Hi, I have wanted and am determined to be a dolphin trainer at Sea World since i was 5. I’m 15 and I’m curious to know what some really good colleges would be good to go to but also, what the average salary is for them b/c i can’t seem to find one. Thanks ~

  48. Hey I am 17 years old and all i want to do in life is to be a dolphin trainer.I know its not that easy but I would really have to study alot.Thats o.k. am just going to see what happens.I also have a tattoo of a dolphin.I’ve liked them ever since i was a little girl.So wish me luck and the best cause i know i can do it.

  49. I would really like to be a marine biologist?dolphin trainer since I was three.But as I got older I realized the value of time and money , mostly money.I found out that most marine biologists make table scraps,and I cant live in my parents house forever.I just wanted to know how much money you make,and how easy or difficult it was to land your job please email me back.

  50. Hi my name is Andy, I’m 17 years old. Surprisingly enough, like everyone else on this page i would love to be a marine mammal trainer (preferably Orca).I would realy appreciate it if someone could send me the average range of a marine mammal traineer’s pay. Thank You.

  51. My name is Mariha and I’m 15yrs old. I hope that I end up as a dolphin trainer because that what I ve always wanted to be! I just wish that I could take a risk and go for my dream. I love dolphins and I really want this but I know there are a lot of other people that want this job too! I am just soo scared I am planning to move to FL and go to college there and then get a job at Discovery Cove
    ( the best place ever!!!) but it’s a big risk to take. I am willing to take that risk because this is a chance of a life time! Wish me the best of luck!!!!!
    ~Anything is possible if you believe

  52. That is such a great dream because alll my life i have loved dolphins to and im not quite sure yet but i want to something that requires that i work with dolphins. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! dolphins are the best!

  53. Hey everyone i really love dolphins and i was wondering how much u would make being a marine biologest. if u no plez tell me

    thax 2 all

  54. Hello, im 12 and i REALLY love dolphins .I’ve always wanted to be a dolphin trainer since i was little. Im doing a project in shcool on becoming a dolphin triner. i need lots of info please. I’m ready to work my way up to be a dolphin trainer even if it takes beeing treated like dirt first!! Ill do anything !!

  55. im 11 years old and i really want to become a dolphin trainer…… my parents always remind me that alot of people want this job and not alot get it……. i made a book about iformation of dolphins and alot of facts….. can you please tell me what i need to become a dolphin trainer at seaworld and facts about the job…….

  56. Hey folks – I’m just amazed that one little dream of mine has spawned such an unending string of comments from people who want to become dolphin trainers. It’s a great ambition, and I encourage you all to follow your dreams, but I don’t think this blog entry is the best place for you to get answers. Seems like everyone has the same question, but no one is stopping by with answers. So I’m going to close down this thread now. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

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