Let’s say you have done your research and you have reached your conclusion… that you want to be a dolphin trainer!
This would be my first piece of advice to you.
Observe your animal, bear in mind that all of them have different characters.
Observe the animal you are being assigned very closely, it is important that you observe all of them and the way each one behaves, but in particular, the one you are going to work with. Every time you have any spare time, sit down close to the animal and observe all their behaviours, their body language and interaction with other animals.
Environments affect behaviour, predict your animal’s behaviour, keep your eyes scanning around while working with yours and be aware that another animals’ behaviour affects your animal behaviour. If there is anybody or an even an object around, that your animal is not comfortable with, try to take them to another area or environment where they are more relaxed. As with children, once your animal has realized that you are always protecting them, then they will trust you.
Communication skills are paramount; during your sessions, your animal’s behaviour depends on the quality of the communication you have with other trainers and how aware you are of your surroundings. Anticipation and planning ahead is very important when handling your animal. Dolphins love doing different things, they are very cheeky, they also get bored quickly with the same thing over and over, but when they are learning something new, they are usually concentrated, curious and excited for what may come next. Some behaviours take time and concentration. Take as an example, husbandry behaviours (medical behaviours) these are examples where a high level of concentration from your animal will be required and they also need to be very relaxed.
Before you start training any behaviour, you must communicate with other trainers and let them know how long you are going to take and where the training is going to take place. State the starting time and ending time, before you end, you need to make eye contact with other trainers and let the animals go at the same time, so your animal does not go and interrupt any other trainer’s session. This is the best way of getting the best discipline, instilling good habits in your animals that results in a good quality training session and a positive outcome for all.
Do not copy other trainers, do not assume because the animal you are working with would let another trainer to put their hand in their mouth you can do the same. Different animals have different relationships with other trainers, you must gain and build your animals trust and this will depend on the way that you treat them, just like any other human or animal interaction. Observe the best trainers work, but do not confuse the best one with the one in charge. Observe closely and choose what would you do different, take a notepad with you and write it down, one day you will need it.
Many trainers underestimate and misunderstand the importance of Operant Condition (Positive Reinforcement), when to use it and how to use it. Some trainers just read through it to “tick that box,” but there is a big different between reading it to pass a test, perhaps making your supervisor happy or to take him/her off your back and really using it properly. Supervisors and other trainers, should be watching each other and making sure that everything is right and that your work is acceptable. To assist you, they should always make sure, that the other trainers handle their animals fairly and in the best way possible, especially if you are a new assistant. Trainers must learn the techniques of positive reinforcement to apply it successfully, for the benefit of the animals and you.
What to do in a competitive environment such as a dolphin training job?
Responsibilities: this is what is going to set you apart from the crowd and so you are not classified as just being one of the usual group of trainers.
Be independent: consistent, practice good discipline, but also be very patient with your animal and others.
Be confident: trust yourself, do what your gut tells you, usually when you have researched well and apply good principles, it is the right thing to do.
Ask: if you have doubts; ask, there is not such a thing as silly questions.
Improve: progress is what makes people happy, make sure you are going forward and improving your skills.
Study: make sure you find time to study, allocate the best time for you to improve your knowledge. The world is constantly evolving, updating information with new research, so you need to keep your knowledge fresh.
Want it: make sure whatever you do is the best for you and then do it to the best of your abilities. Whatever the circumstances, never think you are not capable of doing whatever you desire. You just have to want it!
The story nobody mentions…
Are you ready to become a dolphin Trainer?
There are some things you should know before…
You must know all the stages they go through before they reach the end goal!
Most of beginners start by showing off with the animals, but that is just a honey moon process, a period when you just want to play with them and do whatever you like, of course! according to the rules, you feel like having all the fun possible. After six months, it all starts to fade away, at the end of that period new trainers or assistant trainers start to realize that it takes a lot of work to keep it up, they also start understanding that is very strenuous and highly demanding, energy wise.
When you have been a year in the job and all your enthusiasm had levelled off and you get tired of been smelly, not having pretty nails in the case of the girls, not having pretty hair, not been able to wear high heels, because you have spent ten hours treading in deep water. Then you stop…and think, asking yourself…hmmm…is this really for me?
The whole process is normal and very common, around 30% of trainers make it and stick with it, those who do make it, fall in love with the animals and don’t care about the rest, it is kind of like a drug, the more they do it, the more you want to do it, the beautiful thing is that its becomes a long live skills and career, it ends up not being a job anymore, it turns into your passion forever.
There is nothing or anybody who can turn you away from it!
Female trainers take it very seriously, their maternal instinct makes them protect the animals as if they were their babies, providing the best care for them. Management knows that and that is why you see must of animal carer staff are Females.
When you are working as a dolphin trainer after fifteen or twenty years, you kind of stop and think again, did I have enough?
Some of the trainers wants to go on doing it, but on another level and not far away from the animals.
Well, guess what!… at this stage, you would only find that 15% of them reach the end goal.
I have the feeling and I think I know what you might be thinking!
Well… if only 15% reach the end goal, why would I even bother to try?
How do you know you are not in the 15%?
I say, why wouldn’t you try?
Happiness is who you become after trying those little things that call your attention and things that you like and enjoy doing the most, that is called passion, that is your blue print… your purpose in live.
What if you really like it?
Believe me, I am in the 15% and it’s very much worth a try, it’s one of the most rewarding, beautiful and important decisions I have ever made in my live.
No regrets whatsoever!
Hey, listen… if you really like it, go for it!
At the end of the day, human spirit is the hardest thing to kill on earth, not even you could kill it.
It will bite you back one day…
Wish you good luck!
If you are thinking of opening or starting to a new facility and you don’t know how to arrange the dolphinarium system, Viadolphin realises how this drains your time and resources, struggling to put everything together. We would like to help you, easing the pain offering you assistance at every stage.
We are offering you the unique opportunity to hire an experienced professional team, who together will help you achieve your goal.
We can provide you with a well informed and connected hard working team including trainers, veterinarians and dolphinarium management.
We can vet potential trainers for your facility, offering you the choices that will suit you.
Our team can also provide you with a training program in the theory and the practical knowledge, based upon positive reinforcement for animal management.
We can leave you with a team ready to manage the running and logistics of your interactive programs.
Your facility will benefit by having experienced trainers, more effective and efficient programs, where animals are happier and customers will see a healthier, happier environment. Ultimately this will result in a better organised, positive and profitable environment, which can attract those within the industry, potential customers and also demonstrate best practice to those who may oppose our industry.
Whether advice is just needed in one aspect, at a certain stage in development, or you need a bespoke tailored package helping with every stage from set up, finding the best trainers to proving training programmes and educational support, Viadolphin can help you.
In a 2011 report by Dana Severson on an overview of trainer’s salaries, animal trainers earned an average of $30,510 a year, this was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salaries can be higher or lower than this average but this average is an indication of a trainer’s earnings.
A previous 2007 survey conducted by the Dolphin Research Center found that salaries for dolphin trainers vary from facility to facility, but the average was between $18,000 and $20,000 a year. After eight to twelve years of experience, salaries increased to a range of $25,000 to $40,000 annually.
As with any job, your choice of employer can affect salaries, and dolphin trainers are no exception. For example, a dolphin trainer at Sea World can make $40,000 to $60,000 a year, says Mary Sears, a dolphin trainer at Sea World’s Dolphin Interaction program, on the California Travel Expert website.
SimplyHired.com listed the average salary for marine trainers as $45,000 in 2011, though this is generally considered on the high end of the marine mammal trainer salary range.
It is important you to bear in mind, that trainer’s salary also reflect the cost of living in each particular country. Those working in a foreign country as a necessity, need a return ticket to their own country and a place to stay as minimum.
Money is not the only consideration, it is very important that you are able to develop in your role, so that you can give the best of your qualities, to the facility. So that YOU can make a positive difference you need to be in a positive and comfortable environment. You can deliver tasks of a higher quality, with a greater level of communication and positivity amongst colleagues. Management support and appreciation will play an important role on your input and results and how motivated you are for the work you do after each strenuous-working day, whatever salary you are paid.
Do not forget…what you put in is what you will get back…
Whatever your responsibilities are, make sure you give the best of you to the animals when you are fully engaged with them, your state of mind will reflect on them, especially because some can sense your emotions and the right thoughts and emotions, ultimately will avoid future difficulties.
Marine Animal Trainer
Sea World, Main Beach, Gold Coast, AU
About The Role
You will provide a level of care, enrichment and husbandry to ensure appropriate welfare and standards are maintained for the relevant animal collection. You will train and share responsibility for presenting our mammal and birds in our live shows, keeper talks and interactive programs. You will be required to pass relevant audition criteria including swimming, training knowledge test and speaking on a microphone. Some weekend work will be required.
Undertake animal husbandry and exhibit maintenance tasks for animals and exhibits in assigned area
Develop an understanding of animal training and conditioning techniques
Assist with organisation and planning of feeding schedules and training of animal behaviors
Provide the general public with correct information about our animals
Skills And Experience
Knowledge of operant conditioning
Bachelor of Science degree or Certificate III in Captive Animal Management is required
Experience in public speaking
Manual car drivers license
Available to work on any day including weekends
Unlimited free entry to our theme parks
Food and beverage and retail discounts
Unique team member events
Opportunity for professional development
About The Company
Village Roadshow Theme Parks comprises of Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast, Paradise Country, Australian Outback Spectacular, Village Roadshow Studios, Sea World and Sea World Resort. We encourage a fun, entertaining and enthusiastic environment!
Food & Beverages Entertainment Hospitality
Marine Mammal Rescue
The Rescue and Response team at The Marine Mammal Center is seeking applicants for their Monterey Bay Operations Rescue and Response Internship working primarily with stranded pinnipeds, as well as occasional cetaceans and sea otters. The Rescue and Response Internship is an exciting opportunity for individuals who are interested in increasing their experience and knowledge of marine mammals and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Gain valuable professional development experience while learning the rescue and response operations for one of the leading marine mammal hospitals
Work in an organization dedicated to veterinary medicine, research, and ocean conservation
Learn marine mammal rescue and triage while gaining husbandry experience working with the seal and sea lion patients
Attend training classes, learning more about rescue and response methods as well as the rehabilitation care for pinnipeds
Develop interpersonal and team leadership skills working with individuals from diverse backgrounds
This internship runs from mid-December or January through mid-March or April (dates are flexible). Interns must be able to work for a minimum of 3 months, 5 days a week, at least 40 hours per week. Work schedule must be flexible and may include weekends and holidays.
This is an unpaid internship and interns are responsible for their own housing accommodations and transportation. Unfortunately, we are unable to host international applicants at this time.
All applicants must be 21 years of age or older, with an avid interest in marine biology, zoology, general biology, policy or a related field.
Interns are required to pass a background check and a motor vehicle check prior to acceptance into the internship.
Applicants should demonstrate excellent communication skills and have practical computer knowledge with programs such as Word, Access, and Excel.
This internship position involves a fair amount of physical activity, such as lifting, restraining and moving animals.
If the intern intends to receive university credit for their internship, they are responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institution.
Answer and triage the animal rescue hotline
Coordinate rescue and triage responses throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz counties
Participate in marine mammal rescues, releases and other field responses
Maintain rescue equipment
Join teams of volunteers to provide triage care for rescued seals and sea lions
Support data entry and tracking of the pinniped patients
Other projects as assigned
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply following the link below. The deadline to apply is October 27, 2017.
Assoc. Curator, Mammals & Birds
Company Name Georgia Aquarium Company LocationAtlanta, GA, US
Requisition Number 17-0079 Post Date 10/3/2017 Title Assoc. Curator, Mammals & Birds City Atlanta State GA Description Position Summary
Coordinates operational activities related to Mammal & Bird shows and animal programs as directed by the Curator, Animal Training-Mammals & Birds. Develops, implements and oversees appropriate standard operating procedures; insures compliance with requirements of various professional associations and regulatory agencies; works toward further advancing Mammal & Bird husbandry, programming, and display; develops, maintains and drives animal training and environmental enrichment programs; facilitates professional staff development; supervises Mammal & Bird personnel, as well as elements of Mammal & Bird operations. Works with assigned staff in developing and achieving animal care and training goals that promote the mission and vision of Georgia Aquarium and coincide with professional associations and accreditations. Works with other departments in the evaluation and development of enhanced guest experience, performance, interactive, and public relations opportunities.
Works with leadership of Animal Training, Mammals & Birds to develop, institute, lead and facilitate animal training goals and standards.
Works with fellow leaders and their respective teams on the development and implementation of dynamic animal training projects and programs that served to enhance animal care, animal management, guest experience, and Aquarium public relations.
Monitors and directs day-to-day Mammal & Bird related animal care and operations.
Provides excellent care and wellbeing of all animals assigned to the Mammal & Bird section.
Assists the supervision of personnel matters within the Mammal & Bird section of Zoological
Assigns and checks work, establishes schedules, sets deadlines, and delegates authority within the operational framework of the Mammal & Bird section.
Assists the setting of performance standards for staff.
Assists the preparation of annual performance evaluations. Makes personnel related recommendations to Curator and Director, Animal Training-Mammals & Birds.
Trains Mammal & Bird personnel in all aspects of their assigned tasks, and conducts or arranges for training as necessary to carry out the Section’s objectives.
Constantly evaluates and improves show performance, exhibit enhancements, behavioral management techniques, and animal enrichment procedures.
Works with Curator in maintaining exhibits and related facilities and collections in a manner stimulating and factual to Georgia Aquarium guests.
Cross trains with other zoological management to provide efficient supervisory coverage of other department sections when necessary.
Assists senior zoological management with preparing the Mammal & Bird component of the annual budget. Monitors expenditures to ensure budget compliance.
Assists the acquisition, display, care, performance, and maintenance of all specimens required for the Mammal & Bird section.
Coordinates and supervises animal handling for medical care and transport.
Assists the coordination of Mammal & Bird team record keeping, filing, and diet planning.
Assists the coordination of the development of Mammal & Bird section animal care programs and protocols consistent with current industry standards for animal care and use.
Ensures all Mammal & Bird personnel are properly trained and equipped for their assigned tasks, and conducts or arranges for training as necessary to carry out the section’s objectives.
Work with the Zoological Operations management team to maintain the highest quality staff, programs, and exhibits, programs, and shows.
Interface effectively with other departments to maintain the highest quality standards and promote guest experience.
As needed, interact on behalf of the Georgia Aquarium with guests, media, general public, etc.
Fosters working relationships with other institutions.
Implements dive safety guidelines established by the dive safety officer.
To perform other duties as workload necessitates.
Four year degree in biology or related field; equivalent relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a four year degree at the discretion GAI.
Eight years of work experience in an AZA accredited institution, or equivalent, working with aquatic mammals in a variety of programs (show, interaction, etc), with demonstrated experience in the care, training, and management of marine mammals, and knowledge of marine mammal transport and regulatory requirements.
Extensive background in animal training.
Experience in show performance and public programs preferred.
Working knowledge of life support operation and water quality control for maintaining marine mammals.
Supervisory experience preferred.
Strong team skills.
Strong oral and written communication skills.
Valid State of Georgia driver’s license, or the ability to obtain one.
Valid passport, or the ability to obtain one.
Proficiency with Personal Computer (P.C.) hardware and contemporary software including Microsoft Office Products.
Ability to pass departmental swim test, which includes, but is not limited to minimum requirements for treading water, breath holding, free diving and endurance.
Physical Demands & Work Environment
The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds 100 feet. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. Elements of the position require employees to wear a wet suit for extended periods throughout the day. This position requires direct contact with raw seafood. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. An employee must also have the ability to travel by car, boat and air as needed, physically use SCUBA equipment, conduct field work in the collection and research of animals, and maintain daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals.
Marine Mammal Veterinarian
Company Name National Marine Mammal Foundation Company LocationSan Diego, CA, US
The National Marine Mammal Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California, has a job opening for a full-time marine mammal veterinarian. The primary responsibilities of the veterinarian would be in direct support of the US Navy Marine Mammal Program, to include clinical case management of the Navy’s collection of bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions.
NMMF’s clinical veterinary team includes a veterinary epidemiologist, and has access to veterinary and human consultants in anesthesia, surgery, cardiology, ophthalmology, urology, infectious disease, radiology, and interventional radiology. This position would be based primarily in San Diego, but could travel up to 10 weeks a year offering veterinary support for satellite facilities and marine mammal deployments. Evening, weekend, and holiday on-call responsibilities are shared with the other San Diego clinical veterinarians.
Implementing the Navy’s preventive medicine program
Performing routine health assessments to include biological sampling and diagnostic imaging
Providing supportive care and critical care for ill animals
Offering field medical support for national and international marine mammal system deployments
Training and mentoring incoming veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and animal care specialists on marine mammal medicine
Supporting and/or leading clinical research projects
Applicants must be graduates of an AVMA accredited veterinary college or ECFVG certified institution and have a valid U.S. license.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have the ability to obtain a secret clearance.
Preference will be given to applicants that have a minimum of 5 years of experience in marine mammal medicine and to those with a research background, including research project management and scientific publications.
Maintain high ethical standards in personnel safety and animal care.
Display a strong commitment to collaboration and teamwork.
Demonstrate strong communication and conflict resolution skills.
Convey a professional image and positive attitude regarding the NMMF, the US military, and the nonprofit sector.
Offer flexibility to adapt to an evolving work environment and changing weather conditions.
Embrace a flexible work schedule to include work hours on holidays, weekends, and after hours as needed.
The position will be open until filled.
Part Time Conservation Assistant
Company Name: Ocean Park Corporation Company LocationHong Kong, HK
The incumbent will support the regular marine mammal stranding programme, horseshoe crab rearing programme, community education and fundraising campaigns and other duties as assigned.
Degree in Ecology, Biology, Environmental science or related discipline
Ability to conduct field work and arrange field logistics independently
Good presentation and interpretation of conservation or environmental knowledge
We are pleased to present the Tourist Project “La Hispaniola Park” exclusive theme park that has no similar in the Dominican Republic.
Located in Juan Dolio-Guayacanes, area with special features that is projected as one of the most important tourist poles that have the country, with a rapid development in the hotel sector, rise apartments and condominiums he promises in the next three years to reach have a movement of 300,000 foreign tourists per year, and all domestic tourism which is housed in the houses and apartments is estimated at about 50,000 people annually.
The park fills the large gap that has always had Juan Dolio-Guayacanes, extra hotel activities for that great tourist population.
In our feasibility study this increase was not included, it was more conservative. Our areas of taxation of tourists, as expressed in detail in the study, are with other surrounding areas.
That is why “La Hispaniola Park” today has a secure future as a successful project.
The project design has been conceived using the most modern materials such facilities always adapting to the impact on the environment, complying to detail national and international standards for such installations.
We have specialized professionals in the field, with vast experience in the management of the species that have for display and interaction, as well as all manuals and bibliographies necessary for proper application thereof.
The total cost is around $ 14,000,000 US dollars when completed and put into operation. The current investment is set to $ 11,000,000 US dollars. The payback is estimated at five years after commissioning.
The runtime is scheduled in 18 months.
We have all the permissions set by the country’s laws and licenses.
We are ready to start. We are looking forward to your participation.
Vacancies that arise in positions that are both paid or voluntary, intern, animal care, animal hospital experience, assistant trainer, senior trainer, supervisor trainer or related to the marine mammal field can be advertised through our website.
Any enquiries will be dealt with confidence and no charge is applicable.
Need trainers for your facility?
Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them.
There are different types of opportunities out there, which can put you on the right path, here are some ideas for you to bear in mind.
Deciding on what you think you like is not easy, I have put some courses here for you to check and see if any of these are the right choice for you.
These are short courses that will help to identify if this is the right thing for you and you can also make choices of what career is the suitable one.
They offer theory and practical training, you will receive a diploma on the course.
If you would like to have more information, do not hesitate to contact me.
Marine Biology Diploma Course
The Marine Biology Diploma Course is specifically designed for those interested in working or volunteering in the many different areas of marine biology.
Marine Zoology Diploma Course
This Marine Zoology Diploma Course is perfect for anyone with an interest in marine life and is great preparation for anyone wishing to pursue a future career in marine zoology.
Marine Animal Rescue Diploma Course
The Marine Animal Rescue Diploma course was designed for anyone wanting to work with marine animals or are already involved in their rescue, rehabilitation, and care.
Marine Research Station Practical Placement
This is a 3 weeks practical placement where volunteers work in a marine research station that involves the local village boatmen conducting daily surveys, to better understand problems and help empower them to protect their own islands. This placement includes a PADI Open Water Course.