How to become an assistance dog trainer
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You may be able to start by doing an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant.
With experience, you could move onto an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could get into this job by starting as a kennel worker, then move on to train dogs and work with their owners.
You'll have an advantage if you've got experience of working with dogs. This might include:
- volunteering at a kennels
- helping at a dog rescue centre
- working for an animal welfare organisation
Do-it has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.
You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some experience of working with dogs. Employers will look for:
- knowledge of basic dog handling and behaviour management
- understanding of the issues faced by disabled people
Each organisation sets its own entry requirements for job vacancies.
Some employers may ask for sign language skills and experience of working with deaf people.