Landing Your Dream Job!
Landing this amazing career can be a very hard and long road. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of people in America who want this opportunity, and very few jobs. Every year hundreds of people apply for this privledge and only a few are choosen. This is not by chance! Working with marine mammals is an incredible experience. The bond and connection that is made between person and animal is unexplainable. This makes the career of a trainer something to be desired. Below are some tips to get you ready for your dream job!
Swimming & Diving
It is important to be an excellent swimmer and diver. Obviously you are spending time in the water so this should be a no brainer. However, a lot of people just assume they are good enough. Most facilities will require that you pass a swim test which is usually very vigerous. And because so many people are trying out, they are looking for reasons to cut people. So make sure you look good in the water, and you can move quickly.
Make sure you get some animal experience before you submit an application. This does not mean it has to be experience working with marine mammals. You can gain experience volunteering at a local animal shelter or your vet's office. Training dolphins is not all fun and games and requires a lot of dirty work. Showing your future employeer that you have endured cleaning puppy poop out of a kennel will show them that you aren't afraid to get down and dirty!
There are two major certifications most facilities require and all dolphin trainers should have; SCUBA and CPR certification.
You can get your SCUBA certificaiton through PADI or NAUI. It includes a class portion and underwater skills assessment and will take many months to complete. CPR certifications can be obtained at your local YMCA or through multiple other facilities in your community. To find out you can get CPR certified all you will need to do is perform a simple google search.
There is a lot of competition in this field so endurance will be key in your success. Don't give up! Most importantly, never stop learning! There are many books on how to enter this field, as well as other online resources. Most reccomended, is the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, and www.marinemammaltrainer.com. This will teach you about how trainers go about training these amazing animals and the different types of dolphin trainers you could become! Best of luck and work hard at making your dream a reality!