Jobs

These States Pay Animal Trainers the Most

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The skills of an animal trainer extend far beyond teaching simple obedience cues—these professionals mold behaviors ranging from intricate performances to crucial assistance roles through careful reward systems and empathy.  Although fulfilling, achieving top salaries in the animal training field can be difficult.  Variation between states is considerable for many other professions.  Some workers would go broke in a month if they lost their income.  A certain state may boast the highest raw median pay at over $72,000 annually, but once expenses are factored in, it drops nearly 11% below the U.S. standard for purchasing power. Read on below for the top 15 states for animal trainer wages.

Using data from the BLS’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, 24/7 Wall St. identified how much animal trainers make in each state. States were ranked on the median annual wage for all animal trainers in 2022. Data on cost of living is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is based on regional price parity in 2022 (Most recent data).

Across all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the median annual wage for animal trainers ranges from about $23,530 to $72,650.

Here are the 15 states with the highest salaries for animal trainers:

15. Arkansas

Arkansas | Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the River
Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $36,730.00
  • Arkansas cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 1
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $41,652.92
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 13.40% greater than U.S. average

14. Massachusetts

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $37,580.00
  • Massachusetts cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 47 
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $34,050.11
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -9.39% less than U.S. average

13. Georgia

Atlanta+Georgia | Atlanta
Source: chris-yunker / Flickr

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $37,650.00
  • Georgia cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 26
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $39,219.25
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 4.17% greater than U.S. average

12. Montana

View of Missoula from Mount Sentinel, in Missoula, Montana.
Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $38,200.00
  • Montana cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 26
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $34,050.11
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 13.40% greater than U.S. average

11. New Jersey

Source: AUDREY SCRIPP / iStock via Getty Images

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $38,260.00
  • New Jersey cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 46
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $34,909.57
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -8.76% less than U.S. average

10. California

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $38,670.00
  • California cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 50
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $33,847.85
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -12.47% less than U.S. average

9. Delaware

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $41,080.00
  • Delaware cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 31
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $41,919.26
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 2.04% greater than U.S. average

8. Virginia

Dock, Summersville Lake, Nicholas County, West Virginia, USA
Source: Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock.com

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $42,390.00
  • Virginia cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 9
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $46,901.99
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 10.64% greater than U.S. average

7. Washington

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $43,820.00
  • Washington cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 48
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $39,504.17
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -9.85% less than U.S. average

6. Connecticut

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $44,980.00
  • Connecticut cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 42
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $42,095.88
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -6.41% less than U.S. average

5. South Dakota

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $45,460.00
  • South Dakota cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 4
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $50,919.29
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 12.01% greater than U.S. average

4. New York

Source: Juan Carlos Alonso Lopez / Shutterstock

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $46,250.00
  • New York Cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 44
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $42,735.46
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -7.60% less than U.S. average

3. West Virginia

Source: Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD / Wikimedia Commons

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $46,800.00
  • West Virginia cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 8
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $51,833.34
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 10.76% greater than U.S. average

2. Iowa

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $47,790.00
  • Iowa cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 5
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $53,323.13
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: 11.58% greater than U.S. average

1. Hawaii

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  • Median annual salary for occupation: $72,650.00
  • Hawaii cost of living rank (#1 is the lowest and #50 is the highest): 49
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $64,775.47
  • Cost of living compared to U.S. average: -10.84% less than U.S. average

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