Animal Wrangler

Bring animals to TV and film sets and ensure they give great performances.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Animal Wranglers do?

If given a choice, most animals would stay in bed instead of spending the day at a film shoot. There are times, however, when dogs, cats, horses, killer whales, and other critters are given roles in television shows and movies. It is the job of Animal Wranglers to train and encourage these animals to fill their roles.

The animals you work with as an Animal Wrangler are more than simple props. In most cases, you’ve chosen them for their talents, and you’ve raised them yourself. For several hours each day, you train them to perform simple tricks on command. They must perform the same tricks over and over, and you give them treats as rewards.

In your spare time, you keep the animals clean and well groomed, just in case a Director calls you with an urgent need for a trained animal. Animal Wranglers must must be ready to go at all times.

On the day of shooting, you arrive on the set prepared. If it’s a large production, there’s likely to be an Animal Coordinator around, with whom you’ve discussed what tricks your animal will perform and in what sequence. It’s likely that you’ve had many practice sessions already. If it’s a smaller production, on the other hand, you work independently.

As the shoot progresses, you stand to the side and provide commands for your animal. These commands must be inaudible while the film is rolling. Your pockets are stuffed with cheese, fish, liver, and other favored treats for rewards. After the filming is complete, you take the animal home and let it return to bed.

Should I be an Animal Wrangler?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Film Animal Trainer, Film Animal Wrangler, Horse Wrangler

    How to become an Animal Wrangler

    Most Animal Wranglers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baeaa&chl=no+college+%2865%25%29|certificate+%2829%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,65,65
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