Elephant Trainer

Teach elephants tricks for circus performances.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Elephant Trainers do?

As an Elephant Trainer, you have coworkers that are over 100 times bigger than you are, and they’re capable of spraying you with two gallons of water if they disagree with your methods. If they agree with you, however, they’ll listen to your stories, perform your tricks, and reward you with their attention and discipline.

Elephant Trainers are commonly employed by circuses, as children love seeing large animals do strange things, like bouncing a ball, drawing, or standing on their hind legs. Your job is to encourage the elephants to do these tricks on cue, without hurting themselves or anyone near them.

To do this, you may bribe the animals with food or with touch. You may also be required to clean up after the large beasts, and provide them with food and water. Additionally, you may exercise them, and ensure that these intelligent creatures have enough mental stimulation so they don’t become bored and destructive.

Elephant Trainers may also work in zoos. While zoo animals are not required to perform tricks, they need to do things such as climbing into a trailer for transportation to a veterinary hospital, or moving from the play area to the sleeping enclosure for the night. Elephants must also become accustomed to being touched by humans, so they don’t trample their Caregivers. As their Trainer, you provide them with the encouragement to learn these lessons.

Should I be an Elephant Trainer?

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

  • Also known as: Elephant Tamer, Equestrian Trainer

    How to become an Elephant Trainer

    Most Elephant Trainers 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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