How to Become a Dog Trainer in North Carolina

Communication is the most important thing we humans can do.

We have evolved into beings that can speak and understand each other, but what about the animals?

Learning “their language” and communicating with them is a true challenge.

Professional dog trainers devote their lives to a career as a bridge between the owners and their pups.

You can achieve that with passion, compassion, love, and devotion!

Let’s take the first steps together.

How to Become a Dog Trainer in North Carolina?

You might wonder where to start when it comes to this new career path.

We’re here to give you a nudge in the right direction.

By following these next few steps, you can gain the confidence to start your newly chosen career!

Step 1: Learn about dog behavior

As previously mentioned, every dog can have a different character.

You may come in contact with a range of them. From aggressive to lazy to calm and obedient.

You will need to learn and practice until you get the hang of the verbal and non-verbal communication with the pups you train.

It’s always best to start while they’re young, but you may have grown clients as well.

You can learn about dog behavior online, through books, or by attending classes, workshops, and seminars.

Step 2: Get official training

When you’ve gotten the hang of the brawn of the job, it’s time to tackle the brain part.

You will, after all, be working with live matter.

You will need to understand the psychology of dogs, what threatens them, what triggers a positive response, and, more importantly, what doesn’t work for them before they get too angry.

This is the hardest part of the job because every dog is an individual with its own personality.

Step 3: Get a job in the field

In what will either seem like no time or a long time, depending on your whole experience, you will be ready for a job.

You can choose to either start your own business or start working with other trainers in your area.

Either way, try to promote your business through a website, social media, and passively through your clientele.

Step 4: Get certified

The best way to gain knowledge is through experience and through reading.

Many classes and schools combine the two so you don’t have to bother finding them separately.

Most of the programs provide some sort of certification at the end.

You can also check out The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and join the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Dog Training Schools in North Carolina

Formal education is not needed for dog trainers.

You should get certified, though.

Here are some academies, courses, and classes you can take to gain some knowledge, experience, and certificates.

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy

The tuition for classes starts from as low as $54.

This academy has a state-licensed dog trainer school with many levels of certification.

Considering that it’s online, you can take each course at your own pace.

It is available in multiple locations around the states.

You receive a diploma after graduation from the course.

They also offer their students internships.

Penn Foster

Penn Foster has a Dog Obedience Trainer Program, which you can finish in as little as 7 months.

With this online program, you can take your first steps in your career as a dog trainer.

The program is affordable and accredited.

The online classes mean that you can study whenever and wherever you please.

The only bad thing is the lack of hands-on work.

School Name Address
CATCH Canine Trainers Academy 24 Newark Pompton Turnpike Suite 206 Little Falls, NJ
Penn Foster 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515 USA


The yearly salary for dog trainers in North Carolina can range from $30,434 to $36,677, depending on your experience, clients, and pricing.

The average salary for dog trainers in North Carolina is $33,509.

The best-paid dog trainers are in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Cary.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Charlotte $34,098
Raleigh $34,022
Greensboro $33,358
Durham $33,819
Winston-Salem $33,474
Fayetteville $32,029
Cary $34,022
High Point $33,558
Wilmington $32,151
Asheville $32,086

Regional Salary in North Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC160$39,890$19.18$52,500$27,950
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC50$37,810$18.18$49,580$29,480
Raleigh, NC130$42,500$20.43$54,740$28,770
Wilmington, NC30$34,450$16.56$45,300$24,210
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Animal Trainers, OCC Code 39-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What certifications should I look for as a dog trainer?

You should get certificates from reputable organizations, such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) or the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).

Certification indicates a commitment to professional standards and ethics.

How much does a dog trainer make in North Carolina?

As of Oct 27, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Dog Trainer in North Carolina is $12.78 an hour.

How much does dog training in North Carolina cost?

The cost of dog training varies widely depending on the trainer’s experience, location, and the type of training needed.

Basic obedience classes can cost around $100 to $200, while more specialized or one-on-one training may be more expensive.

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State