How to Become a Dog Trainer in South Carolina

Working with animals requires passion, care, and empathy.

Whether it’s veterinary medicine or working in an animal shelter, you need profound love and understanding of animals to work for them.

The same applies to the profession of dog training, where you need to get into the dog’s head and rewire it into the perfect pup for the job.

Do you have what it takes to become the best dog trainer in South Carolina?

Stick around and find out!

How to Become a Dog Trainer in South Carolina?

Firstly, you need a proper foundation to start building your career.

Luckily, we’re here to provide you with the path for your baby steps into professional dog training!

Step 1: Read up on dog psychology

Learning about dog behavior is the first step in this job.

There are plenty of books, analyses, studies, and all sorts of materials online and in libraries from which you can learn all about different breeds of dogs and how they act.

This will be the basic, but remember that every individual dog can have its own personality and characteristics with which you will have to work to compromise them.

The end goal should always be the same – get the dog to listen to you.

This is when you know you have succeeded!

Step 2: Get an internship or volunteer

The best way to practice is to go to a professional and ask to work for them.

Under their guidance, you will learn the business side of the job as well as the practical side.

They will teach you the tips and tricks, the pros and cons, and what mistakes to avoid!

Step 3: Find a job or start your business

Once you’ve set your foundation you’re ready to find a job.

Start by working with someone to avoid getting overwhelmed, it is after all still the start.

Further down the line, you can open your own business and become self-employed.

Step 4: Spread your news

Promote your work!

There is a strong network of people in need of this profession online.

By posting your work online, on social media, or on a website you will surely attract the right crowd of people.

Dog Training School in South Carolina

Even though formal education is not needed to become a professional dog trainer, it’s good to have some form of it.

Here are a few academies and courses that can help you gain confidence, and a few certificates!

Penn Foster

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

The program is accredited and affordable.

It is online only, so once you buy the course you can listen to it whenever and wherever you want to!


This organization provides an 18-class program.

Their training curriculum is designed to provide you with the structure you need to get started and then advance as you move along through the program leading to the certification at the end of the course.

They teach a multitude of dog training topics, tips and tricks, breed characteristics, and how to deal with different behaviors.

They also provide visual aids for the classes in the form of videos which you will get with each class.

You will also get homework and written assignments, before you graduate and get a diploma from this certified course.

The tuition for the course is $499.

School Name Address
Penn Foster 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515 USA
ISCDT Online


The average annual pay for dog trainers in South Carolina is $32,954.

It can range from $29,931 to $36,070 depending on the city.

The best pay is in Rock Hill with $34,357 annually.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbia $32,344
Charleston $33,147
North Charleston $33,147
Greenville $32,982
Rock Hill $34,357
Mount Pleasant $33,147
Spartanburg $32,807
Sumter $31,212
Hilton Head Island $32,587
Florence $31,463

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC40$34,850$16.76$56,860$24,760
Columbia, SC80$41,730$20.06$57,890$26,330
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC50$40,020$19.24$59,340$26,760
* 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

Do I need formal education to become a professional trainer in South Carolina?

You do not need formal education to become a professional dog trainer in South Carolina.

However, you can attend certified classes and courses where you can gain knowledge and have proof of it with a certificate or diploma.

This can help you gain more clients in the long run.

How can I get certified as a dog trainer in South Carolina?

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 do I become a successful dog trainer in South Carolina?

You need to treat the job as a learning experience.

You can attend classes, courses, and workshops, but nothing will replace the on-field experience you will gain through working with different types of dogs!

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State