Animal Trainer – Full Time

Natural Encounters, Inc. has a full-time Animal Trainer position available for a career-minded and team-oriented individual who is passionate about training animals and their human caregivers. The person applying for this position should have significant bird and/or other animal training experience and be able to travel nationally and internationally.

Animal Trainer Job Description:

Responsible for working directly with NEI senior consultants and trainers to learn the skills necessary to teach zoological professionals the science of behavior-change principles and the application of positive reinforcement training techniques. Ultimately this position may evolve into leading consultation and animal-training projects at various facilities around the world.

Job Duties include:

  • Working closely with NEI consultants and trainers at projects that include teaching facility staff the art and science of best-practices animal training principles
  • Conducting presentations focused on animal training and educational program design, development, and presentation
  • Participating in the husbandry and training of animals at the NEI Training and Education Center and possibly at NEI’s shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and other locations
  • Assisting with administration of medications to collection animals
  • Communicating to supervisors and curator any concerns about animal health and welfare
  • Preparing and delivering diets for animals
  • Maintaining a clean and healthy environment for the animals in the collection as set forth by AZA and industry standards
  • Assisting as needed during health exams and procedures
  • Assisting in the design, development, and production of shows and educational programs
  • Participating in and perpetuating a positive, team-based atmosphere and upholding the NEI Code of Conduct
  • Performing other duties as assigned by management


  • A good understanding of scientific behavior-change principals
  • A minimum of three (3) years of professional experience training a wide variety of animals at zoological or related facilities
  • Knowledge of natural history and species-specific behaviors of a wide variety of taxa
  • Observable skills in training a variety of animals as shown in a video submitted with application or during the 90-day probation period.
  • Excellent observational skills and sensitivity to animal behavior
  • Strong communication skills and ability to create trusting relationships with animals, including coworkers
  • Ability to thrive in a group setting with supportive feedback and quick application of constructive criticism
  • Flexibility in schedule and ability to travel on short notice for extended periods of time
  • Current driver’s license and passport within six months of employment
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude in stressful situations
  • Ability to follow directions and apply constructive feedback


  • Highschool diploma or GED
  • 3+ years of animal training experience in an animal show environment or exhibit animal environment

Other Requirements:

  • Ability to adapt to changes in routines
  • Ability to prioritize and complete tasks on schedule
  • Ability to work some evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Ability to work in a warm, humid climate (90+ degrees)
  • Ability to work efficiently in a noisy and hectic environment
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs
  • Ability to stand and walk up to 8 hours or more per day
  • Ability to travel for several months at a time
  • Must be able to provide documentation proving COVID-19 vaccination status


Commensurate with experience.


NEI offers full benefits that includes Health, Life, Dental, Vision, Employer matched retirement fund and PTO which includes Sick Days, Holidays and Vacation.

If interested, please e-mail your resume and cover letter directly to