How much money does a marine mammal trainer make?

Most people who want to be a marine mammal trainer are not in it for the money, they're in it for the adventure and the experience. Keep that in mind, when deciding if this is the career for you. Starting pay is very low compared to other "professional" pay scales. It currently (November 2010) ranges from a low of $8/hr to $13/hr depending on the facility, and that's after you do at least one internship (most of them are unpaid). On average, most 1st year trainers have done a minimum of 2 to 3 internships to get their foot in the door before they land their first full-time staff training job. Without help from family, most junior trainers work a 2nd part-time job to help make ends meet. It's not until a couple of promotions to the "senior trainer" position (4-8 yrs in the profession), that one can make a livable wage ($40K+) and not have to have part-time supplemental income. Bottom line - you choose this occupation because you love it, not for the money!