Army Dog Handler Jobs: Duties, Salary and Career Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an army dog handler. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

View 2 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Army dog handlers are either enlisted military personnel or U.S. Department of Defense civilians who are in charge of the basic care and training of military working dogs. Military working dogs are generally used for drug interdiction or bomb-sniffing missions. Specialized training and certification are required to work in this field.

Required Education None
Other Requirements Training program and certification
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* Roughly 0% (for all of the Armed Forces)
Median Salary (2014)** $44,354 annually (for police dog handlers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Duties of Army Dog Handlers

After completing the military working dog program and receiving certification by the 341st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, army dog handlers are ready to begin their jobs. Daily duties for handlers include the basic care of military working dogs, such as feeding, watering, and grooming. As part of general health maintenance, handlers may exercise dogs regularly to keep them in top physical condition. Handlers may be in charge of cleaning kennels and other assigned kennel duties.

Handlers may also be expected to participate in regular obedience training of their dogs as well as specialized training for the missions to which they are assigned. In addition to regular handler duties, senior handlers might be responsible for supervisory duties, including ensuring that annual certification requirements for handlers are met, seeing that all training is properly handled, and guaranteeing that military working dogs are prepared for their missions before being deployed.

Army dog handlers might patrol areas with their dogs. Dogs can be trained to search and attack on command. Civilian contractors may work with the Transportation Security Administration, using dogs to track drugs and explosives at airports. Combat engineers have employed dogs to detect land mines and other ordinance.

Salary Information

Army dog handlers who are military personnel are usually military police, combat engineers, or members of the Special Forces (otherwise known as the Green Berets). Based on a search of PayScale.com in 2014, the median salary range for police dog handlers was $44,354. It should be noted that, as with all military personnel, salaries for army dog handlers vary according to total years of service and rank.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected job opportunities to remain roughly unchanged in all areas of the military from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). However, the position of army dog handler may be limited by the number of missions that necessitate the use of canines.

Show me popular schools

Related to Army Dog Handler Jobs: Duties, Salary and Career Outlook

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Careers in Army Aviation: Education Options and Job Requirements

Aviation jobs in the United States Army include flying, repairing and maintaining helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The...

Online Army Education Programs: Overview of Learning Options

The U.S. Army's GoArmyEd website is an online portal where soldiers can ask for tuition assistance to take classroom, distance...

Job Description of a Dog Handler

Dog handlers require little to no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and other requirements to see if this...

Become an Army Chaplain: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Army chaplains provide spiritual services such as counseling to the soldiers in their assigned unit. Chaplains are also Army...

Army Ranger: Job Description, Salary and Outlook

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • New York (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics