Well you pretty much summed it up by 'taking care of them..possibly training'. That's pretty much it. Apart from keeper or trainer, the only other possibility is veterenarian. Anything scientific or research related is usually very hands off and captive research is increasingly becoming less popular anyhow.
Unlike what previous posters have stated, unless you are going for the vet option, you will not need to get involved in Marine Biology nor any science for that matter. Why not?
Well, let's clear up a common misconception right away, you do not need a degree to become a trainer, certainly not in marine biology. Training is not about science, it is about manipulation, you do not need a scientific background for that because it has nothing to do with science.
SeaWorld and co do say they like their trainers to have a BSc. degree but fact is, most of them don't, at least not in anything related. They also prefer psychology over marine biology or zoology. You certainly will not need to take your education further than a BSc., what they value is experience and showmanship, so so you should be looking at doing a lot of volunteering, at zoos, aquariums, pet shops, stables, natural history museums....anything that is vaguely related, no experience is bad experience.
There is one college in the US that offers exotic animal training, that is moorpark:
A place that offers training experience relatively frequently is Miami Seaquarium, however the conditions there are more appalling than in most other aquariums holding cetaceans, so I’ would recommend you keep away from that, don't come anywhere near it with a ten metre pole, avoid it like the pest and don't ever set foot into it but that is obviously up to you, other places will probably value it as training experience:
However can I just say I cannot stress enough what a disgrace that place is....
I personally would recommend having a look to see if Epcot still offer internships with their dolphins, while I am generally not a friend of cetacean captivity, at least the exhibit is a higher standard than most facilities and the dolphins and trainers actually actively participate in research rather than shows:
Something else I would recommend would be an Animal Care Internship somewhere like Mote:
As an Animal Care Intern you work with both rehab animals (they recently had a pygmy s***m whale) and their two resident dolphins (unreleasable rescues) Harley and Moonshine. While Mote does not do shows as they generally present their animals as close to natural as possible, they do do some training, mainly husbandry procedures as presenting parts of the body for inspection etc.
They also have a highschool internship which is however run by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, not the hospital, during which students observe Harley and Moonshine and produce activity budgets and then go out in the wild to compare this to the behaviour of wild dolphins.
As far as I know you need to be scuba certified as well, so you should probably get into contact with your local PADI or NAUI instructor:
Obviously check out the SW career site:
Becoming an exotic animal vet requires a lot more,
I don't know that much about this one but I expect it includes standard vet school. I think in the US that entails 4 years of college, and then another 4 years in veterinary school and then passing a veterinary medical board examination before you qualify. There are also requirements for you to take state board examinations if you are planning to practice in another state aside from the one you took your board examination in.See:
You will probably need to undergo more specialised training, I know a university in London offers a specific course for exotic animals:
I would probably reccomend going into rehab rather than working with organisations like SeaWorld, mainly because rehab actually helps animals rather than trying to get the highest possible profit out of them...
If you are aiming for somewhere like SeaWorld, before you pursue this any further, you should probably make sure you know what you are getting yourself into, ie. look beyond the glossy image of these shows. I know several people who thought exotic animal training was their dream job and did everything they could to achieve it, finally got accepted- then realised it was nothing like what they thought it would be and quit.Their main complaint about was that it was an artificial experience, extremely restricting and intellectually unchallenging. Sure you work closely with the animals, but mainly on human terms, because of the expectations and goals that need to be reached, there is very limited space for creativity and individuality, which makes the experience artificial. 2 out of 3 people I know that worked with captive cetaceans are now trying to get into working with wild animals instead as they find it both more challenging and rewarding. And that's before we even get to the cetacean captivity controversy.
However, whether to find out more about the career or to prepare you for the controversy and animosity you will most likely encounter at some point if this is your career choice you might want to read up on the controversy surrounding the captivity of cetaceans, do your own research. I provided some links in the source section... I -and many other people, both members of the general public and scientific community- feel the effects of captivity on cetaceans which are a group of highly intelligent and wide ranging predators,are inexcusable. Effects include the drastically reduced lifespan, increased disease load, artificial and hence stressful pod structure, premature separation and heightened aggression both to trainers and other animals.