Marine animal training is usually more about experience and perseverance than college, a lot about it is also about showmanship and public speaking, entertainment basically.
If you want to become a trainer, you don't need to bother yourself too much with sciences like marine biology, oceanography or zoology, those would be courses that you would pursue if you wanted to get into research but training has little or nothing to do with science and most marine parks prefer a degree in psychology.
In fact most trainers do not have science based degrees, showmanship and experience is what counts most, some of them don't have degrees at all so I am guessing if you act that should be right up their street....other undergrad degree options would be psychology or animal behaviour or something like husbandry/management which is more likely to be appreciated.
There is also one college that does a degree in exotic animal training;
Anywhere that gives animal experience is a good place to volunteer, doesn't neccessarily have to be marine, zoos or even with domestic animals will do.
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 WELL away from that although SeaWorld and other places will probably value it as experience
I personally would recommend having a look to see if Epcot still offer internships with their dolphins, 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 at Mote Marine Aquarium:
Internship Ops - Animal Hospital&category=Education&PHPSESSID=252ae97ab5e41a598a9c620f52ef60ca
Mote is a very well respected and reputable research lab and 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) . 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 the two resident dolphins/
You could also try joining NOSB, the National Oceans Science Bowl for highschoolers:
which is recommended if you want to go into marine biology, however, I am not sure how much SeaWorld and co will value that as they tend to steer clear of science and go for entertainment instead.
How much do they make:
Not a lot. Even some senior trainers at SeaWorld work second jobs apparently.I think Miami Seaquarium advertised a job a while ago which was about $7 per hour.
The extra stuff:
Dolphin training is not about 'playing' with the animals, it is also not about being the animals friend. Yes, a lot of trainers rave on about the bond they have with the animals but in reality there is little room for real reciprocal friendship as you have to be 100?n charge 100?f the time. There is no room for slack and letting animals get away with things. In reality a lot of the so called bond comes down to the supply of fish that is provided by you.
I highly reccomend reading Dolphin Chronicles by Carol J. Howard who trained dolphins for research, very insightful.
I know a few people who really wanted to work with dolphins, some of them achieved it, most of those who achieved it now wished they hadn't and they had gone into research instead...Their main complaint about was that it was an artificial experience, extremely restricting and intellectually unchallenging. Sure you work closely with the animals, butbecause 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.