Any person who owns a pokémon can be considered a pokémon trainer. However, this title encompasses a broad spectrum of human-pokémon relationships. Breeders, collectors, coordinators… All are, at the base level, trainers.
While the general concept of a trainer is someone who raises pokémon for the purpose of battling, many people keep pokémon simply for companionship. Given their intelligence, pokémon are decidedly above the level of a “pet,” and as such most trainers tend to refer to them as their companions or partners. Pokémon in this role thrive by having some purpose to fulfill other than battling: be it helping their human partner with work or just acting as a friend.
Even among those who battle, trainers can vary widely. Some dedicate their lives to pokémon – journeying far and wide, battling other trainers to earn money, and striving to earn badges from gym leaders. However, the majority of pokémon trainers have a normal day-to-day routine just like anyone else, and most have normal jobs as a means of earning a living. For these folks, training and battling are hobbies enjoyed after work or school, or on weekends.
Specifically, trainers who study under a gym leader are referred to as gym trainers
. They aid their mentor in day-to-day tasks at the gym and also offer a kind of “warm-up” battle to those hoping to win a badge. However, note that battling these characters is entirely optional. Gym trainers are listed on the Eden League
page, and more information can be found on the Gym Trainers page