Barn Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a barn manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary experience to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Barn managers facilitate the day-to-day operations of a barn. They also manage the equipment, livestock and sporting animals housed therein. Barn managers aren't required to have degrees, but a sufficient amount of postsecondary education and training can boost career prospects.

Required Education Varies; some employers prefer a bachelor's degree in agriculture, equine studies or a related field
Other Requirements 3-5 years of similar work experience
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*-19% for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
Median Salary (2013)*$70,110 for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Barn Manager Job Description

Barns are used for more than just sheltering horses, so the daily tasks of barn managers may vary widely depending on the employment setting. What all barn managers share, though, is the basic function of being the person most responsible the maintenance of buildings and grounds. They also make sure the animals housed in the barn are tended to and the business of the barn is efficiently carried out. Barn managers may be required to work long hours, especially during peak seasons.

Barn Manager Duties

Barn managers may be placed in charge of a variety of operations. Some barn managers are employed by family farms and are responsible for housing conventional livestock such as cows, pigs, and horses. Some may be employed by large factory farms, where the setting is much more industrial and the responsibilities more complex. Others may be employed by individual or commercial race horse breeders. And still others may work for universities on experimental farms.

While the job qualifications and daily responsibilities of barn managers vary, some managerial functions are consistent across employment settings. Virtually all barn managers are responsible for hiring, training, and firing employees and other human resources duties like scheduling. They also order materials, supplies, and animal feed.

Barn Manager Requirements

Many barn managers are able to work their way up from lower-skilled positions such as stable hand or entry-level farm laborer by accumulating years of quality work experience. Some barn manager positions require candidates to possess at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the work before being considered for the job. A horse barn manager employer may require all qualified candidates to have a bachelor's in equine studies or a similar discipline. This may be in addition to three to five years of related work experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor's degree programs in agriculture are offered in every state by land-grant universities. Farm management courses are often included in many agriculture degree programs, and students can often specialize in particular areas.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The median annual salary earned among farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, including barn managers, was reported as $70,110 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013. The BLS also reported that the employment of such managers could decline by as much as 19% from 2012 to 2022, due to the ever-increasing ability of the farming and ranching industries to operate with fewer and fewer workers.

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