Job Description for an Animal Husbandry Professional
Animal husbandry refers to a wide range of job types that focus on the care and breeding of different kinds of animals. Professionals in the field include livestock, dairy and poultry farmers. These farm professionals are responsible for breeding, marketing and caring for the animals on the farm. Daily tasks include feeding animals, cleaning stalls and pens, helping with births and maintaining equipment. Animal husbandry professionals either perform the work themselves or oversee other workers, depending on the size of the farm. In addition to animal caretaking, animal husbandry professionals often assist in the maintenance and repair of facilities for their wards.
|Education||Associate's degree, vocational training or on-the-job training|
|Job Skills||Physical strength, accounting and marketing skills, good communication, deductive reasoning, management skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$46,960 (for first-line supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-1% (for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals interested in becoming animal husbandry professionals may choose to complete formal education in the form of an associate's degree program or vocational training. You also may develop experience on the job through an entry-level position. Although some animal husbandry professionals hold a high school diploma, many have earned degrees in farm management or other related fields from a school of agriculture. Farm management degree programs include technical farm training, as well as courses in economics, marketing and the environment. Despite this trend, many farm professionals are trained on the job by more experienced animal husbandry professionals or gain experience from living on farms their entire lives.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the American Farm Bureau, the following skills are needed for animal husbandry professionals:
- Physical strength and the ability to work outdoors for long hours
- Accounting, organizational and marketing skills
- Ability to get along and communicate with others
- Deductive reasoning to determine if an animal is ill or injured
- Management skills
Employment and Salary Outlook
The farming, ranching and other agricultural fields were expected to decline in the coming years; the BLS reported that occupational opportunities are expected to be reduced by 1% from 2016-2026. Changes in technology and developments in farming have changed the industry radically over the last few decades, allowing more to be produced and managed with fewer workers. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for first-line supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers was $46,960 in 2018.