There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a dairy farmer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.4 an hour? That's $29,959 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 1% and produce 10,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Dairy Farmer Do

There are certain skills that many dairy farmers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed dexterity, listening skills and physical strength.

Learn more about what a Dairy Farmer does

How To Become a Dairy Farmer

If you're interested in becoming a dairy farmer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 39.3% of dairy farmers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.6% of dairy farmers have master's degrees. Even though some dairy farmers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Dairy Farmer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Dairy Farmer

Dairy Farmers in America make an average salary of $29,959 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $68,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $13,000 per year.
Average Dairy Farmer Salary
$29,959 Yearly
$14.40 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Dairy Farmer

There are several types of dairy farmer, including:

Farm Hand


A farmhand is responsible for assisting farmers in growing plants and feeding livestock on the farm. Your work is basically to ensure a smooth running of the farm by performing various tasks throughout a working day. You are expected to maintain the machinery by fixing it when necessary, cleaning it regularly, and maintaining the condition of building the farm.

Since farming is an unpredictable industry, your work differs per season. Nonetheless, you will be required to do heavy lifts and manual labor throughout the day to help farmers to reduce unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances. Helping out farmers involves a lot of participation in farm activities, which include providing water for the animals, cleaning out pens and closures, and providing fresh straw and hay. You are also responsible for moving animals from one area of the farm to another, planting and spraying crops, and watching them as they grow.

As a farmhand, you have to be very vigilant in every aspect to alert the farmer whenever you observe a problem concerning the animals or the crops. Sensitivity, flexibility, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a genuine love for farm work are crucial for this role. You must also be physically fit for this role. Plus, you need a bachelor's degree in agriculture or other related fields. The average salary of a farmhand annually is $25,000.
  • Average Salary: $26,594
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Ranch Hand


A ranch hand works on a farm or ranch, tending to animals and doing menial tasks around the ranch. They either live on the ranch or near it, and work long tedious hours. They attend to live farm or ranch animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, bees, or poultry that produce animal products such as milk, fur, skins, meat, feathers, eggs, and honey. They are responsible for feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, weighing, catching, and loading animals into transport vehicles.

The ranch hand cleans and maintains animal housing areas, shears wool from sheep, collects eggs from hatcheries, and do routine menial tasks such as repairing fences, operating heavy machinery like tractors, and so on. They require physical stamina to do tasks around the ranch. They have to be up very early in the mornings and retire late at night.

Only a high school diploma or GED is necessary. A ranch hand earns an average of $25,368 per year, which translates to $12.20 per hour. Career growth is described as having little or no change at 1% and will produce 10,900 new jobs across the US by 2028.

  • Average Salary: $27,569
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Farm Worker


If you want to be a Farm Worker, you will be employed for labor in agriculture, including harvesting. You will maintain crops such as vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts or look after livestock, and you will work under the supervision of an agricultural manager and receive on-the-job training. You can work on farms of all sizes, from small family farms to large industrial agriculture operations.

You will be responsible for maintaining ditches pipes and pumps, direct and monitoring work crews' activities, operating and service farm machinery, spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control environmental pests, feed livestock, and cleaning and disinfecting the yards. You need to be stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. You need to like tasks that are physical, athletic, or mechanical. You must also be communicative and able to follow orders. You will make a salary of $26,000 per year.
  • Average Salary: $26,598
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Dairy Farmer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active dairy farmer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where dairy farmers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Dairy Farmer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1New Jersey117$31,549
2North Carolina109$21,611
5New York43$36,360
7South Carolina35$23,726
27North Dakota3$27,511
28New Mexico3$28,087
31South Dakota2$24,761
36West Virginia1$27,731
43Rhode Island0$36,636
45New Hampshire0$34,137

Dairy Farmer Education

Dairy Farmer Majors

14.0 %

Dairy Farmer Degrees


39.3 %

High School Diploma

26.7 %


19.5 %

Top Skills For a Dairy Farmer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 31.6% of dairy farmers listed milking on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and listening skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Dairy Farmer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Dairy Farmer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Dairy Farmer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Dairy Farmer Demographics

Dairy Farmer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among dairy farmers, 33.0% of them are women, while 67.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among dairy farmers is White, which makes up 70.2% of all dairy farmers.

  • The most common foreign language among dairy farmers is Spanish at 59.1%.

Online Courses For Dairy Farmer That You May Like

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Best States For a Dairy Farmer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a dairy farmer. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, and New York. Dairy farmers make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $37,890. Whereas in Maine and Rhode Island, they would average $37,624 and $36,636, respectively. While dairy farmers would only make an average of $36,360 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Dairy Farmer Jobs: 43
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Connecticut

Total Dairy Farmer Jobs: 28
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Vermont

Total Dairy Farmer Jobs: 1
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Dairy Farmers

How Do Dairy Farmer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo


I did everything on the farmDecember 2019


Zippia Official LogoI did everything on the farmDecember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Dairy Farmer?

I fed bottle yeah firewood very much baby get off Show More

What do you NOT like?

I got tired of they never had any help Show More

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Top Dairy Farmer Employers

Most Common Employers For Dairy Farmer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Kraft Group$85,410$41.062
2Dean and$83,027$39.923
3Kingston Technology$39,677$19.082
4Kerr Corporation$28,859$13.871
5Skipper Limited$28,482$13.691
8Roberts Dairy$25,983$12.491
10Homan Group$25,927$12.462