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Become A Livestock Farmworker

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Working As A Livestock Farmworker

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Livestock Farmworker Do

Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

Duties

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other crops. They plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops, and pack and load them for shipment.

Farmworkers also apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. They repair fences and some farm equipment.

Nursery and greenhouse workers prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing horticultural products such as trees, plants, flowers, and sod. They also plant, water, prune, weed, and spray the plants. They may cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack plants to fill orders; and dig up or move field-grown shrubs and trees.

Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. These animals usually are raised to supply meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, or honey.

These farmworkers may feed, herd, brand, weigh, and load animals. They also keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.

Many workers clean and maintain animal housing areas every day. On dairy farms, animal farmworkers operate milking machines.

Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, as well as maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks. These workers also operate machines such as conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers. Workers may make adjustments and minor repairs to equipment.

Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to select and breed animals that will produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For example, they breed chickens that lay more eggs, pigs that produce leaner meat, and sheep with more desirable wool. Other animal breeders breed and raise cats, dogs, and other household pets.

To know which animals to breed and when to breed them, animal breeders keep detailed records. Breeders note animals’ health, size, and weight, as well as the amount and quality of the product they produce. Animal breeders also track the traits of animals’ offspring.

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How To Become A Livestock Farmworker

Agricultural workers typically receive on-the-job training. A high school diploma is not needed for most jobs as an agricultural worker; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders.

Education and Training

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders. Some jobs as an animal breeder may require some postsecondary education.

Agricultural workers typically receive some short-term on-the-job training. Employers instruct them on how to use simple farming tools and more complex machinery while following appropriate safety procedures. More experienced workers also are expected to perform routine maintenance on the tools they use.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Agricultural workers need excellent hand–eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery.

Listening skills. Agricultural workers need to work well with others. Because they take instructions from farmers and other agricultural managers, effective listening is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.

Physical strength. Agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops.

Mechanical skills. Agricultural workers must be able to operate complex farm machinery. They also occasionally do routine maintenance on the machinery.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Animal breeders sometimes need previous work experience interacting with livestock. Ranch workers may transition into animal breeding after they become more familiar with animals and learn how to handle them.

Advancement

Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.

Some agricultural workers aspire to become farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers or to own their own farms and ranches. Knowledge of produce and livestock may provide an excellent background for becoming buyers or purchasing agents of farm products. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural or food scientists.

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Livestock Farmworker Typical Career Paths

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Livestock Farmer 6.5 years
Livestock Handler 3.1 years
Top Careers After Livestock Farmworker
Cleaner 16.7%
Custodian 16.7%
Cashier 16.7%
Stock Clerk 16.7%

Do you work as a Livestock Farmworker?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Dakota Valley Elementary Schl
Highest Paying City
Casper, WY
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
31.6 years
How much does a Livestock Farmworker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Livestock Farmworker in the United States is $80,684 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Livestock Farmworker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Farmworker, Livestock Lawson Creek Farms, LLC CA Mar 12, 2012 $34,436
Farmworker, Livestock Halo's Haven, Inc. MD Oct 17, 2012 $30,929
Livestock Farmworker Ernest Mau Tolley, ND Feb 21, 2016 $28,801
Farmworker Livestock Dakota Valley Growers LLLP Bathgate, ND Aug 09, 2016 $28,801
Farmworker, Livestock Wickstrum Cattle, LLC Westmoreland, KS Apr 12, 2016 $28,801
Farmworker, Livestock Wickstrum Cattle, LLC Westmoreland, KS Jan 12, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker Rusch Land & Cattle Co., LLC Hettinger, ND Jan 12, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker James & Sons Farming Hugoton, KS Jan 12, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker Welstad Livestock Partnership Newburg, ND Jun 12, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker Timber Lake Elk Ranch, LLC Isabel, SD Jan 12, 2015 $28,362
Farmworker, Livestock 3B Farms Ptn Agar, SD Dec 15, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker Wade and Michelle Billadeau Ray, ND Dec 18, 2015 $28,362
Farmworker, Livestock 3B Farms Ptn Agar, SD Nov 01, 2016 $28,362
Farmworker Livestock Dakota Valley Growers LLLP Bathgate, ND Sep 01, 2015 $28,362
Livestock Farmworker DBA T and T Livestock Hope, ND Dec 01, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker T and T Livestock Hope, ND Jan 01, 2015 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker James & Sons Farming Hugoton, KS Dec 07, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker Wade and Michelle Billadeau Ray, ND Dec 14, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker Topp Herefords Grace City, ND Dec 01, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker Hearn Cattle Company Stafford, KS Dec 01, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker Rolling Ridge Ranch, LLC SD Dec 12, 2014 $27,987
Livestock Farmworker Welstad Livestock Partnership Newburg, ND Dec 01, 2014 $27,987
Farmworker-Livestock Clark Coleman ND Dec 28, 2013 $27,131
Farmworker, Livestock Mary's Alpaca LLC VA Apr 01, 2011 $26,985
Farmworker-Livestock Prairie Water Minatare, NE Dec 28, 2013 $25,733
Farmworker, Livestock Steve Boyum Wanamingo, MN Dec 16, 2015 $24,126
Farmworker Livestock Hollywood Feeders LLC Hendricks, MN Dec 01, 2014 $23,980
Livestock Farmworker Sorg Farms Hastings, MN Dec 01, 2014 $23,980
Livestock Farmworker Bi-State Feeders Harrington, DE Jan 01, 2016 $23,562

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Livestock Farmworker Demographics

Ethnicity

White

85.6%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.6%

Black or African American

2.0%

Hispanic or Latino

0.7%
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Livestock Farmworker Education

Schools

Miles Community College

100.0%
Majors

Computer Information Systems

100.0%
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Degrees

Associate

100.0%

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