A wrangler has different responsibilities according to their place or industry of employment. There are wranglers who specialize in handling and training various animals such as horses, dogs, cattle, and even snakes. Their responsibilities often include preparing food and feeding animals, cleaning barns or cages, teaching tricks, and bathing animals. There are also instances when a wrangler may work for private companies or film productions to handle potentially dangerous animals or help them adjust to their surroundings.

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Wrangler Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real wrangler resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Instruct multiple rodeo camps and lead bible studies weekly.
  • Perform animal grooming duties such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats.
  • Perform animal grooming duties including washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.
  • Train in first aid, CPR, and youth protection.
  • Maintain grounds, mowing, weed eating.
  • Operate automated milking machine and feed mixer.
  • Clean barn milk cows run spreader and tractor
  • Perform emergency duties on sick or traumatize pigs.
  • Maintain CPR certification to ensure safety of each guest.
  • Display hospitality skills through guiding horseback rides through deep, Yellowstone backcountry.
  • Require a friendly and flexible attitude, group management and leadership skills.
  • Bail and toss round and square bails, have experience with cattle, and pigs.
  • Practice supervision and leadership of a group of ranch-hands and wranglers over the 4-month season.
  • Attend to the needs of day-camp children while guiding trail rides for children with disabilities and allergies.
  • Preform basic animal grooming duties such as washing, brushing, clipping, hoof picking, and cleaning sheaths/udders.

Wrangler Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, wrangler jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "little or no change" at 1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a wrangler?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of wrangler opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 10,900.

Wranglers average about $16.48 an hour, which makes the wrangler annual salary $34,274. Additionally, wranglers are known to earn anywhere from $17,000 to $68,000 a year. This means that the top-earning wranglers make $63,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a wrangler, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a cowboy, groom, livestock yard attendant, and stable hand.

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Wrangler Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Wranglers are proficient in Tack, CPR, and Guest Safety. They’re also known for soft skills such as Dexterity, Listening skills, and Physical strength.

We break down the percentage of Wranglers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Tack, 27%

    Completed general ranch maintenance including: repaired fences, welding, repair tack, and care and feeding for livestock.

  • CPR, 26%

    Completed the following workplace safety training and management: CPR, First Aid and Rescue Certification.

  • Guest Safety, 19%

    Maintained a herd of 130 horses while ensuring both horse and guest safety.

  • Customer Service, 10%

    Maintain facility, participate in feeding and medication regimens as needed for horses; customer service, community relations, sales.

  • Trail Maintenance, 6%

    Conducted regular trail maintenance using shovels, axes, and shears.

  • Yellowstone, 5%

    Educated and captivated clients throughout each tour with detailed information on local history and ecosystems directly outside Yellowstone National Park.

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"tack," "cpr," and "guest safety" aren't the only skills we found wranglers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of wrangler responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a wrangler to have happens to be dexterity. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "agricultural workers need excellent hand-eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that wranglers can use dexterity to "clean stalls, feed, water, heavy lifting, dealing with sometimes strong, moody animals. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling wrangler duties is listening skills. According to a wrangler resume, "agricultural workers need to work well with others." Here's an example of how wranglers are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated with horse owners about horse health and specialized care. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among wranglers is physical strength. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a wrangler resume: "agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "administered daily physical exams of all animals and provided basic veterinary care. "
  • See the full list of wrangler skills.

    Before becoming a wrangler, 57.0% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 4.3% wranglers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most wranglers have a college degree. But about one out of every six wranglers didn't attend college at all.

    Those wranglers who do attend college, typically earn either a animal science degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for wranglers include a psychology degree or a agricultural production operations degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a wrangler. We've found that most wrangler resumes include experience from Kimberly-Clark, John Deere, and Stanford University. Of recent, Kimberly-Clark had 17 positions open for wranglers. Meanwhile, there are 4 job openings at John Deere and 4 at Stanford University.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, wranglers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Automattic, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Stanford University. Take Automattic for example. The median wrangler salary is $104,366. At Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, wranglers earn an average of $86,532, while the average at Stanford University is $68,120. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on wrangler salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a wrangler include FFFF Online, University of Connecticut, and LA Equestrian Center. These three companies were found to hire the most wranglers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious wranglers are:

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    What Cowboys Do

    A groom is primarily in charge of maintaining the hygiene and appearance of pets. Typically working at grooming shops, a groom liaises with pet owners to identify their preferences, observe the pet's condition to identify its needs, and explain the extent of procedures to pet owners. They may bathe and cut a pet's hair or nails, even brush its teeth and recommend care procedures to clients. Furthermore, as a groom, it is essential to be proactive and alert as some pets' behaviors are unpredictable.

    In this section, we compare the average wrangler annual salary with that of a cowboy. Typically, cowboys earn a $5,430 lower salary than wranglers earn annually.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a wrangler responsibilities require skills like "tack," "cpr," "guest safety," and "trail maintenance." Meanwhile a typical cowboy has skills in areas such as "medical treatment," "food preparation," "cdl," and "farm equipment." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    On average, cowboys reach similar levels of education than wranglers. Cowboys are 1.7% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Groom?

    Next up, we have the groom profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a wrangler annual salary. In fact, grooms salary difference is $3,402 lower than the salary of wranglers per year.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that wrangler responsibilities requires skills like "tack," "cpr," "guest safety," and "trail maintenance." But a groom might use skills, such as, "pet," "clipping," "animal handling," and "pet care."

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, grooms tend to reach similar levels of education than wranglers. In fact, they're 2.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Livestock Yard Attendant Compares

    The livestock yard attendant profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of wranglers. The difference in salaries is livestock yard attendants making $557 lower than wranglers.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a wrangler is likely to be skilled in "tack," "cpr," "guest safety," and "trail maintenance," while a typical livestock yard attendant is skilled in "light maintenance," "vehicle check-in," "rental equipment," and "auto auctions."

    When it comes to education, livestock yard attendants tend to earn similar education levels than wranglers. In fact, they're 3.8% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Stable Hand

    Now, we'll look at stable hands, who generally average a lower pay when compared to wranglers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $6,437 per year.

    While both wranglers and stable hands complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like facility maintenance, barn maintenance, and veterinary care, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a wrangler might have more use for skills like "tack," "cpr," "guest safety," and "customer service." Meanwhile, some stable hands might include skills like "clean stalls," "general upkeep," "water," and "water buckets" on their resume.

    Stable hands reach similar levels of education when compared to wranglers. The difference is that they're 2.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.