Farm and ranch animal farmworkers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

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.

Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 0% (Little or no change)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
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, especially those who operate equipment, need a valid drivers license. Agricultural workers who handle pesticides might need a pesticide applicator license. And in a few states, certain types of animal breeders must be licensed.
Median pay: How much do Agricultural Workers make?
$22,540 Annual Salary
$10.83 per hour

Careers for Agricultural Workers

  • Agricultural equipment operators
  • Animal breeders
  • Aquaculture workers
  • Artificial inseminators
  • Barn hands
  • Barn workers
  • Cane cutters
  • Cane flume chute operators
  • Carrot harvesters
  • Cat breeders
  • Cattle branders
  • Cattle drivers
  • Chicken handlers
  • Chicken vaccinators
  • Citrus pickers
  • Combine drivers
  • Combine operators
  • Corn detasseler machine operators
  • Corn pickers
  • Cotton ginners
  • Cotton picker operators
  • Cotton pickers
  • Cow tenders
  • Crop pickers
  • Crop scouts
  • Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers
  • Custom harvesters
  • Dairy husbandry workers
  • Dog breeders
  • Drivers, tractor
  • Egg gatherers
  • Equine breeders
  • Farm tractor operators
  • Farmhands
  • Farmworkers
  • Farrowing workers
  • Flower pickers
  • Goat herders
  • Greenhouse transplanters
  • Greenhouse workers
  • Harvest workers
  • Harvesters
  • Hatchery workers
  • Hay balers
  • Hay stacker operators
  • Horse breeders
  • Irrigation workers
  • Laborers, agricultural
  • Livestock breeders
  • Livestock handlers
  • Livestock showmen
  • Nursery workers
  • Orchard hands
  • Orchard workers
  • Pecan gatherers
  • Pepper pickers
  • Poultry debeakers
  • Poultry inseminators
  • Rake operators
  • Ranch hands
  • Replanting machine operators
  • Sheep shearers
  • Shrimp pond laborers
  • Stallion managers
  • Tractor operators
  • Vineyard tenders
  • Wheat combine drivers

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