Farmers and ranchers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
Farmers and ranchers own and operate mainly family-owned farms. They also may lease land from a landowner and operate it as a working farm.
The size of the farm or range determines which tasks farmers and ranchers handle. Those who operate small farms or ranges may do all tasks, including harvesting and inspecting the land, growing crops, and raising animals. In addition, they keep records, service machinery, and maintain buildings.
By contrast, farmers and ranchers who operate larger farms generally have employeesincluding agricultural workerswho help with physical work. Some employees of large farms are in nonfarm occupations, working as truck drivers, sales representatives, bookkeepers, or information technology specialists.
Farmers and ranchers track technological improvements in animal breeding and seeds, choosing new products that might increase output. Many livestock and dairy farmers monitor and attend to the health of their herds, which may include assisting in births.
- Education Required
- Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma. As farm and land management has grown more complex and costly, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers have increasingly needed postsecondary education, such as an associates degree or a bachelors degree in agriculture or a related field.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 7% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- To show competency in farm management, agricultural managers may choose to become certified. The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) offer the Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) credential. The AFM requires 85 hours of coursework in land management and business ethics; a bachelors degree; 4 years of experience in farm or ranch management; and passing an exam. A complete list of requirements is available from ASFMRA.
- Median pay: How much do Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers make?
- $66,360 Annual Salary
- $31.91 per hour
Careers for Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
- Agricultural crop farm managers
- Agricultural managers
- Animal husbandry managers
- Aquaculture farm managers
- Aquaculture farmers and managers
- Beef farm operators
- Christmas tree farm managers
- Crop farmers and managers
- Dairy farm managers
- Fish hatchery managers
- Greenhouse managers
- Hatchery managers
- Horticultural specialty farmers and managers
- Livestock managers
- Livestock, dairy, and poultry farmers, ranchers, and managers
- Nursery and greenhouse managers
- Nursery managers
- Orchard managers
- Poultry managers