Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals
45-2093.00

Attend to live farm, ranch, open range or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, rabbits, finfish, shellfish, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, milking, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weighing, catching, and loading animals. May maintain records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; assist in birth deliveries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides as appropriate. May clean and maintain animal housing areas. Includes workers who shear wool from sheep and collect eggs in hatcheries.

Sample of reported job titles: Cowboy, Farm Hand, Farrowing Worker, Herdsman, Livestock Handler, Milking Worker, Ranch Hand, Rancher, Vaccinator, Wrangler

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Feed and water livestock and monitor food and water supplies.
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures.
  • Examine animals to detect illness, injury, or disease, and to check physical characteristics, such as rate of weight gain.
  • Provide medical treatment, such as administering medications and vaccinations, or arrange for veterinarians to provide more extensive treatment.
  • Mark livestock to identify ownership and grade, using brands, tags, paint, or tattoos.
  • Drive trucks, tractors, and other equipment to distribute feed to animals.
  • Segregate animals according to weight, age, color, and physical condition.
  • Inspect, maintain, and repair equipment, machinery, buildings, pens, yards, and fences.
  • Move equipment, poultry, or livestock from one location to another, manually or using trucks or carts.
  • Clean stalls, pens, and equipment, using disinfectant solutions, brushes, shovels, water hoses, or pumps.
  • Mix feed, additives, and medicines in prescribed portions.
  • Shift animals between grazing areas to ensure that they have sufficient access to food.
  • Protect herds from predators, using trained dogs.
  • Order food for animals, and arrange for its delivery.
  • Perform duties related to livestock reproduction, such as breeding animals within appropriate timeframes, performing artificial inseminations, and helping with animal births.
  • Patrol grazing lands on horseback or using all-terrain vehicles.
  • Collect, inspect, and place eggs in incubators, operate machines for egg washing, candling, and grading, and pack eggs in cartons.
  • Maintain growth, feeding, production, and cost records.
  • Groom, clip, trim, or castrate animals, dock ears and tails, or shear coats to collect hair.
  • Spray livestock with disinfectants and insecticides, or dip or bathe animals.
  • Trim and shear poultry beaks, toes, and wings using debeaking machines, heated hand shears, or hot wires.
  • Milk animals such as cows and goats, by hand or using milking machines.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 57% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 54% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 43% responded “About half the time.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 51% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 36% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 33% responded “Important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 42% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 40% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Fairly serious.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 51% responded “Important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 36% responded “Never.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 61% responded “About half the time.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 39%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info
  • 25%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 18%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Interests

Interest code: R
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$14.25 hourly, $29,630 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
228,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
34,000
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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