14 Careers in the Poultry Industry With Duties and Wages
Updated 2 April 2023
Poultry farming involves raising domesticated birds, such as chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, for commercial purposes. A variety of careers exist in the poultry industry, including veterinarian, scientist and management roles. Learning more about the different job opportunities in this field can help you decide if they're appropriate for you. In this article, we explore some popular careers in the poultry industry and examine the main responsibilities and national average salary of each role.
14 careers in the poultry industry
Here are some careers in the poultry industry you can consider:
1. Farm transporter
National average salary: $50,358 per year
Primary duties: Farm transporters are employees who transport livestock and eggs from one farm to another or from a farm to a hatchery. Between transporting tasks, they usually perform a wide variety of roles on the farm, like helping other farm employees and removing the litter from their trucks. Aside from general knowledge regarding farm operations, farm transporters also require a licence to operate livestock transport trucks and the ability to load and unload them.
2. Poultry worker
National average salary: $53,927 per year
Primary duties: Poultry workers assist in the daily operations of a poultry farm by performing a wide variety of basic tasks. The exact tasks typically depend on their previous experience and their employer's requirements at the time. Some common duties for poultry workers include monitoring the birds' well-being, collecting their eggs, operating the assembly line, preparing poultry products for storage and use and maintaining the farm's equipment and land.
3. Food inspector
National average salary: $65,746 per year
Primary duties: Food inspectors work for public health institutions, and their main task is to visit food manufacturing and serving facilities to assess their compliance with sanitary regulations. They usually spend their working time visiting different facilities within a specific geographical area and systematically grading each of their processes by comparing them with established industry standards and regulations. Food inspectors usually have the authority to shut down a food production facility temporarily or permanently or to serve businesses that fail to comply with one or more sanitary standards with notices.
4. Breeding manager
National average salary: $67,699 per year
Primary duties: Breeding managers in the poultry industry usually work for poultry manufacturing plants and coordinate the employees who raise, collect and breed poultry. Their role is often essential for the efficiency of a poultry manufacturing business because they're the ones responsible for generating enough poultry for continuous production. Some of their tasks include finding new ways to increase the size of the poultry flock and identifying specific characteristics that they can improve, such as poultry size, weight or egg production. They also document their work to keep a record of internal standards and procedures.
5. Farm maintenance worker
National average salary: $77,920 per year
Primary duties: Farm maintenance workers who work in the poultry industry perform a wide variety of tasks to ensure the proper running of farm operations. Their tasks may include building, repairing, maintaining or modifying various farm buildings and facilities, assisting in taking care of the poultry and coordinating contractors hired for various construction and maintenance projects on the farm. Besides general farm knowledge, farm maintenance workers usually know how to work with different tools and machinery.
6. Avian biologist
National average salary: $88,957 per year
Primary duties: Avian biologists specialise in analysing the life cycles and behaviours of birds. Sometimes they specialise further and solely focus on specific species, researching their origins and how various environmental and nutritional factors contribute to their growth and well-being. Avian biologists typically either work for academic institutions or companies in the poultry industry. Depending on their specific role, they may spend most of their time in a laboratory, in the field or a combination of the two.
7. Food scientist
National average salary: $90,541 per year
Primary duties: Food scientists who work in the poultry industry are typically part of a company's research and development department and constantly try to discover ways to improve existing food processes or create new ones. The general purpose of their work is to continuously improve operating efficiency and the quality of products. They usually work in laboratories and production facilities where they carry out tests, for example, to find new ways of storing poultry products for future use or to make sure that products meet food regulations.
8. Environmental manager
National average salary: $92,875 per year
Primary duties: Environmental managers generally develop and supervise the implementation of various types of environmental management systems to ensure an organisation's compliance with environmental standards. Those in the poultry industry typically work for a poultry farm or manufacturing plant and make sure that all operations, such as pollution management and bird waste disposal, are fully compliant with environmental legislation. They also assist their employers in ensuring sustainable short- and long-term development for their organisations.
9. Veterinary pharmaceutical sales
National average salary: 96,514 per year
Primary duties: Veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies and sell their products to clients in the veterinary business, including those who work with poultry. They usually divide their working time between visiting clients at multiple locations to promote their employer's products and the office, where they make sales calls and arrange meetings. They keep up to date with industry developments, answer client questions about the products they sell and generally ensure that the pharmaceutical solutions are satisfactory for their clients.
10. Agribusiness manager
National average salary: $97,863 per year
Primary duties: Agribusiness managers who work in the poultry industry make sure their employer generates a profit from selling the goods they produce on a farm or in a plant. They usually assess all operations, starting with the company's business plan, to look for ways to either increase the farm or plant's production capacity or lower manufacturing costs, to increase profits. They also examine other ways to improve their employer's profit margin, such as investing in new technology to increase efficiency or merging operations with those of other agribusinesses, like arable or livestock farming.
11. Quality control manager
National average salary: $103,251 per year
Primary duties: Quality control managers in the poultry industry typically work in manufacturing plants, and their main task is to examine the quality of their employer's products before they reach the consumer. They usually have a strictly defined set of criteria for each type of product and oversee all operations to make sure that they meet these criteria. The job of a quality control manager is key for any poultry manufacturing business because they ensure that the final products meet both customer demands and food safety and quality regulations.
Related: What Is Quality Assurance?
12. Plant manager
National average salary: $107,593 per year
Primary duties: Plant managers who work for poultry manufacturing facilities are typically in charge of managing employees and equipment. They assess the assembly lines to make sure they're running effectively and efficiently while also looking for ways to improve their output. They also manage the personnel that operate the assembly lines to ensure the organisation makes full use of its available resources.
13. Poultry business manager
National average salary: $114,364 per year
Primary duties: Poultry business managers handle the business operations within a poultry farm or manufacturing plant. These may include planning and managing farm activities and production systems, planning future operations and marketing the farm's products. Poultry business managers typically have a strong background and education in business and good knowledge of the poultry industry.
14. Poultry veterinarian
National average salary: $143,170 per year
Primary duties: Poultry veterinarians specialise in working with poultry and use their medical knowledge to ensure that overall poultry health standards remain high. They typically work for companies in the poultry industry, either permanently or on contracts, and perform a wide variety of tasks to ensure the birds keep their egg production at optimal levels and breed efficiently to sustain and develop the flock. Their work is often a priority for a poultry manufacturing plant, as increasing production quantity and quality helps the plant increase its profit while still ensuring that the company meets food safety regulations.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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