Livestock Rancher

Breed the best dairy cows, beefiest cattle, and woolliest sheep.
picture of Livestock Rancher

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Livestock Ranchers do?

Livestock Ranchers raise large animals for profit. These animals include beef and dairy cattle, goats, horses, sheep, and pigs, and Livestock Ranchers make money by breeding, selling, and/or letting them compete in shows. If you have a love for animals and the great outdoors (not to mention a tolerance for strange smells), this might be the perfect job for you.

Say, for example, you raise dairy cows, and you want to increase your ranch’s milk production. You select two dairy cows to breed: a male that’s the perfect size and a female that produces lots of milk. Based on historical data and the gene pool, you can expect the resulting calves to be excellent milkers. And the more milk your ranch produces, the more profit you make.

The animals must have somewhere to roam and live, so you put your analytical skills to work finding the right pasture and foods for your herd. Selecting and altering the animals’ diet may impact milk production as well, so again, you use your analytical skills to tweak their diet and increase the amount of milk they produce.

A strong body and stomach are required to be a Livestock Rancher. You lift up to 100 pounds repeatedly throughout your day, and do a lot of climbing and walking around the ranch, too. For some, the medical-related duties present a challenge. Prepare to castrate, dock tails, dehorn (remove horns so the animals can’t harm each other), brand, and tattoo.

Should I be a Livestock Rancher?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Livestock Breeder

    How to become a Livestock Rancher

    Most Livestock Ranchers have a Certificate or no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9makat&chl=no+college+%2848%25%29|certificate+%2830%25%29||bachelor%27s+%288%25%29||doctorate+%2815%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,48,48
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