Barn Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Barn managers facilitate the day-to-day operations of a barn. They also manage the equipment, livestock, and sporting animals that it houses. Barn managers aren't required to have degrees, but a sufficient amount of postsecondary education and training can boost career prospects.
Barn Manager Job Description
Barns are used for more than just sheltering horses, so the daily tasks of barn managers may vary widely depending on the employment setting. What all barn managers share, though, is the basic function of being the person most responsible the maintenance of buildings and grounds. They also make sure the animals housed in the barn are tended to and the business of the barn is efficiently carried out. Barn managers may be required to work long hours, especially during peak seasons.
Barn Manager Duties
Barn managers may be placed in charge of a variety of operations. Some barn managers are employed by family farms and are responsible for housing conventional livestock such as cows, pigs, and horses. Some may be employed by large factory farms, where the setting is much more industrial and the responsibilities more complex. Others may be employed by individual or commercial race horse breeders. And still others may work for universities on experimental farms.
While the job qualifications and daily responsibilities of barn managers vary, some managerial functions are consistent across employment settings. Virtually all barn managers are responsible for hiring, training, and firing employees and other human resources duties like scheduling. They also order materials, supplies, and animal feed.
Barn Manager Requirements
Many barn managers are able to work their way up from lower-skilled positions such as stable hand or entry-level farm laborer by accumulating years of quality work experience. Some barn manager positions require candidates to possess at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the work before being considered for the job. A horse barn manager employer may require all qualified candidates to have a bachelor's in equine studies or a similar discipline. This may be in addition to three to five years of related work experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor's degree programs in agriculture are offered in every state by land-grant universities. Farm management courses are often included in many agriculture degree programs, and students can often specialize in particular areas.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
The median annual salary earned among farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, including barn managers, was reported as $69,300 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) in May 2012. The BLS also reported that the employment of such managers could decline by as much as 8% from 2010 to 2020, due to the ever-increasing ability of the farming and ranching industries to operate with fewer and fewer workers.
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