Agricultural Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers

(NOC 8252)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Agricultural service contractors provide agricultural services like livestock and poultry breeding, soil preparation, crop planting, crop spraying, cultivating, or harvesting. Farm supervisors oversee the work of general farm workers and harvesting labourers and complete general farm duties. Specialized livestock workers carry out or supervise feeding, health, and breeding programs on dairy, beef, sheep, poultry, swine, and other livestock farms. Contractors may be self-employed. Farm supervisors may specialize in areas like dairy, poultry, swine, beef, sheep, equine, fruit, vegetable, mixed or other specialty farming. Specialized livestock workers usually specialize in one type of farm animal like beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, or swine.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate -415 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 355 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Agriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 53% of Agriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $33,516. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$23.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$23,199

Median

$68,120

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.84

Median

$32.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Agricultural service contractors provide agricultural services like livestock and poultry breeding, soil preparation, crop planting, crop spraying, cultivating, or harvesting. Farm supervisors oversee the work of general farm workers and harvesting labourers and complete general farm duties. Specialized livestock workers carry out or supervise feeding, health, and breeding programs on dairy, beef, sheep, poultry, swine, and other livestock farms. Contractors may be self-employed. Farm supervisors may specialize in areas like dairy, poultry, swine, beef, sheep, equine, fruit, vegetable, mixed or other specialty farming. Specialized livestock workers usually specialize in one type of farm animal like beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, or swine.

Job duties

Agricultural service contractors:

  • Provide agricultural livestock services like artificial insemination, livestock spraying or shearing or disinfecting pens, barns, or poultry houses.
  • Provide agricultural crop services like plowing, irrigating, cultivating, spraying, or harvesting.
  • Help develop and implement farm safety and bio-security procedures.
  • Hire and train workers.
  • Negotiate the terms of services to be provided.
  • Maintain financial and operational records.
  • May participate in the delivery of services or in the use of machinery and equipment.

Farm supervisors:

  • Coordinate and supervise the work of general farm workers and harvesting labourers.
  • Supervise and oversee breeding and other livestock-related programs.
  • Supervise and oversee growing and other crop-related operations.
  • Develop work schedules and establish procedures.
  • Make sure farm safety and bio-security procedures are followed.
  • Maintain quality control and production records.
  • May complete general farm duties.

Specialized livestock workers:

  • Create feeding programs.
  • Implement pasture or pen breeding programs.
  • Follow safety and bio-security procedures.
  • Recognize and treat certain livestock health problems.
  • Maintain livestock performance records.
  • Select livestock for sale.
  • Train horses.
  • Complete general farm duties.
  • May supervise general farm workers.

Sample job titles

  • agriculture foreman/woman
  • crop dusting service contractor
  • farm supervisor
  • hatchery workers foreman/woman
  • hog farm supervisor
  • livestock attendant
  • poultry farm foreman/woman
  • vineyard workers foreman/woman
  • weed control service contractor - agriculture

Skills

You should enjoy working outdoors. Supervisory and communication skills are essential. You must be willing to try new processes and methods. The ability to adapt to constantly changing technologies is important for more efficient production. You must also be observant, innovative, and resourceful.

Job requirements

  • Agricultural service contractors usually need a university degree, college diploma or industry courses in agricultural studies and several years of experience related to the service offered.
  • Contractors providing services like artificial insemination and pesticide application may require training certificates and provincial licensing.
  • Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers may require a college certificate or other specialized training in agriculture or livestock husbandry.
  • A course or certificate in first aid may be required.

Other considerations

Employment in this group can be highly seasonal.

By the numbers

Quick look

255

employed in 2016

78.4%

employed full-time

31.4%

self employed

41.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
58.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
50

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

20.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

34.6%

Annapolis Valley

32.7%

North Shore

13.5%

Southern

9.6%

Cape Breton

9.6%

Halifax

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

70.5%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

9.1%

Educational services

6.8%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

4.5%

Wholesale trade

4.5%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

45-54

21.0%

55-64

15.0%

25-34

15.0%

35-44

12.0%

15-24

10.0%

65+

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

20.7%

45-54

19.8%

15-24

19.2%

55-64

16.2%

35-44

14.8%

25-34

Top levels of education

33.3%

High school

$23,194 median annual income
23.5%

Less than high school

$26,404 median annual income
15.7%

College certificate or diploma

$40,989 median annual income
7.8%

Bachelor's degree

N/A
5.9%

Master's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

35.7%

Less than high school

$23,463 median annual income
30.8%

High school

$19,301 median annual income
13.7%

College certificate or diploma

$29,551 median annual income
13.4%

Trades certificate

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

Agricultural business and management - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This program includes any general program that focuses on modern business and economic principles involved in the organization, operation, and management of agricultural enterprises.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Animal sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any general program that focuses on the scientific principles that underlie the breeding and husbandry of agricultural animals, and the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural animal products. These programs include courses in the animal sciences, animal husbandry and production, and agricultural and food products processing.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Crop production

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to cultivate grain, fibre, forage, oilseed, fruits and nuts, vegetables, and other domesticated plant products. These programs include courses in basic principles of plant science, health, and nutrition as applied to particular species and breeds; soil preparation and irrigation; pest management; planting and harvesting operations; product marketing; and applicable issues of safety, regulation, logistics, and supply.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Plant sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any general program that focuses on the scientific principles that underlie the breeding, cultivation, and production of agricultural plants, and the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural plant products. These programs include courses in the plant sciences, crop cultivation and production, and agricultural and food products processing.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Soil science and agronomy - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that generally focuses on the scientific classification of soils, soil properties, and their relationship to agricultural crops. These programs include courses in soil chemistry, soil physics, soil biology, soil fertility, morphogenesis, mineralogy, hydrology, agronomy, and soil conservation and management.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
PO Box 2223
Halifax, NS B3J 3C4
Tel: (902) 424-4560
Fax: (902) 424-4671
Nova Scotia Department of Environment
PO Box 442
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
Tel: (902) 424-3600
Fax: (902) 424-0503

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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