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Agriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers

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NOC:8252
Occupation:Agricultural Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers
Category:Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

About the job

Nature of work:

Agricultural service contractors, who own and operate their own businesses, provide agricultural services such as livestock and poultry breeding, soil preparation, crop planting, crop spraying, cultivating or harvesting. This could include managing businesses which provide agricultural livestock or crop services; supervising farm workers; developing work schedules and establishing procedures; maintaining quality control and production records; maintaining financial records; and hiring and supervising staff. Farm supervisors oversee the work of general farm workers and harvesting labourers, and perform 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.

Job duties:
Agricultural service contractors perform some or all the following duties:
  • Provide agricultural livestock services such as artificial insemination, spraying or shearing of livestock or disinfecting pens, barns or poultry houses.
  • Provide agricultural crop services such as plowing, irrigating, cultivating, spraying or harvesting.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of 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 provision of services or in the operation of machinery and equipment.
Farm supervisors perform some or all of the following duties:
  • 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.
  • Ensure farm safety and bio-security procedures are followed.
  • Maintain quality control and production records.
  • May perform general farm duties.
Specialized livestock workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Formulate 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.
  • Perform general farm duties.
  • May supervise general farm workers.

Farm supervisors may specialize in areas such as dairy, poultry, swine, beef, sheep, equine, fruit, vegetable, mixed or other specialty farming. Specialized livestock workers usually specialize in one type of farm animal such as beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry or swine.

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:

For these jobs, 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 require a university degree, college diploma or industry courses in agricultural studies and several years of experience related to the service offered.
  • Contractors providing certain services, such as 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. 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. Agricultural Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 58% of Agricultural 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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Agriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock Workers215decline15High
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $-1,970
Median: $23,199
Maximum: $68,120
Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining14,665Decline slightly910High
Minimum: $10.85
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.88
Minimum: $4,009
Median: $23,520
Maximum: $87,170
Agriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
Percent employed full-time86%84%
Percent self-employed0%22%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentAgriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern14%x12%$30,581
Northern33%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton10%x13%$32,974
Halifax10%x47%$41,209
Annapolis Valley35%$25,18513%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeAgriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock WorkersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
15-2427%x
25-3418%8%
35-4418%19%
45-5418%42%
55-6418%26%
65+N/A4%
Median Age5045
GenderAgriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
Female43%15%
Male57%85%
EducationAgriculture Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors, and Specialized Livestock WorkersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school20.9%$20,51234.0%$14,445
High school32.6%$20,57031.5%$14,229
Trades certificate7.0%$19,48014.0%$19,107
College certificate or diploma20.9%$28,56614.3%$21,289
University certificate or diploma4.7%x1.1%$17,641
Bachelor's degree9.3%$26,0864.3%$15,980
University advanced certificate or diploma4.7%x0.3%$17,206
Master's degreeN/Ax0.4%x
Doctorate4.7%x0.1%$10,708
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/AxN/AN/A
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful 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

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Agricultural business and management - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on modern business and economic principles involved in the organization, operation, and management of agricultural enterprises.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Animal sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises 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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Crop production
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises 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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Plant sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises 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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Soil science and agronomy - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises 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.
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.