Animal Breeders

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources > Animal Breeders > Preparation
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Animal Breeders

Animal Breeders - Preparation

To work as an animal breeder, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
  • complete short-term, on-the-job training.

Education after high school

Formal training requirements for this job vary. Animal breeders who primarily breed pets (cats and dogs and other small animals) can enter this field by learning on the job. In some cases, college course work is helpful but not required.

Most breeders of livestock animals have at least a bachelor's degree in animal science. If your degree is in another area, you should take classes in animal science. Recommended courses are animal breeding, reproductive science, and genetics. Some professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer associate degrees in animal breeding. Most people who do research in this area have a master's degree or higher.

Work experience

Growing up on a farm provides good work experience. It is also helpful if you join clubs such as 4-H or the National FFA Organization while in high school.

Working as an animal caretaker or trainer also can be good preparation.

On-the-job training

Even if you have a degree, most employers provide additional on-the-job training. Training may last up to one month.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.