pig farming


Stepping stones to a rewarding career

Career pathways in pig farming

There are many and varied ways to raise pigs in Australia. Farmers use different combinations of housing for their pigs depending on their individual farm setup.

There is however one single most important factor in addressing the welfare needs of pigs and how pigs are raised in Australia. This is the husbandry skills of the producer and stock handlers. These people are responsible for the well being of the animal, their dietary, health and environmental requirements.

The Australian pork industry has spent millions of dollars on research into how best to house our pigs at various stages of growth. These research results have contributed to standards for housing pigs internationally and have shown that the Australian pork industry is dedicated to pig welfare, environmental stewardship and to the education of stock persons who handle the animals.

The Australian pork industry is the only food industry operating in a global market in the true sense. The industry competes in the export arena, with markets in Asia, and products are imported into Australia from North America and Europe.

There is huge potential to exploit growing demand for pig meat. The pig sector in Australia has moved to new technologies and modern management practices.

This has improved pig production and the sector is experiencing firm growth in export demand for pork products, particularly to South-East Asia.

Pig production is a specialised activity as market segments require exact carcass specifications. Production is increasingly concentrated in the hands of specialist, large-scale producers capable of controlling genetics and formulation of feed to produce carcasses that the markets demand.

The majority of Australia’s pigs are housed indoors, creating a comfortable and efficient environment for the animals and the workforce.

The industry requires competent and skilled piggery attendants to feed, water and care for pigs, supervisors to oversee the operations of the piggery, and managers to run business operations.

* Source for some of this material: Australian Pork Ltd »

Jobs and qualifications

Assistant Piggery Attendant Certificate I in Rural Operations »
Piggery Attendant Certificate II in Agriculture »
Senior Piggery Attendant Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production) »
Piggery Unit Supervisor Certificate IV in Agriculture »
Piggery Unit Manager Diploma of Agriculture or Rural Business Management »
Piggery Manager Advanced Diploma of Agriculture or Rural Business Management »
Assistant Piggery Attendant

Assistant piggery attendant are usually the start of a career in the pig production industry. Duties may include basic pig handling, feeding, watering and moving, operating machinery and equipment and controlling pests.

Piggery Attendant

Piggery attendants are likely to be involved in a wide range of tasks under limited supervision. Their work includes basic animal husbandry, assisting with farrowing (birth), handling and using chemicals and operating machinery and equipment.

Senior Piggery Attendant

A senior piggery attendant is likely to be involved in a wide range of piggery operations and carry out daily production unit routines unsupervised. Their duties include pig handling, feeding and treating disease, piggery operations, identification, selection and mating, disposing of effluent and operating machinery and equipment.

Piggery Unit Supervisor

A piggery unit supervisor is responsible for a number of workers and a range of piggery activities. These include supervising pig production activities, supervising and training staff, herd health management, budget and stock control and nutrition and feeding management.

Piggery Unit Manager

piggery unit manager will have significant responsibilities for managing pig production activities. Their duties may include property planning and management, livestock breeding and production, staff management, business planning and operations.

Piggery Manager

A piggery manager has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the piggery production enterprise is successfully managed. These responsibilities include human resource management, managing production systems, product marketing, strategic planning and rural enterprise management