Stepping stones to a rewarding career

Career pathways in poultry farming

Poultry production is an innovative and high technology sector producing mainly chicken meat and eggs. The mix of privately owned and corporate businesses provides diverse and extensive career paths.

Chicken meat production is complex and technologically advanced, featuring continual improvement in genetic material, and nutrition and husbandry techniques. Today’s poultry are the product of complex, scientifically based programs aimed at producing more meat or eggs while consuming less feed.

Poultry processing plants have developed close to markets and labour sources, with many of the largest operations within 50km of a capital city. This keeps distribution and transport costs down and ensures labour and other services are available.

Chicken grow-out farms, where chickens grow from day-olds until they are ready for processing, are generally within 100km of the processing plant. Growers look for:

  • A nearby feed mill
  • Guaranteed water supply
  • Guaranteed electric power, preferably three phase
  • Access for heavy transport for feed and live poultry
  • Available labour, depending on farm size
  • Available services such as tradesmen, servicemen and veterinarians

The sector needs competent and skilled people, including poultry hands, hatchery attendants and chicken sexers. Supervisors and managers are required to run egg farms, hatcheries, broiler farms and contract growing establishments.

Jobs and qualifications

Assistant Poultry Hand Certificate I in Rural Operations »
Poultry Hand Certificate II in Poultry Production Operations »
Senior Poultry Hand Certificate III in Poultry Production »
Leading Hand 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 Poultry Hand

An assistant poultry hand is the first step in a career in the poultry production industry. Duties may include caring for poultry, maintaining a hygienic environment, operating machinery and equipment and controlling pests.

Poultry Hand

A poultry hand will be involved in a wide range of tasks under limited supervision. The tasks include handling and identifying chickens, hatchery maintenance, and operating machinery and equipment.

Senior Poultry Hand

A senior poultry hand is a skilled worker who is likely to be involved in coordinating a wide range of poultry production operations. These include supervising hatchery operations and operating specialised poultry plant, equipment and machinery.

Leading Hand

A leading hand is responsible for a number of workers and a range of poultry production activities. These include supervising production activities, staff supervision and training, flock health, budget and stock control and equipment and machinery management.

Poultry Production Manager

A poultry production manager will have significant responsibilities for managing poultry production activities. Duties may include livestock health and production, physical and natural resource management, staff management and business planning and operations

Poultry Business Manager

A poultry business manager has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the poultry production enterprise is successfully managed. Responsibilities include whole farm planning and management, managing production systems, marketing products, strategic planning and business management.