Working in Pork - Pork Checkoff
farmer hand touching pigs in barn

Working in Pork

The world’s growing taste for nutritious and flavorful pork creates new jobs every day throughout the industry.

There’s a relevant pork-related job for virtually every skill and aptitude. Many careers in the pork industry involve working with more people than pigs with a chance to earn competitive pay and benefits.

  • Executives
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Environment
  • Nutrition and Animal Health
  • Purchasing and Facilities
  • Veterinarian
  • Meat Science
  • Production and Management
  • Logistics
  • Marketing and Communication
550,000

The pork industry supports nearly 550,000 jobs across the country.

More than 60,000 U.S. pork producers market more than 115 million pigs each year for a total annual gross income of more than $20 billion across the industry.

Careers in Pork Production

Today’s pork production includes state-of-the-art facilities, superior genetics, evolving technology and a focus on sustainability. Many career paths include professional development, growth and promotion, continuing education and a future full of opportunities.

Below is a list of common production employee positions.

  • Farrowing Caretaker
  • Breeding Caretaker
  • Wean-To-Finish Caretaker
  • Other Supporting Roles

Required Skills to Work in Pork Production

Previous experience is not necessary to work in the pork production industry because on-the-job training is often provided. Workers must be dedicated, goal-oriented, motivated and able to work effectively as a team.

Respect and care for all animals is an important requirement. Individuals should be capable of walking, stooping, bending, performing repetitive motions and lifting a minimum of 50 pounds with reasonable accommodation.

Breeding Caretaker

A breeding caretaker specializes in the daily pork production activities within a breeding and gestation department. This position involves continuous hands-on interaction with livestock and regular structured routines. Daily activities include:

  • Perform breeding/insemination processes
  • Monitor, test and care for pregnant sows
  • Animal feeding and nutrition management
  • Routine and seasonal vaccinations and injections
  • General facility cleaning, maintenance and hygiene
  • Maintain and monitor overall animal health, care and treatment
  • Production recordkeeping

Farrowing Caretaker

A farrowing caretaker specializes in the daily pork production activities within a farrowing department. This position involves continuous hands-on interaction with livestock and regular structured routines. Daily activities include:

  • Overall care and processing of pregnant/farrowing sows and their piglets
  • Sow and piglet feeding and nutrition management
  • Routine and seasonal piglet and sow vaccinations and injections
  • General facility cleaning, maintenance and hygiene
  • Maintain and monitor overall animal health, care and treatment
  • Production recordkeeping

Wean-To-Finish Caretaker

A finishing caretaker specializes in the daily pork production activities within a grower or finishing department. This position involves continuous hands-on interaction with livestock and regular structured routines. Daily activities include:

  • Receive, sort and care for market hogs
  • Maintain a healthy and safe animal environment
  • Animal feeding and nutrition management
  • Routine and seasonal vaccinations and injections
  • General facility cleaning, maintenance and hygiene
  • Maintain and monitor overall animal health, care and treatment
  • Production recordkeeping

Other Supporting Roles

There are many other careers available in pork production ranging from logistics to leadership opportunities.

  • Logistics Director
  • Truck Operator
  • Truck Mechanic
  • Truck Sanitation
  • Feed Mill Operator
  • Production Manager
  • Other Production Leadership Positions

National Pork Board Training and Certification Programs

The Checkoff has developed several education and certification programs designed to help pig farmers and their employees continually improve production practices.