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Salary Range
€44k - €81k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Owns or works on a dairy farm carrying out the day to day duties involved in managing a dairy herd.


  • Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.


  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

In Summary - Farmer - Dairy

Career Sectors

Farmer - Dairys typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Farming, Horticulture & Forestry

Videos & Interviews

Teagasc, Careers in Dairy Farming

This short video features six different people who are currently making exciting and rewarding careers for themselves in the Irish dairy farming industry.

Bryan Daniels, Farmer - Dairy

After completing his Leaving Cert in Kilkenny College, Bryan went to Kildalton College to achieve an Certificate in Agriculture, and subsequently a Certificate in Farming. Coming from a farming background, Bryan has achieved several awards for the quality of his Farming.

Denis Reidy, Farmer - Dairy

Denis works as an Assistant Farm Manager just outside Cork. He comes from an agricultural background and completed the Advanced Certificate in Farm Management course run by Teagasc and certified by FETAC.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Farmer - Dairy

Dairy Farmers usually works in a cattle and poultry farm. They are responsible in taking care of the animals that includes, feeding, bathing, and milking.

Basic Tasks:

  • Taking care of the animals in the farm particularly the cows.
  • Feeding the animals.
  • Milk the cows
  • Deliver the milk in its designated destinations.
  • Observed the milk for pasteurisations.
  • Inject/feed vitamins for the animals.
  • Clean the cow’s resting areas.
  • Taking care of sick animals
  • Report and Encode observations over the cows and other animals.

A Driving licence is regarded as essential as driving tractors and farmyard machinery such as feeders, loaders, fertiliser and slurry spreaders is normally required.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Change processes such as drying, grading, storing, or shipping to improve efficiency or profitability.
  • Determine types or quantities of crops or livestock to be raised, according to factors such as market conditions, federal programs or incentives, or soil conditions.
  • Direct crop production operations, such as planning, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, or harvesting.
  • Direct the breeding or raising of stock, such as cattle, poultry, or honeybees, using recognized breeding practices to ensure stock improvement.
  • Evaluate marketing or sales alternatives for farm or ranch products.
  • Hire, train, or supervise workers engaged in planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, or marketing crops, or in raising livestock.
  • Inspect farm or ranch structures, such as buildings, fences, or roads, ordering repair or maintenance activities, as needed.
  • Maintain financial, operational, production, or employment records for farms or ranches.
  • Monitor activities such as irrigation, chemical application, harvesting, milking, breeding, or grading to ensure adherence to safety regulations or standards.
  • Monitor pasture or grazing land use to ensure that livestock are properly fed or that conservation methods, such as rotational grazing, are used.

Interests - Farmer - Dairy

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


To be a farm worker, you should have:

  • the ability to do hard physical work
  • practical skills and technical knowledge
  • awareness of health and safety
  • communication skills and the ability to follow instructions
  • reliability, responsibility and motivation
  • a willingness to work flexibly.

Entry Requirements - Farmer - Dairy

There is no formal educational requirement for becoming a dairy farmer.

Some people come from a farming background and it's a natural path for them get into farming after leaving school; some enroll in agricultural or livestock-related courses, others may take related courses in biology or chemistry, or even opt for business training.

The most important preparation for becoming a dairy farmer is to gain work experience on a dairy farm, perhaps becoming a dairy farm assistant.

A person who wants to become a dairy farmer should spend at least some time working on a dairy farm before striking out on their own. This provides the opportunity to test whether you like dairy farming enough to make it a full-time career.

Hands-on experience that gives any aspiring farmer a new perspective on the role. Many dairy farmers grow up on farms and are used to this type of work. For those who are not born into farm life, this type of experience can be critical.

Education can help any prospective dairy farmer to learn about running a farm, caring for livestock, and achieving production goals.

Courses in biology and chemistry will help with gaining an understanding of animal anatomy, cattle health, and milk production. Courses in animal science, livestock production, or business management will help in developing the skills needed to run a dairy farming businesses.  There are some specific dairy farming courses such as Dairy Business in UCD.

Unless you inherit a dairy farm, a good deal of money will be required to get started in this business - land, cows, equipment, shelter, start-up supplies. It may requires substantial loans to get started. An alternative approach is to rent an existing dairy farm and start out with a minimal purchase of cows.

Last Updated: October, 2014

Pay & Salary - Farmer - Dairy

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €44k - €81k

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: July, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Farmer - Dairy

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

No skills issues have emerged in relation to farmers.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Farmer - Dairy

Career News

Teagasc/FBD Insurance Student of the Year Announced
Teagasc/FBD Insurance Student of the Year Announced
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Coillte Forestry Graduate Programme Now Open
Coillte Forestry Graduate Programme Now Open
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3,000 students leave the classroom and head for the farm this Spring!
3,000 students leave the classroom and head for the farm this Spring!
Posted by Teagasc
Want to work in the agriculture sector?
Want to work in the agriculture sector?
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Teagasc education and training for the land-based sector
Teagasc education and training for the land-based sector
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Teagasc Education Vision
Teagasc Education Vision
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Career Articles

Dairy Farming: Can You Milk It?
Dairy Farming: Can You Milk It?
Posted by CareersPortal
Ireland: A Global Leader in Production of Infant Milk Formula
Ireland: A Global Leader in Production of Infant Milk Formula
Posted by CareersPortal
Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management
Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management
Posted by Teagasc
Career Profile: Farm Business Owner
Career Profile: Farm Business Owner
Posted by Teagasc
Career Profile: Dairy Farm Owner
Career Profile: Dairy Farm Owner
Posted by Teagasc