Careers in Poultry

Careers in Poultry

The following career pathway information for careers in poultry production is provided by Rural Skills Australia.

Job / Qualification Possible job/career expectations
Assistant Poultry Hand

Certificate I in Agriculture
(Poultry Production)

Assistant poultry hand positions are usually the beginning of a career in the poultry production industry. Duties may include: caring for poultry; maintaining a hygienic environment; operating machinery and equipment; controlling pests.
Poultry Hand

Certificate II in Agriculture
(Poultry Production)

A poultry hand is likely to be involved in a wide range of tasks, working under limited supervision. The tasks may include handling and identifying chickens; hatchery maintenance; operating machinery and equipment.
Senior Poultry Hand

Certificate III in Agriculture
(Poultry Production)

A senior poultry hand is a skilled worker and is likely to be involved in coordination of a wide range of poultry production operations including supervision of hatchery operations; operating specialised poultry plant, equipment and machinery.
Leading Hand

Certificate IV in Agriculture
(Poultry Production)

A leading hand has responsibility for a number of workers and a range of poultry production activities including supervision of production activities; staff supervision and training; flock health; budget and stock control; equipment and machinery management.
Poultry Production Manager

Diploma in Agriculture
(Rural Business Management)

A poultry production manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing poultry production activities. Duties may include livestock health and production; physical and natural resource management; staff management; business planning and operations.
Poultry Business Manager

Advanced Diploma in Agriculture
(Rural Business Management)

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


Some other job descriptions that you may come across in the poultry industry are listed below (as classified by the Fair Work Commission):

General Hand – under the terms of this award, no employee shall remain (or be engaged) in this classification where they have had more than three months experience in the industry.

Farm Hand – means an employee who collects and grades eggs suitable for producing table birds, cares for sheds and litter, maintains egg records, culls flocks of poultry as required, removes waste product, drives and/or operates farm plant and equipment and includes an employee engaged in pick-up work and associated general duties as a farmhand.

Hatchery Assistant – means an employee who rotates eggs in incubators, checks eggs, undertakes sexing, beak trimming, sorting and grading eggs and day-old poultry, fumigation, vaccination, cleaning and sanitization of hatchery incubators, hatchers and associated equipment, as well as any work undertaken by a farmhand.

Stock Hand – means an employee other than a hatchery employee or an employee engaged in pick-up work, who for a period of six months has been, and is substantially engaged in, actually handling livestock. A stock hand shall also undertake any task undertaken by a farmhand. A stock hand may also operate a bobcat as part of the general duties. Handling livestock means skilled vaccinating other than in a hatchery, skilled beak trimming other than in a hatchery, grading (i.e., scientific evaluation for strain improvement) and selection of birds by actually physically lifting each bird for examination, artificial insemination and other tasks where a live bird is physically lifted.

Farm Maintenance Worker – means an employee who performs pipe-fitting work, tack welding and other similar minor maintenance work which involves the significant use of tools.

Certified Rural Tradesperson – means an employee who is employed for a period of not less than four years in an establishment coming within the definition of Rural Industries below, and who has completed the Rural Trades Course at TAFE or similar course or courses approved by the Rural Apprenticeship Training Committee upon application.

Farm Transporter – means an employee whose principal duties are centred on a poultry farm or hatchery and who may work as a stock hand, farmhand or hatchery assistant and who, in addition, transports livestock and/or eggs from farm to farm and from farm to hatchery or return and related activities, or removes and transports litter and sawdust for poultry farms. It shall also mean a qualified front end loader operator.

Farm Transporter (Two Axle) – means an employee who is a farm transporter as above but who drives a semi-trailer with two rear axles or a rigid body two-axle exceeding a GVM of 18 tonnes.

Leading Hand is a hands-on employee appointed by the employer and allocated responsibilities determined by the employer to assist in the good order of workflow in an operating area by:

  • receiving production instructions and allocating the workflow to employees;
  • controlling the standards of work, work output to targets set by supervisors and other staff;
  • determining shortages in labour, or material or plant failures, and bringing any deficiencies to the supervisory staff for action.


There are also many other specialist career paths with opportunities in the poultry industries such as:

  • Marketing
  • Accounting and business
  • Training
  • Human resources management
  • Veterinary science
  • Nutrition and diet formulation
  • Food safety and quality assurance
  • Environmental management

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