Assistant stock-person (general)
Assistant stockperson (general livestock)
Assistant stockperson (general livestock)
Also known as assistant stock keeper, stockman, livestock assistant, or general farm worker.
This profile highlights the skills and knowledge associated with the role. However, jobs will have varying responsibilities depending on level of the role and the size or type of the business.
Farm animals are either reared for meat or milk production. As an assistant stockperson or a livestock general farm worker, you will carry out various farm tasks.
Farm animals are usually referred to on farms as ‘livestock’ or ‘stock.’ As an assistant stockperson, you would help meet farm animals' health and welfare needs. This includes feeding them the correct food, helping to manage grazing pastures where appropriate, and ensuring they have fresh water. You'll also provide clean bedding and maintain fences if animals are kept outside.
Monitoring animals to keep them in good condition and growing well is essential. You'll also check the animals daily to spot any issues that could become health or welfare problems.
As an assistant stockperson, you'll help keep housing clean and safe. This helps prevent animals from becoming sick or injured. You'll be responsible for reporting any issues to your manager should you spot any.
You may also operate and maintain farm equipment and machinery, such as tractors and loaders. If working with dairy cows, you may also get involved with milking the animals.
The role provides the opportunity to learn about new technologies that positively impact animal health, welfare, production, and the environment.
You will report to the assistant farm manager, farm manager, or farm owner.
Full-time, part-time, and casual opportunities are available in the industry.
You may need to have your own transport to get to work.
As an assistant stockperson, you will take responsibility for the welfare and production of animals by:
- Supporting the health and welfare needs of all livestock through correct feeding, watering, and general husbandry
- Providing clean bedding and making sure the animals’ environment is safe and clean to maintain high welfare and prevent injury
- Reporting any health and safety, animal health, or welfare issues to the farm manager
- Helping to check animals to monitor their health and condition
- Using and maintaining equipment and machinery in a safe and responsible manner
- Following relevant legislation and health and safety guidelines
- Giving medications and vaccinations safely and effectively once appropriately trained/under supervision
- Helping to handle and move animals safely and making sure their welfare needs are met
- Supporting the manager by following best practice for the use of water
- Supporting the manager by following the best practice for effluent management
- Following correct procedures to ensure cows produce high-quality milk if working with dairy cows
To work as an assistant stock-person, you should:
- Be eager to learn and develop skills
- Be able to listen well and follow instructions
- Be able to communicate well with other team members
- Enjoy working on many varied tasks
- Have a flexible approach and be able to organise and prioritise work
- Enjoy working with others but be able to work on your own initiative
- Enjoy practical, hands-on work
- Have good attention to detail and are able to quickly spot and report problems
- Enjoy working with animals
To become an assistant stockperson, you don't necessarily need a formal qualification. However, you may choose to study for a formal qualification or start an apprenticeship to help you gain some understanding and knowledge of farming and livestock. Take a look at the qualifications and training or apprenticeships sections below for more information.
You can also gain experience by volunteering on a farm or smallholding.
If you live in a city or urban area, you could volunteer on a local city farm, community garden, or allotment. You can find some of these in your area on the Social Farms and Gardens website.
You can also develop your knowledge and understanding of the industry by reading farming newspapers, magazines, and websites.
It’s also helpful to have a basic knowledge of livestock diseases and health issues and how to help prevent them.
As an assistant stocksperson, you'll have the following competencies to meet animal health and welfare standards and environmental responsibilities. You will:
- Support good animal welfare and environmental practice
- Support successful livestock production through good animal husbandry skills
- Support successful livestock production by making sure animals are fed correctly
- Follow farm protocols to manage effluent and water correctly
- Support the safe and effective use of machinery, vehicles, and technology
- Meet the relevant health and safety and biosecurity standards
- Work as part of a high-performing team
You can find more about the competencies for this role in each sector and how they map with our Capability Framework by downloading our competency profile documents below:
Salaries are in the region of £17,000 to £25,000 but may vary depending on experience and location. Hourly rates vary from £8.50 to £10 per hour.
If you start an apprenticeship, your initial salary may be lower but will increase with time and experience.
As an assistant stockperson, you may choose to develop your career further by becoming a more experienced stockperson or supervisor. You could also eventually become a manager.
To do this, you will need to gain experience across all aspects of being an assistant stockperson. If you're keen to become an assistant manager, you should be willing to take on responsibility and help less experienced staff members.
Courses which can help you on this career path include:
Level 1 Diploma Land-based Studies Agriculture
Level 2 Technical Certificate in Agriculture
Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate in Agriculture
TIAH Essential Skills
Our online Essential Skills modules can help you develop your skills and knowledge in a range of areas and are a great addition to your CV.