Because you need a job you’re passionate about, but that still pays the bills!
Without sounding like a college infomercial, you really can turn your passion for horses into a successful career. Whether you’re a high school graduate with a burning desire to work with horses or are already established in life and need a change of pace, there’s likely a career path for you. These high-paying options won’t just pay the bills, but they’ll let you actually enjoy the work you do!
The doctors of the equine world, veterinarians treat injuries and illnesses. They also routinely provide preventive services, such as annual vaccines and pre-purchase exams. Many specialize in areas like reproduction, lameness, or dental. This career requires a significant amount of schooling but has a solid starting salary of roughly $47,000. Those established and with their own practice can easily earn over $150,000 annually.
Equine Veterinary Technician
With significantly less education required, technicians work closely with veterinarians to assist with exams and various procedures. Typical duties can include prepping horses for surgery, taking radiographs, and processing blood work. Certification programs are available that help students become licensed in two years. The median salary for this title is $32,000 yearly. Top earners can receive over $48,000 annually.
Those in this career are usually self-employed. Farriers travel throughout their area and attend to the needs of their equine clients. Trimming, shoeing, and balancing hooves are all part of the responsibilities. Most receive education in the form of an apprenticeship or certification program. Annual salary can vary greatly depending on the type of barn served. You can expect from $40,000 to $150,000, if not more.
Mounted Police Officer
In this position, police officers patrol designated areas while on the back of a horse. These riders are assisting with crowd and traffic control, search and rescue operations, and catching suspects. Most states and large cities have a mounted police force. Police academy and years of service are generally required before entering a specialty unit. The median salary is roughly $59,000 a year.
Product Sales Representative
There’s a big market for retailers and equine businesses. New products are constantly popping up on the market. Companies that sell tack, stable equipment, grooming supplies, fencing, blankets, and supplements are always on the prowl for effective sales representatives. Candidates must be outgoing and enjoy traveling. Most positions include a base salary, commission, a company car, and bonuses. On average, sales reps can earn $70,000 annually.
Equine Insurance Agent
Some insurance companies specialize in equine policies. Sales agents are needed to offer insurance policies to horse owners and stables. These individuals should expect to balance their time between traveling to meet clients and recording information in the office. They’re solid communicators and not afraid to discuss casualties and liabilities. Profits vary, but generally, agents earn around $62,500 yearly.
Focusing on health, diet, and feeding behavior of horses, nutritionists are experts on the anatomy and dietary needs of equines. You may see them in universities, veterinary practices, and feed manufacturing companies. There is projected job growth for this career. While a substantial amount of education is usually required, the position does pay reasonably well at over $60,000 a year.
Most instructors have extensive horseback riding knowledge. They usually specialize in a discipline, such as show jumping, dressage, hunt seat, barrel racing, western pleasure, and other types. A riding instructor must educate students on the art of riding. A salary of $35,000 to $39,000 a year in typical, but well-known and respected individuals can yield a much higher income. An hourly rate is usually charged per lesson taught.
This hands-on position allows experienced equestrians to spend their time training horses. Trainers are expected to educate horses under saddle and on the ground. Depending on their expertise, they may work with young horses, behavioral issues, or complete the finishing touches. Some may own their facilities, while others may rent a space from a barn owner. The salary for this title begins at $25,000 annually, but can quickly grow to over $66,000 a year.
Responsible for the daily care of horses, barn managers are highly skilled in horsemanship. They must know basic medical treatment, nutritional needs, and behavioral techniques. Duties can include feeding, mucking stalls, and turning out horses. Barn managers are also in charge of barn staff and office scheduling and billing. Their pay begins at $32,000 annually.
What a dream to have a fascinating career working with horses. Have you ever thought about entering the equine industry professionally? With the right skill set and determination, you can have a decent paycheck while doing something you love!
**Emily Fought discovered her passion for horses early on in life. When she isn’t writing about them, you can find her in the barn riding. Although Emily’s background is in dressage, she enjoys cross-training and is an avid trail rider. She resides in Northwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and small dog. Together, they own and operate Humblewood Farm.