Top Paying Equine Careers
There are several equine career options that offer an average salary of at least $50,000 per year.
Farriers (also known as blacksmiths) provide comprehensive care for equine feet, including regular maintenance and addressing any problems that develop. The usual duties for a farrier include trimming, shaping and applying shoes, and evaluating potential causes of lameness.
Salaries vary based on the number of horses a farrier works on per day in addition to other factors such as location, demand, and experience. Median pay in the profession is $55,000 annually, as of August 2019, but the pay range is wide—from about $23,000 up to about $160,000. Those working full-time in areas where farriers are more difficult to find should expect to earn the most.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track salaries for equine veterinarians specifically, but veterinarians earned a median annual salary of $93,830, as of May 2018. Board-certified equine specialists could earn much higher compensation, easily pulling in salaries in the six-figure range.
Equine Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Equine pharmaceutical sales representatives market drugs and related health products to equine veterinarians and veterinary clinics. Sales representatives may work either from an office (inside sales) or travel to potential clients in person (outside sales).
The salary for pharmaceutical sales reps usually includes some combination of base salary, commission on sales, use of a company car, bonuses, and benefits. Median annual salary for sales reps in scientific industries is $79,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2018.
Equine Dental Technician
Equine dental technicians are primarily responsible for floating teeth (filing down sharp enamel points) during yearly dental exams. They also must be able to identify emerging dental problems and take measures to prevent these issues from developing further.
The salary an equine dental technician earns can vary depending on how many horses the tech treats per day. Most equine dentistry schools report that their graduates earn salaries greater than $50,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for veterinary technologists and technicians is $34,420, as of May 2018, but those with more experience can exceed $50,000 per year.
Mounted Police Officer
Mounted police officers patrol areas on horseback to enforce laws and provide crowd control.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide details on the earnings of mounted police officers, but the average salary for all police officers was $53,380 as of May 2018. Members of the mounted unit may earn slightly higher salaries because specialty skills are required for this line of work.
Feed or Product Sales Representative
Livestock feed sales representatives market feed products to equestrian centers, breeding farms, and race tracks. Most positions require significant travel, as the representative tends to visit these equine businesses in person to evaluate their needs and negotiate sales.
Product sales representatives market a variety of equine products to retailers and equine businesses. Companies manufacturing equine products such as supplements, saddles, specialty fencing, stable equipment, grooming products, bits, treats, or blankets may have sales reps on staff to represent their interests. Product sales rep positions exist in both “inside sales” and “outside sales,” but the majority of positions involve at least some travel to visit clients or participate in trade shows.
The salary for a livestock feed sales representatives often includes a combination of base salary, commissions, bonuses, and use of a company car. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for wholesale sales representatives was $61,660 as of May 2018. The exact salary a rep earns can vary widely based on the volume of their sales.
Equine Insurance Agent
Equine insurance sales agents offer insurance policies to horse owners. While some insurance agents offer exclusively equine policies, most agents also sell other types of property and casualty insurance as a part of their portfolio.
Compensation for equine insurance sales agents may be a combination of base salary, commissions, and bonuses. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not separate equine insurance agents into a separate salary survey category, the more general category of all insurance agents had an average salary of $62,010 as of May 2018.