Assistant stockperson on a pig farm.

Assistant stockperson (general livestock)

Assistant stockperson (general livestock)

An assistant stockperson helps the farm management team meet animal health and welfare standards and supports good environmental practices.
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.

Assistant stockperson on a pig farm.

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:

Assistant stockperson competency profile

Assistant stockperson (beef/sheep) competency profile

Assistant stockperson (dairy) competency profile

Assistant stockperson (pigs) competency profile

Salaries are in the region of £18,000 to £26,000 but may vary depending on experience and location.

If you start an apprenticeship, your initial salary may be lower but will increase with time and experience. 

TIAH's salary information is provided in the form of an annual pay range. The use of a range is because the salary offered can vary depending on applicant experience, age, status (apprenticeships payment is subject to different guidance) and geographical location.

Some positions will offer hourly wages which should reflect age-related national minimum wage levels. Follow this link for 2024 hourly rates National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates - GOV.UK.

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  


General Farm Worker Level 2 

Livestock Unit Technician Level 3

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.

Anyone considering working as an assistant stockperson would find our Animal Health and WelfareBiosecurity, and Foundations in Farm Safety courses helpful.

You can learn more about life as an assistant stockperson by listening to Ben Eagle's Meet the Farmers podcast, episode 166.

Return to our job profiles page for more exciting roles in farming and growing.