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Working With A Horse

10 Best Jobs Working With Horses

Do you have a passion for animals? Are you looking at jobs working with horses? Jobs that involve horses are increasing in demand whether you’re looking to work directly or indirectly with horses. 

When exploring equine-related careers, there are several factors you’ll want to take into account. What types of horse industry jobs are there? What duties are required for each? Is an advanced degree required? What is the salary for each job? Here, we’re covering ten fantastic equine careers.

Earn a B.S. in Animal Science from Unity Environmental University to jumpstart a rewarding, horse-related career.

someone working with a horse in a field

Best Careers with Horses

There are many potential careers working with horses. There are jobs that take care of horses when they’re injured or sick. There are others that run the day-to-day operations on large farms and ranches. Careers in the equine industry are in demand and are an excellent fit for horse lovers. Many horse careers require a degree as advanced knowledge and skills are needed when it comes to treating and caring for horses. There are many different types of equine jobs providing horse lovers with many career options. Here are ten great careers involving horses:

Horse Veterinarian


Equine professions such as veterinarians are sought-after careers for horse lovers. An equine veterinarian does much of the same as a vet for a cat or dog but specializes in working with horses. Equine veterinarians contribute greatly to the overall health of horses. They work with owners on preventative treatments and diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases. One aspect that sets equine veterinarians apart from those that treat household pets is that they often travel to their clients. This is because of the burden of transporting horses due to their size. 

Average Salary: $100,370
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Animal Science

It takes several years to become an equine veterinarian. First, a bachelor’s degree in a program such as Animal Science is required. Then, they must continue on to four years of veterinary school to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM). Finally, they must become licensed to become a practicing veterinarian. There is a need for veterinarians, and the job outlook is growing at a much faster pace than other careers dealing with horses. A veterinarian can expect to make an average salary of $100,370.

Animal Nutritionist

Other jobs that include horses are nutritionists. Animal nutritionists are valuable in the industry as nutrition can significantly impact performance, behavior, and health. A nutritionist typically holds a type of animal science degree and may often be a specialized veterinarian. 

These workers must have strong knowledge and skill in a horse’s physiology and digestive system. Diet and nutrition needs vary depending on whether the horse is used for racing, working, or day-to-day riding. Nutritionists will also work with breeders in taking care of pregnant horses and determine what diet is best for specific breeds.

Average Salary: $49,481
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Animal Health and Behavior

To become a horse nutritionist, a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science is required along with a doctoral degree, typically in veterinary medicine. Additional certifications and training may be necessary. The need for Equine Nutritionists is greatly increasing in demand, providing a great opportunity for those just starting out. While the pay varies greatly from state to state, the average salary for an equine nutritionist is $49,481.

Not sure if animal nutritionist is right for you? Enroll in our online Equine Health, Nutrition, and Care course to see if a career as an animal nutritionist is right for you. 

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Horse Massage Therapist

Animal Massage Therapist

When it comes to jobs in the equine industry, a massage therapist likely isn’t the first to come to mind. Just like humans, horses need sore muscles treated or rehabilitated. Massage therapy in horses aids their overall health by improving circulation by bringing in oxygen and removing waste. Equine massage therapists also treat injured muscles and may work closely with physical therapists for long-term treatment.

Average Salary: $46,910
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Animal Health and Behavior 

Equine massage therapists travel to their clients when treating, so they’ll often spend time on the road. They must have strong knowledge of horse physiology and particularly be familiar with muscles. A degree is not required but recommended. Programs in health and nutrition are valuable and marketable for equine massage therapists.

Park Ranger

Jobs that deal with horses are in demand in many environments, including the great outdoors. A park ranger may work in a few different outdoor environments such as national parks, national forests, and state parks. Becoming a park ranger is a great horse career option as there are opportunities to ride on horseback. Park rangers enforce the park rules and laws and also may provide tours. If you love the outdoors and trail riding, becoming a park ranger may be for you.

Average Salary: $63,750
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Conservation Law Enforcement

A bachelor’s degree isn’t required but is encouraged as it can be competitive. If interested in moving into a park management role, a degree will be an asset. Degree programs to consider include forestry, wildlife conservation, and environmental science. As of 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a park ranger brings in an average annual income of $63,750 with a bachelor’s degree. The job outlook is growing at a pace of 7% between 2020 and 2030.

Ranch Managers Looking At Horse

Ranch Manager

Ranch managers oversee the day-to-day operations of farms and ranches for cattle, horses, and other livestock. They have many responsibilities, including providing care to animals and maintaining and ensuring a healthy and clean environment. Some administrative tasks may include safety audits and management of other ranch employees.

Average Salary: $73,060
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Captive Wildlife Care

A high school diploma is required at a minimum. Completing a degree program such as Captive Wildlife Care and taking a course like Unity Environmental University’s Best Management Practices for Ranches and Stables or Horse Facility Management will bring useful skills and make you marketable in the industry. On average, a ranch manager can expect to bring in around $73,000 annually. The job market for ranch managers has declined over the years, and little to no growth is expected over the next decade, making this career a competitive option.

Vet Tech

A vet tech is one of many rewarding jobs for horse lovers. Vet techs will work closely with veterinarians, assisting in checkups and surgeries, running tests, and taking x-rays. These are only a few of their many responsibilities. Having a love for animals, particularly horses, is a must. 

Average Salary: $36,850
Recommended Degree: A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology

A vet tech, at a minimum, typically requires an associate’s degree from an accredited vet tech school. Certifications are required, and the duties permitted to be performed by vet techs may vary from state to state. Becoming a vet tech is a great opportunity to work with animals without the extensive schooling required for veterinarians. Once certified as a vet tech, the door is open for continuing education to become specialized or earn an advanced degree to work in careers such as a horse nutritionist or surgeon.

Not sure if animal care is right for you? Try our online, 5-week introductory animal care course to see if a career as a vet tech is right for you. 

Horse Trainer

Horse Trainer

Jobs with horses like trainers are very hands-on. Animal trainers are needed in a variety of environments ranging from large ranches to personal ridership. A horse trainer is responsible for training horses to ensure they’re safe and comfortable being ridden. They may also train horses for showing and racing purposes. A horse trainer for racing purposes may take on additional responsibilities such as creating workout and therapy plans as well as creating race strategies. 

Average Salary: $31,280
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Captive Wildlife Care

Someone seeking a career as a horse trainer may consider taking a course like Equine Health, Nutrition, and Care to prepare for taking care of horses. As a trainer, it’s important to understand how nutrition, diet, and environment impact a horse’s overall health. Horse trainers are needed for various reasons, from basic training to behavioral needs. The average salary in the U.S. for a horse trainer is $31,280.

Horse Breeder

A breeder is one of the many potential jobs for horse lovers. While their primary role is breeding and caring for pregnant horses, they have many other responsibilities that should be taken into account when considering this career. The horses they breed are used for purposes such as horse shows, horse racing, and personal ownership. Breeders will often show their horses at breed shows to find potential buyers. They will collaborate closely with other horse-related careers, such as nutritionists, to ensure their horses are properly cared for. 

Average Salary: $29,680
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Animal Science

While a career as a breeder is needed in the agricultural industry, it is an expensive job to get started in because horses have to be purchased and properly cared for. A college degree isn’t required, but taking animal science courses will benefit getting into horse breeding. The job outlook isn’t growing at a fast pace, but the demand is there. Breeders make an average salary of $29,680, which may vary based on experience and location. 

Farrier Trimming a Horse's Hoof


Someone considering jobs working with horses may want to consider a career as a Farrier. A farrier is yet another example of the many equestrian careers. Farriers specialize in working with horse hooves. From shaping and fitting horseshoes, they also clean, trim, and shape horse hooves. Horses require routine shaping and trimming for mobility and balance, making farriers one of the top in-demand careers in the horse industry. 

Average Salary: $28,730
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Captive Wildlife Care

Farriers work with a variety of horse breeds and specialties, from horses owned for personal use to racehorses to work horses. Farriers must have an understanding of a horse’s health and be extremely detail-oriented. Improper trimming and shoeing can impact a horse’s balance and gait. 

While there aren’t any educational requirements to become a farrier, they are specialized with many years of training. It is recommended to attend a horseshoeing school to get a firm grasp on the basics of foot care and the anatomy of horses. Most farriers will work as apprentices when they start out to gain experience and additional training. 

Licensing and certifications aren’t required when working as a farrier, but many farriers are certified. There are perks to belonging to one of these groups, such as discounts on supplies and health insurance. These certification groups include:

  • American Farriers Association (AFA)
  • Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association 

Horse Dental Technician 

There are horse-related jobs that are more specialized, such as dental techs. A dental technician is an alternative career path that a vet tech may choose to take. Equine dental techs work closely with equine dentists in diagnosing and treating dental issues, including diseases and disorders. As part of their work, horse dental techs take x-rays and other tests in addition to cleanings and preventive care. They must be detail-oriented and thorough in each of their tasks.

Average Salary: $36,850
Recommended Degree: B.S. in Animal Science

An equine dental technician is a specialized field in animal care. While a two-year vet tech degree is mandatory, a bachelor’s degree is preferred in the industry, and vet techs will find greater success getting their foot in the door. Equine dental technicians bring in an average salary of $36,850 in the U.S., depending on location and experience.

A Job Working With Horse

Explore Horse Related Career Programs at Unity Environmental University

Whether you want to be a veterinarian, horse trainer, or explore other horse careers, it’s safe to say there are many jobs involving horses! A love for horses and training through a degree program will kick start your career. Unity Environmental University offers many degree programs geared toward jobs in the equine industry, from animal science to horse facility management. So follow your love for working with horses and step into the program of study that fits your goals.