Animal Breeder

Animal breeders, or artificial insemination technicians as they are also known, carry out the process of artificially inseminating livestock. They check they have all the equipment they need to use; travel to farms; check the farmer's instructions regarding the livestock to be inseminated; carry out insemination processes; and keep careful records of the tasks performed.

Animal breeders use semen banks and straws of semen. They use pipettes to insert semen into animals and a large sheath on their left arm to assist with this process. Some use hand-held computers to keep records and check their duties. They usually wear overalls and gumboots.

Animal breeding technicians need to know about livestock anatomy in order to carry out their duties. They need to be able to organise their time efficiently. They may also need to have some ability to work with computers, a reasonable level of literacy and good handwriting to complete records.

They normally work from home and travel to the farms they serve. Some may cover a small local region, while others travel all over the country.

During breeding seasons, animal breeding technicians can sometimes work seven days a week. Working hours are usually from very early in the morning and can continue late into the night, depending on the number of animals to be inseminated. As the job tends to be seasonal, technicians often have another job as well.

Animal breeding technicians spend most of their time working with farmers and sometimes veterinary surgeons. They may work with other technicians to inseminate large herds. Once they have gained experience, they usually work with little supervision and may also progress to a supervisory position.

Personal Requirements

  • a clean and tidy appearance
  • able to relate well to farmers and animals
  • able to concentrate for long periods of time
  • good manual dexterity
  • physical and mental stamina
  • a valid driver’s licence

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: BSc (Agric) - Fort Hare, NMMU, UFS, UKZN, UL, UNISA, UP, US, UV, Agricultural Colleges

Diploma: CUT, CPUT, TUT

In some cases, animal breeding technicians undertake an induction process on the job, which includes gaining knowledge of livestock anatomy and the practical skill of inseminating. After this, they spend a period working under the close supervision of a senior technician before they can work on their own.


  • companies providing artificial insemination
  • government departments, such as Department of Agriculture
  • self-employment

Further Information

Agricultural Research Council
1134 Park Street, Hatfield
Tel: (012) 427-9700

Getting Started

  • experience in working with animals in general, or working in dairy farming, is particularly useful
  • make an appointment with an animal breeding technician or an artificial insemination technician to discuss this career and seek permission to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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