The main role of the artificial insemination technician is to inseminate livestock, cows, sheep or pigs. The technician may need to monitor the heat cycle of livestock to carry out the insemination at the correct time.
They are responsible for handling and thawing straws of frozen semen that have been kept in liquid nitrogen and need to carry out the insemination process quickly and accurately whilst maintaining the welfare of the animal.
Depending on the place of work the technician may also have other duties such as maintaining breeding animals, keeping records and giving advice to farmers on the best male animals to use. Some technicians may work closely with their veterinarian on specific breeding programmes or with farmers supporting them with insemination services.
Most artificial insemination technicians will be working for large companies which specialise in providing breeding services. The work may involve a lot of driving around the country and working outdoors or in barns or sheds.
Most technicians work in the field but some may also be involved in scientific research.
Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and between companies, but here's a guide to what you can expect.
Artificial insemination technicians will need experience of working with livestock and have suitable training and qualifications to be able to offer advice and support on breeding.
What employers are looking for
- Able to work with animals
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Basic numeracy and literacy
- Problem-solving skills and initiative.
What experienced workers can do
- Animal health and welfare knowledge
- Good knowledge of reproductive anatomy and physiology
- Good knowledge of animal behaviour
- Have artificial insemination skills
- Understanding of breeding and genetics
- Health and safety awareness.
Personal qualities you should have
- Good timekeeping
- Able to work alone
- Attention to detail
- Able to solve problems
Depending on the experience you may look to move into teaching and training of those entering the industry. There may also be opportunities to progress into research.