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What They Do

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Swine technicians assist in the raising of hogs for meat production. They tend to baby pigs, assist in the farrowing (birthing) process and help with the breeding through artificial or natural insemination. They also tend to equipment, bathe the animals and more.

They also perform medical procedures such as iron injections and ID tattooing. They are also expected to keep good computer records and to participate as a member of a team.

Not surprisingly, swine technicians spend a great deal of their days around pigs. Muriel Power is a swine technician. She works for government. She says she spends five to six hours a day around pigs.

Working around pigs may not sound like the most pleasant job. Pigs, after all, have a reputation for being, well, dirty and smelly. But that is not necessarily the case. Power says most pig breeders keep their farms very clean because they don't want their animals to catch any diseases.

Yes, the pigs do smell, but Power says it doesn't bother her. "You are in a barn, you must remember. And you are working with pigs, and they smell. You can't get away from...the smell. But it is not unbearable." Power says she wears a mask when she is working, but that's mostly to protect herself against dust.

Swine technicians have to do some heavy lifting in their work, and move around a lot. "You should be in good physical shape," says Power. "I suppose you don't have to, but you should be. It would make it a lot easier if you are, that's for sure."

At a Glance

Help raise hogs for meat production

  • Job prospects are good
  • Pig operations are getting larger
  • Special training programs are available


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