Do you want to work as a bird breeder?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential breeders and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 2 September 2020


What is a bird breeder?

A Bird Breeder is a person who breeds carefully selected wild birds of the same species to reproduce offspring with the same qualities and characteristics for the pet industry.

! Breeders of birds used in farming (such as chickens, emu, geese, quail, swans and ostriches) are farmers and are discussed under the Farming and Livestock Management category.

Aviculture is the practice of keeping and breeding birds.

The different kinds of bird breeders generally breed specific bird species for the pet trade, based on the type of birds and setup:

  • African Grey Breeder
  • Budgie Breeder
  • Canary Breeder
  • Cockatiel Breeder
  • Cockatoo Breeder
  • Dove Breeder
  • Finch Breeder
  • Lovebird Breeder
  • Macaw Breeder
  • Parakeet Breeder
  • Ringneck Breeder
  • Exotic Bird Breeder
  • Homing Pigeon Breeder

Breeding birds is difficult?

Pet birds don't breed as easily as other pet species.


Never breed with wild caught birds. This will cause species to go extinct!

2. What do they do?




The main focus of a bird breeder is to mate selected species (such as Budgies or pigeons) as their own pets and to supply the pet market.

Daily Tasks:

  • Feeding and caring for the birds
  • Clean the cages
  • Talk with suppliers
  • Ensure registration is in place
  • Discuss budget with bookkeeper
  • Manage marketing campaign
  • Talk with prospective buyers
  • Arrange, prepare for and transport birds to shows

Where they work:


Bird breeders usually register and set up their businesses at home. The physical enclosure for the birds might be inside the home (when starting the businesses), or a separate building just for the cages.

Places of Employment –

Bird breeders are self employed and run a profit seeking business. 

Average Salary:

The average income of bird breeders will be determined by a few factors, such as the scarcity of the species, and the country wherein the business is registered. The average income in the US is around $40,000 per year, which is slightly below the annual average.


Entry breeders do not make a huge amount of money as most of the costs need to be covered. Running a business means dealing with bills that need to be payed. Breeding can be emotional as there could be deaths of new chicks.

Future growth and Possibilities:

The pet industry is one of the fastest growing animal career industries, and there will always be space for good growth.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a bird breeder can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good Business skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

There is no minimum requirements to become a bird breeder, although a High School Certificate or Diploma would be beneficial to prepare you to deal with setting up a business, dealing with costs and basic marketing techniques.


It is important that you learn as much as you possibly can about your chosen breed before you think about opening your breeding business. Short Courses in bird behaviour, health, business setup and marketing are recommended.


The duration of Short Courses can be between a few hours (online) to a few months.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

  • High School + experience while still in school + Bachelor’s Degree in Ornithology + Short Courses in bird breeding

Ornithologists earn up to 50% more than bird breeders, but they can also use their knowledge to breed specific species for trade or conservation.

Some of the possible combinations:

Stepping Stone Career:
Bird breeder can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach immediately (high fees etc).

You can begin as a bird breeder, after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. The more hands on careers, such as animal breeders might require apprenticeship.

Join the Bird Breeder Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal breeding careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Certain countries have created laws to regulate the breeding of certain bird species. This means that breeding licenses might be required.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:

7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and training.

Bird Breeder Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an animal breeder.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Bird Breeder, please click on the JOIN OZT button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.

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