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Do you want to work as an Insect 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 in step 8 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: 4 November 2020

1. What is an insect breeder?

Insect breeders are people who breed specific kinds of insects for commercial reasons. The most significant reason currently for breeding insects is as an alternative source of food or protein for humans and livestock.

Also known as:

  • Insect Farmer
  • Butterfly Rancher


Although farming with bees can also fall under Insect Breeder as a career, we have decided to discuss it separately, as there are different reasons for farming with bees. You can read more about being a Bee Farmer.

Insects as food?

The three most bred insects for human consumption are mealworm, crickets and locusts

Most costly?

A specimen of the Goliath birdwing butterfly was sold by a Taiwanese dealer for US$28,000 in July 2006

2. What do they do?


Business / Health


The primary focus of insect breeders is to breed specific kinds of insects for sale, to either collectors, owners of animals such as reptiles and amphibians as food, conservation organization, or as ingredients in human and livestock food.

Daily Tasks:

  • Research on the different insects to ensure that they are kept correctly
  • Feed the insects
  • Maintain the containers
  • Communicate with buyers and potential sellers of new stock
  • Market and sell the insects
  • Create and add insects to portfolio, whether on a website or database
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


Insect breeders mostly work indoors in an office setup and closed area where the insects are houses. Although they work with insects, very few are naturally caught, which means less time spent outdoors.

Places of Employment –

Insect breeders are primarily self employed, working on contracts by selling directly to the public, to pet stores, bug collectors, zoos and museums. They may also have a contract to supply conservationists with species in order to try and recuperate dwindling natural numbers.

Average Salary:

On average the income per year is around $45,000. This will differ from country to country.


The most difficult part is always to get your business seen by future clients. They may work long hours and over weekends and holidays to finish work within tight deadlines and arrange for packaging and shipping

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The growth of insect breeding for sale to collectors, hobbyists and places such as zoos and museums is growing slowly, with an average of around 3% annually. But the breeding of insects for human and animal consumption has skyrocketed in the past few years, and is predicted to grow even further into the future as alternative food sources.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an insect 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:

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

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:

To become an Insect Breeder doesn’t require formal training, but you should focus on completing short courses, or even a basic college diploma.


Major –

Basic business management, marketing or sales.

Short Courses –

You can focus on courses that cover topics such as inventory control, logistics, sales, import/ export management, basic zoology.


The duration of College and Diplomas can be up to 3 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

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 Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being an insect 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 (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as a 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 a promotion or 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 as an insect breeder will be acquired through practice. 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 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 breeder or expert.

Join the Insect Breeders 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 all the people who enter 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 careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

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 breeding.

Insect Breeder Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an insect 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 an Insect Breeder, please click on the JOIN GROUP 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, and search for something different.

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Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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A few pictures about the Career:

Some of the best websites to help you decide on the Career:

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