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Farrier

Farriers trim horses’ hooves. When needed, they forge metal bars into custom-made horseshoes. They also shape commercial shoes to fit.

Also Known As

Horseshoer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 7383: Other Trades and Related Occupations

2006 NOC-S

  • H325: Blacksmiths and Die Setters

2011 NOC

  • 7384: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

2016 NOC

  • 7384: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.
Duties
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Farriers care for horses’ hooves. They may apply horseshoes. Horseshoes can protect hooves, provide traction, or correct gait. In general, farriers:

  • Trim and shape hooves
  • Look for foot problems
  • Work with veterinarians to fix foot problems
  • Remove old horseshoes
  • Choose the correct shoes and size for the type of work done by the animal, the terrain, and the condition of the hoof
  • Make sure shoes fit well and shape them to fit
  • Nail or glue horseshoes to hooves
  • Work with acrylics, epoxies, and other glues and materials to rebuild hooves that have broken away or been removed due to disease
  • Advise owners about caring for horses’ feet

Farriers also may make tools to help with farrier work.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Farriers work with horses from all industries including racing, Western riding, English riding, and pleasure riding. Farriers must provide their own tools. Most drive to clients in vehicles set up with portable forges, anvils, and other tools of the trade.

Farriers often work long hours. They mainly work outdoors or in stables. Farriers work year-round. There tends to be less work in the winter.

It takes about an hour on average to shoe a horse. Farriers must work with speed and confidence. At the same time, they must be calm with nervous or difficult horses.

The work is physically demanding. There is constant bending and heavy lifting. Injuries may result from kicks, bites, or burns from hot metal. Repetitive use injuries are common as well with wrist, elbow, and back problems being the most common. Farriers may also be stepped on or pushed when working with difficult horses.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Farriers need:

  • Judgment
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Physical stamina
  • Good eyesight and coordination
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to work alone
  • An interest in working with horses

They should enjoy:

  • Using tools for tasks that demand precision
  • Using standard techniques and methods
  • Finding innovative solutions to problems

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

2016 NOC: 7384

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 97 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jan 05, 2022 and Jun 13, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Construction Specialization: Team player
Equipment and Machinery Experience: Power tools
Equipment and Machinery Experience: Hand tools
Attention to detail
Manual dexterity
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Hand-eye co-ordination
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Minimum Education Varies

Farriers need to know:

  • How to get along with horses
  • How to assess a horse’s various gaits
  • General horse husbandry practices
  • Horse anatomy and physiology as it applies to conformation (bone structure or proportions) and stance
  • How to shoe a horse to make up for or fix a deficiency in conformation
  • How to handle a forge and other tools of the trade
  • Small business skills (scheduling, invoicing, bookkeeping)

One method of learning the skills of the farrier trade is through an informal apprenticeship with an experienced farrier. The length of such a training program would depend on the person’s skills and desire to learn.

However, informal apprenticeships are often hard to set up because of the unpaid time the farrier must invest in them. Farrier Trainers of Canada (FTC) has a minimum three-year apprenticeship structure with testing at specific stages. It results in Approved Journeyman Farrier of Canada certification upon graduation.

Since most farriers work for themselves, they must be motivated to succeed. They should read and attend clinics to keep up with new techniques. They should also have good marketing and business skills.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Olds College

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Most farriers are self-employed. Many start out by working part time while doing another job. They go full time when they have gathered enough clients. They may work in small shops or out of mobile units. They may travel to:

  • Breeding farms
  • Riding stables
  • Acreages, farms, and ranches
  • Racetracks
  • Feedlots

Experienced farriers may specialize in a particular type of horse, like show horses, racetrack horses, or pleasure horses.

Advancement generally takes the form of building a larger client base.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7384: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. occupational group, 78.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7384: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 2.4% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 46 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Farriers are self-employed and must pay operating expenses from their gross earnings. Their net earnings vary widely depending on the geographic area and the farrier’s reputation and business skills.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

2016 NOC: 7384
Average Wage
$27.12
Per Hour
Average Salary
$50,056.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.8
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7384 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.00 $30.00 $21.69 $19.00
Overall $22.00 $32.00 $27.12 $27.34
Top $26.00 $40.00 $32.44 $32.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
40%
40%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
50%
50%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 22, 2023

American Farrier’s Association (AFA) website: americanfarriers.org

Farrier Trainers of Canada (FTC) website: www.farriertrainersofcanada.ca

Western Canadian Farrier’s Association (WCFA) website: www.wcfa.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 22, 2023. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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