The Average Salary of a Dairy Manager

Two kinds of dairy managers help bring milk from the farm to your table.
Two kinds of dairy managers help bring milk from the farm to your table. (Image: Milk, milk and hands image by Mykola Velychko from

Dairy managers in rural settings and dairy managers in urban settings have two completely different job descriptions. One feeds and milks cows, the other makes sure a supermarket doesn’t run out of cheese and milk. Although both types of dairy manager involve food-handling skills and long-range planning skills, the other skills needed and the compensation varies significantly.

Dairy Farm Manager Salary

Dairy farm managers are frequently hired by agribusiness companies or owners of farming operations to manage a dairy operation. Agricultural managers frequently are in charge of maintaining equipment and managing farmhands in addition to livestock and dairy management principals. Their median weekly wage is $775 as of May 2008, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, with half of all dairy managers earning between $570 and $1,269 each week. A dairy manager who receives $775 a week earns $40,300 annually.

Dairy Farm Manager Salaries Around the Country

Diary farmers’ salaries around the country are typically low, although many agricultural workers work other jobs for supplemental income, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The average salary for dairy managers in the New York area is among the highest in urban areas, with average salaries of $32,057 annually, as of January 2011, according to Salary Expert. Most wages in urban areas were much lower, however, with half of all reported annual incomes below $20,010.

Dairy Department Manager Salaries

Grocers who are in charge of a supermarket’s dairy departments typically earn salaries that exceed those of the farmers who produce the milk sold in the dairy. The average annual salary for dairy managers is $43,000 according to Simply Hired. Because many grocery workers are unionized, many dairy managers also receive health care packages and paid vacation as part of their compensation packages. Compensation may vary widely by the size of the supermarket.

Dairy Department Manager Salaries Around the Country

Supermarkets around the country compensate their dairy managers very differently, and wages vary widely between metropolitan areas. Dairy managers in New York and Chicago receive the highest average annual salaries in the country, $43,694 and $42,447 as of January 2011, according to Salary Expert. Those in Dallas and Houston earn the smallest annual salaries, $30,934 and $30,886. Half of the cities Salary Expert surveys report average annual salaries between $31,300 and $40,978 annually.

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