A few weeks ago, someone suggested to one of our American Farriers Journal staffers that farriers need to be more aware of the value of investing in continued education.

This person maintains that farriers should be able to see distinct incomeboosting benefits from learning experiences such as clinics, certification, shoeing contests, farrier conferences, symposiums and conventions.

Took Another Look

To find out, we took the computerized data from last year’s American Farriers Journal survey of business management practices and looked at the benefits of continuing education. Featured on pages 15 to 24 of the November, 1998, issue, the survey results included information from 627 full-time and part-time farriers across the country.

Our new analysis of the data indicated a strong benefit for attending events to increase your knowledge of shoeing techniques, business management ideas and other techniques for more profitably operating your own farrier business.

The average gross income of full-time farriers in last fall’s survey was $55,723. Among farriers who did not participate in a clinic during the previous 12 months, average gross income was $47,272 per year. Farriers who attended six clinics during the year had the highest average gross income of $61,249 per year.

Farriers attending two clinics during the year had an average annual gross income of $55,618.

$10,640 Difference

When it came to attending the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) annual convention, there was a sharp distinction in shoeing income. For full time farriers who have never attended an AFA convention, gross sales averaged $49,515 per year. Gross annual income increased to $60,155 for farriers who take advantage of the many learning experiences at the AFA convention.

What About Certification?

Making the effort to become a Certified Farrier also pays dividends. Among full-time farriers at the AFA Intern Certification level, average annual gross income was $40,999 per year. This jumped to $52,239 for Certified Farriers and $59,588 per year for Certified Journeyman Farriers.

This means Certified Journeyman Farriers average $4,015 more income per year than the average full-time farrier regardless of whether they’re certified.

Competing Pays, Too

When it comes to participating in shoeing and forging contests, there was a $6,000 per year difference in gross income between full-time farriers who didn’t compete and those who entered a half dozen contests each year. Average annual gross income was $51,923 for non-competing farriers. This compares with $59,999 in average gross sales for farriers who entered six contests a year.

In summary, it’s obvious that shoers who continue to learn more about this profession can turn these valuable learning experiences into more income and profit. It’s one more reason to participate in the next learning experience that’s held in your area this year.