What Does it Take to Be an Agricultural Equipment Operator?
Job Description & Duties Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. May perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks, such as husking, shelling, threshing, and ginning.
What Do Agricultural Equipment Operators Do On a Daily Basis?
- Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
- Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
- Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.
- Manipulate controls to set, activate, and adjust mechanisms on machinery.
- Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
- Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Agricultural Equipment Operator?
These are the skills Agricultural Equipment Operators say are the most useful in their careers:
Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Planting Machine Crewman
- Cotton Baler
- Chopper Operator
Are There Job Opportunities for Agricultural Equipment Operators?
There were about 63,900 jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,500 new jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operator by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,200 positions for Agricultural Equipment Operator per year.
The states with the most job growth for Agricultural Equipment Operator are Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Watch out if you plan on working in South Carolina, Florida, or Delaware. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Agricultural Equipment Operators Salary
Agricultural Equipment Operators make between $20,890 and $46,550 a year.
Agricultural Equipment Operators who work in Michigan, New York, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.
How much do Agricultural Equipment Operators make in each U.S. state?
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Tools & Technologies Used by Agricultural Equipment Operators
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Agricultural Equipment Operators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Access
How to Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator
What kind of Agricultural Equipment Operator requirements are there?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Agricultural Equipment Operators Sector
Agricultural Equipment Operators work in the following industries:
Image Credit: Alandmanson via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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