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Agricultural Equipment Operators

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What Does it Take to Be an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

Agricultural Equipment Operator Example 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.

Life As an Agricultural Equipment Operator

  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
  • Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
  • Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.

Qualities of 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.

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.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Other Agricultural Equipment Operator Job Titles

  • Sugar Cane Planting Equipment Operator
  • Machine Pecan Picker
  • Dairy Machine Operator Farmworker
  • Machine Operator Picker
  • Equipment Operator Wage Hand

Is There Job Demand for Agricultural Equipment Operators?

There were about 63,900 jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operators in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,500 new jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operators by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,200 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Agricultural Equipment Operators are California, Texas, and Oregon.

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.

Agricultural Equipment Operator Average Salary

The salary for Agricultural Equipment Operators ranges between about $20,890 and $46,550 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $31,190.

Salary Ranges for Agricultural Equipment Operators

How much do Agricultural Equipment Operators make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary
North Dakota $39,760
Michigan $39,640
Nebraska $39,020
South Dakota $38,780
New York $37,430
Wisconsin $37,420
Ohio $37,420
Mississippi $37,410
Minnesota $37,310
Iowa $37,100
Illinois $36,260
Pennsylvania $35,370
Indiana $35,030
South Carolina $34,940
Washington $34,900
Missouri $34,240
Kansas $33,990
New Mexico $33,750
Tennessee $33,520
Louisiana $33,160
Virginia $33,030
Idaho $32,910
Colorado $32,890
Arizona $32,670
Kentucky $32,570
California $32,180
Oregon $31,170
Vermont $31,050
Utah $29,720
Montana $29,630
Massachusetts $29,480
Oklahoma $29,390
Maryland $28,560
Florida $28,420
North Carolina $27,440
Texas $27,240
Georgia $26,860
Arkansas $26,150
Alabama $26,010
New Jersey $24,560

What Tools do Agricultural Equipment Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Agricultural Equipment Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Farm Management Software Hay and Crop Manager

How do I Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

What education is needed to be an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

Agricultural Equipment Operator Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

Agricultural Equipment Operator Work Experience

Where Agricultural Equipment Operators Work

Agricultural Equipment Operator Sectors


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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