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Agricultural Equipment Operator

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What Do Agricultural Equipment Operator Do?

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

  • Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
  • Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks.

What an Agricultural Equipment Operator Should Know

Agricultural Equipment Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Types of Agricultural Equipment Operator

  • Tobacco Primer Machine Operator
  • Ginning Operator
  • Vegetable Farmworker
  • Combine Operator
  • Fertilizer Applicator

Is There Job Demand for Agricultural Equipment Operators?

In the United States, there were 63,900 jobs for Agricultural Equipment Operator in 2016. 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.

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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.

Salary for an Agricultural Equipment Operator

The salary for Agricultural Equipment Operators ranges between about $20,890 and $46,550 a year.

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Agricultural Equipment Operators who work in Michigan, New York, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.

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

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Agricultural Equipment Operators

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access

How to Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator

Education needed to be an Agricultural Equipment Operator:

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

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Agricultural Equipment Operators Sector

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Below are examples of industries where Agricultural Equipment Operators work:

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References:

Image Credit: Alandmanson via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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