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What You Need to Know About Farmworkers

Farmworker Definition Attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weighing, catching, and loading animals. May maintain records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; assist in birth deliveries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides as appropriate. May clean and maintain animal housing areas. Includes workers who shear wool from sheep, and collect eggs in hatcheries.

Life as a Farmworker: What Do They Do?

  • Mark livestock to identify ownership and grade, using brands, tags, paint, or tattoos.
  • Move equipment, poultry, or livestock from one location to another, manually or using trucks or carts.
  • Maintain growth, feeding, production, and cost records.
  • Trim and shear poultry beaks, toes, and wings using debeaking machines, heated hand shears, or hot wires.
  • Groom, clip, trim, or castrate animals, dock ears and tails, or shear coats to collect hair.
  • Shift animals between grazing areas to ensure that they have sufficient access to food.

What Every Farmworker Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Farmworkers say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Farmworkers

  • Poultry Tender
  • Machine Egg Washer
  • Chicken Handler
  • Worm Farm Laborer
  • Cattle Alley Worker

Is There Job Demand for Farmworkers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 268,100 jobs in the United States for Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals.

Farmworker jobs are decreasing by a rate of -3.8%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -10,100 jobs for Farmworkers by 2026. There will be an estimated 38,600 positions for Farmworker per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Farmworkers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals are Texas, Arizona, and Michigan.

Watch out if you plan on working in Mississippi, South Carolina, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Farmworker

The salary for Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals ranges between about $18,410 and $41,840 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $26,560.

Salary Ranges for Farmworkers

How much do Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Connecticut

$35,940

Mississippi

$35,870

Alaska

$34,790

Louisiana

$34,790

Vermont

$34,370

Washington

$34,270

Hawaii

$33,260

New York

$33,010

Delaware

$32,890

New Hampshire

$32,620

Massachusetts

$31,990

Arizona

$31,930

Iowa

$31,670

Colorado

$31,550

Georgia

$31,500

California

$31,500

South Dakota

$31,210

Nebraska

$30,540

Florida

$30,340

Ohio

$30,290

South Carolina

$29,960

Nevada

$29,950

Maryland

$29,950

West Virginia

$29,810

Wyoming

$29,380

Maine

$29,110

Idaho

$28,670

Wisconsin

$28,650

Missouri

$28,630

Minnesota

$28,480

Illinois

$28,270

Virginia

$28,020

North Dakota

$28,020

Alabama

$27,590

New Jersey

$27,210

Kansas

$27,160

Kentucky

$27,110

Texas

$27,070

Arkansas

$26,950

Utah

$26,750

Tennessee

$26,660

Indiana

$26,620

Pennsylvania

$26,560

Oregon

$26,180

Michigan

$26,140

North Carolina

$26,010

Montana

$25,850

Oklahoma

$25,080

New Mexico

$25,010

How do I Become a Farmworker?

Learn what Farmworker education requirements there are.

Farmworker Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Farmworker Work Experience

Who Employs Farmworkers?

Farmworker Sectors

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming Farmworkers might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Dishwashers
  • Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

Those who work as Farmworkers sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Tree Trimmers and Pruners
  • Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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