Life As an Agricultural Equipment Operator
Career Description 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: What Do They Do?
- Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
- Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
- Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.
- Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.
- Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
- Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
Qualities of an Agricultural Equipment Operator
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Fruit Picker, Machine Operator
- Tobacco Primer Machine Operator
- Ginning Operator
- Vegetable Loader Machine Operator
- Machine Operator Farmworker
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. The BLS estimates 10,200 yearly job openings in this field.
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.
Agricultural Equipment Operator Salary
The typical yearly salary for Agricultural Equipment Operators is somewhere between $20,890 and $46,550.
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|
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
Becoming an Agricultural Equipment Operator
What education or degrees do I need to become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?
What work experience do I need to become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?
Where do Agricultural Equipment Operators Work?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Image Credit: Alandmanson via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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