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Agricultural Equipment Operator

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Life As an Agricultural Equipment Operator

Position 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.

Agricultural Equipment Operator Responsibilities

  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.
  • Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
  • Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.

Things an Agricultural Equipment Operator Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Agricultural Equipment Operators say are important on the job.

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.

  • Orange Picker Machine Operator
  • Hay Rake Operator
  • Farm Manager
  • Cane Flume Chute Operator
  • Truck Driver

Job Outlook 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.

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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.

How Much Does an Agricultural Equipment Operator Make?

Agricultural Equipment Operators make between $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.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Agricultural Equipment Operators 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

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:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access

How to Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator

What education or degrees do I need to become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

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

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Agricultural Equipment Operators Sector

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field 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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