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Become An Agriculture Worker

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Working As An Agriculture Worker

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Agriculture Worker Do

Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

Duties

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other crops. They plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops, and pack and load them for shipment.

Farmworkers also apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. They repair fences and some farm equipment.

Nursery and greenhouse workers prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing horticultural products such as trees, plants, flowers, and sod. They also plant, water, prune, weed, and spray the plants. They may cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack plants to fill orders; and dig up or move field-grown shrubs and trees.

Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. These animals usually are raised to supply meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, or honey.

These farmworkers may feed, herd, brand, weigh, and load animals. They also keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.

Many workers clean and maintain animal housing areas every day. On dairy farms, animal farmworkers operate milking machines.

Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, as well as maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks. These workers also operate machines such as conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers. Workers may make adjustments and minor repairs to equipment.

Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to select and breed animals that will produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For example, they breed chickens that lay more eggs, pigs that produce leaner meat, and sheep with more desirable wool. Other animal breeders breed and raise cats, dogs, and other household pets.

To know which animals to breed and when to breed them, animal breeders keep detailed records. Breeders note animals’ health, size, and weight, as well as the amount and quality of the product they produce. Animal breeders also track the traits of animals’ offspring.

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How To Become An Agriculture Worker

Agricultural workers typically receive on-the-job training. A high school diploma is not needed for most jobs as an agricultural worker; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders.

Education and Training

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders. Some jobs as an animal breeder may require some postsecondary education.

Agricultural workers typically receive some short-term on-the-job training. Employers instruct them on how to use simple farming tools and more complex machinery while following appropriate safety procedures. More experienced workers also are expected to perform routine maintenance on the tools they use.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Agricultural workers need excellent hand–eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery.

Listening skills. Agricultural workers need to work well with others. Because they take instructions from farmers and other agricultural managers, effective listening is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.

Physical strength. Agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops.

Mechanical skills. Agricultural workers must be able to operate complex farm machinery. They also occasionally do routine maintenance on the machinery.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Animal breeders sometimes need previous work experience interacting with livestock. Ranch workers may transition into animal breeding after they become more familiar with animals and learn how to handle them.

Advancement

Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.

Some agricultural workers aspire to become farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers or to own their own farms and ranches. Knowledge of produce and livestock may provide an excellent background for becoming buyers or purchasing agents of farm products. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural or food scientists.

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Agriculture Worker Typical Career Paths

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Do you work as an Agriculture Worker?

Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$137,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kelly Services
Highest Paying City
Edgeley, ND
Highest Paying State
Minnesota
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does an Agriculture Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Agriculture Worker in the United States is $58,800 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $137,000.

Real Agriculture Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager/Supervisors-Agricultural Crop Workers Great Meadows, LLC Rowley, MA Feb 05, 2009 $41,427
Agricultural Worker GNK Farm Inc. Lamesa, TX Apr 10, 2016 $33,571
Agricultural Workers-Livestock Containment Ml Farm Systems Inc. Saint Edward, NE Jun 12, 2016 $28,801
Agricultural Worker Michael Bollweg Harrold, SD Jan 12, 2015 $28,362
Agricultural Worker Centro Espirita Benficente Uniao Do Vegetal In The United States Haiku-Pauwela, HI Apr 29, 2016 $26,380
Agricultural Worker Lagodinski Farms Edgeley, ND Feb 23, 2016 $26,021
General Agricultural Worker Washington Farm Labor Association Brewster, WA Apr 01, 2015 $25,921
General Agricultural Worker C&S Orchards II LP Brewster, WA May 25, 2015 $25,921
General Agricultural Worker C&S Orchards II LP Brewster, WA Apr 01, 2015 $25,921
General Agricultural Worker Washington Farm Labor Association Brewster, WA May 25, 2015 $25,921
Nursery/Agricultural Worker Woody Warehouse Nursery, Inc. Lizton, IN Mar 15, 2016 $25,190
Agricultural Worker Montana Rusa Corp. Traverse City, MI Aug 04, 2016 $25,086
Agricultural Worker Sunflower Gardens LLC Alton, NH Feb 21, 2016 $24,501
Agricultural Worker Ml Farm Systems Inc. Knoxville, PA Aug 08, 2016 $24,334
Agricultural Worker Manor View Farm Inc. MD Jan 03, 2016 $24,084
Agricultural Workers, All Others Manor View Farm Inc. MD Feb 15, 2016 $24,084
Temporary Agricultural Feild Workers Alfredo Cruz DBA Az Labor Contractor Arroyo Grande, CA Jun 01, 2015 $23,646
Agricultural Worker Cresencio Martinez-Mixtepec Farming Los Alamos, CA May 15, 2015 $23,646
Agricultural Worker Sunflower Gardens LLC Alton, NH Mar 01, 2015 $23,500
Agricultural Worker The Farm at Miller's Crossing Hudson, NY Jul 02, 2015 $23,500
Agricultural Worker Cresencio Martinez "Mixtepec Farming" Los Alamos, CA Apr 24, 2014 $22,978
Agricultural Workers, All Other Schmidt's Agricultural Enterprises LLC West Jordan, UT Mar 01, 2014 $22,957
Supervisors/Mgrs-Agricultural Crop Workers Lanni Orchards Inc. Lunenburg, MA Jun 29, 2009 $22,790
Supervisors/Mgrs-Agricultural Crop Workers Lanni Orchards Inc. Lunenburg, MA Mar 04, 2010 $22,790
Agricultural Workers Mondo Gardens TX Feb 15, 2014 $22,665
Agricultural Worker Frank Bradford Seale Millican, TX Mar 01, 2015 $22,665
Agriculture Worker, All Other WRK, Inc. Uvalde, TX Feb 12, 2016 $22,185
Agricultural Workers Mondo Gardens TX Feb 15, 2015 $21,600
Agricultural Worker Mondo Gardens TX Feb 15, 2015 $21,600
Agricultural Worker Mondo Gardens New Braunfels, TX Feb 15, 2015 $21,600

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Top Skills for An Agriculture Worker

  1. Farm Equipment
  2. Irrigation Systems
  3. Crop Production
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Adjust, repair, and service farm equipment, trucks, heavy operating equipment, as well as irrigation equipment.
  • Help out with potting, irrigation systems, mixing of composed, cleaning water tanks for mix.
  • Coordinated two statewide agricultural worker conferences.
  • Worked as a cashier, drove agricultural vehicles including: tractors, fork lifts and heavy machinery.
  • Operate and service farm machinery.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Agriculture Workers

  1. Washington
  2. District of Columbia
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Vermont
  6. Arizona
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. Alaska
  10. Maine
  • (41 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (344 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)

Agriculture Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

58.9%

Female

30.7%

Unknown

10.4%
Ethnicity

White

46.7%

Hispanic or Latino

39.6%

Black or African American

6.5%

Asian

4.3%

Unknown

2.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

86.9%

French

8.1%

Arabic

2.0%

Portuguese

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Russian

1.0%
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Agriculture Worker Education

Schools

Bakersfield College

9.8%

Arizona Western College

8.7%

Merced College

7.6%

College of the Sequoias

6.5%

The Academy

6.5%

Heritage University

5.4%

Imperial Valley College

5.4%

San Joaquin Valley College

4.3%

College of the Desert

4.3%

Fresno City College

4.3%

Porterville College

4.3%

Indiana State University

4.3%

Modesto Junior College

4.3%

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

4.3%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

University of Connecticut

3.3%

Yakima Valley Community College

3.3%

University of Idaho

3.3%

Iowa State University

3.3%

California State University - Fresno

3.3%
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Majors

Business

17.8%

Medical Assisting Services

9.7%

Criminal Justice

8.5%

Nursing

5.4%

Psychology

5.0%

Biology

4.6%

Political Science

4.6%

Agricultural Business

4.6%

General Studies

4.2%

Automotive Technology

4.2%

Education

4.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Industrial Technology

3.1%

Computer Science

3.1%

English

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

3.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.1%

Accounting

3.1%

Social Work

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.7%
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Degrees

Other

39.4%

Bachelors

26.3%

Associate

17.5%

Certificate

9.6%

Masters

4.8%

Diploma

2.2%

License

0.2%
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What is it like to work as an Agriculture Worker

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Farm Manager

May 3, 2019 on Zippia

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