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Become A Farm Worker

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Working As A Farm Worker

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $21,872

    Average Salary

What Does A Farm 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 A Farm 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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Farm Worker Jobs

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Farm Worker Typical Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Dairy Farm Worker 3.6 years
Farm Labour 3.4 years
Farm Hand 3.2 years
Farm Worker 3.0 years
Farm Assistant 2.8 years
Farm Helper 2.6 years
Agriculture Worker 2.0 years
Ground Worker 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 12.9%
Internship 9.7%
Volunteer 7.0%
Farm Hand 5.9%
Cook 4.3%
Welder 3.9%
Assistant 3.7%
Waitress 3.5%
Stocker 3.4%
Mechanic 3.2%
Teller 3.0%
Manager 2.8%
Top Employers After
Cashier 10.7%
Internship 8.8%
Farm Hand 5.4%
Volunteer 5.4%
Welder 4.3%
Technician 3.8%
Mechanic 3.7%
Cook 3.7%
Driver 3.6%

Do you work as a Farm Worker?

Farm Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

27.6%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

65.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

9.0%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.5%

French

6.8%

German

6.2%

Russian

3.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Hindi

0.7%

Turkish

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Georgian

0.7%

Burmese

0.7%

Yiddish

0.7%

Latvian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%
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Farm Worker Education

Schools

Iowa State University

9.6%

Michigan State University

8.4%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

5.4%

University of Connecticut

5.4%

South Dakota State University

5.4%

Arkansas State University

4.8%

Vincennes University

4.8%

Oregon State University

4.8%

Utah State University

4.8%

University of New Hampshire

4.2%

University of Rhode Island

4.2%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

4.2%

University of Maine

4.2%

Tarleton State University

4.2%

Missouri State University

3.6%

Murray State University

3.6%

Community College of Vermont

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

University of Vermont

3.6%
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Majors

Business

13.8%

Criminal Justice

8.2%

Animal Science

7.0%

Automotive Technology

6.3%

Agricultural Business

6.3%

General Studies

6.0%

Biology

5.2%

Precision Metal Working

4.8%

Nursing

4.3%

Plant Sciences

4.3%

Environmental Science

4.3%

Agriculture

4.2%

Psychology

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Accounting

3.5%

Education

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Computer Science

3.0%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

36.8%

Bachelors

35.2%

Associate

12.9%

Certificate

6.4%

Masters

5.7%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Farm Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Agricultural Farm Worker Donald D. Knier Jr. Garden City, KS May 07, 2016 $52,312
Farm Worker Donald D. Knier Jr. Garden City, KS Aug 19, 2016 $52,312
Farm Worker Ty Wilmeth Plains, TX Apr 18, 2016 $48,443
Farm Worker Tres Inc. Amherst, TX Oct 08, 2016 $45,302
Farm Worker Bobby Crossland Lamesa, TX Oct 06, 2016 $45,302
Farmworker Ben & Donna Walter Farms, Ltd Capron, OK Apr 15, 2016 $42,000
Farm Worker TDT Farms LLC Hugoton, KS Jul 11, 2016 $41,933
Farm Worker Johan K Froese Seminole, TX Aug 08, 2016 $40,539 -
$41,539
General Farm Worker Ronnie & Barbara Love Farms Seminole, TX Apr 12, 2015 $38,563 -
$39,563
Farmworker and Laborer-Crop Joel Drake Meadow, TX Feb 29, 2016 $38,563 -
$39,563
General Farm Worker Vance McMorries, Vance McMorries Farm TX Apr 26, 2016 $38,563 -
$39,563
Farm Worker Kevin R Love & Kara Love Seminole, TX Jul 14, 2016 $38,563 -
$39,563
Farmworker Supervisor Phillip Arvin Pembroke, KY Feb 18, 2016 $23,442
Farmworker and Laborer, Crop D&D Farms Inc. Stow, MA Jan 15, 2015 $23,416
Farmworkers and Laborers-Crop Anyelas Vineyard LLC Skaneateles, NY Feb 07, 2015 $23,416
Farmworkers and Laborers-Crop Norwich Meadows Farm LLC Norwich, NY Jan 31, 2015 $23,416
Farmworkers and Laborers Crops Giroux Orchards, LLC Chazy, NY Jan 01, 2015 $23,416
Farmworkers & Laborers Crops Orchard Dale Fruit Company LLC Waterford, NY Feb 23, 2015 $23,416
Farmworker and Laborer-Crops Simpelaar Fruit Farms Mexico, NY Feb 10, 2015 $23,416
Farm Workers Laborers Crop Southern Vermont Orchards, Inc. Bennington, VT Feb 01, 2015 $23,416
Farm Workers Pero Family Farms, LLC Delray Beach, FL Oct 15, 2016 $22,331
Farmworker & Laborer, Crop Rainbrook Farms, LLC FL Nov 10, 2016 $22,331
Farmworkers & Laborers Citrus Harvesting, Inc. Zolfo Springs, FL Nov 10, 2016 $22,331
Farmworkers and Laborers D and K Harvesting, Inc. LaBelle, FL Sep 10, 2016 $22,331
Farmworker Vegetable R & R Harvesting, Inc. LaBelle, FL Jan 09, 2016 $22,331
Farmworker Sugar Cane A and M Labor Management, Inc. Clewiston, FL Sep 28, 2016 $22,331
Farm Workers, Labors, Crop Desoto Fruit and Harvesting, Inc. Arcadia, FL Sep 19, 2016 $22,331
Farmworker, Crops Miller Farms, LLC Lake Placid, FL Apr 10, 2016 $22,331

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Top Skills for A Farm Worker

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  1. Farm Equipment
  2. Tractor-Drawn Machinery
  3. Beef Cattle
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operate and maintain various pieces of farm equipment; air seeder, trucks, combines, sprayer, augers, tractors.
  • Operated tractors and tractor-drawn machinery to feed cattle, applybedding for cattle and for crop field manure application.
  • Attended beef cattle, broiler houses, Boer meat goats, performed maintenance on equipment, maintained livestock fencing.
  • Milk cows and move manure.
  • Feed and water livestock; and monitor food and water supplies.

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Top Farm Worker Employers

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Jobs From Top Farm Worker Employers

Farm Worker Videos

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