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Become An Irrigation Worker

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Working As An Irrigation Worker

  • $24,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Irrigation 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 Irrigation 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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Irrigation Worker Typical Career Paths

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Irrigation Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

81.7%

Female

9.9%

Unknown

8.5%
Ethnicity

White

53.9%

Hispanic or Latino

30.6%

Black or African American

8.4%

Asian

4.2%

Unknown

2.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.0%

German

10.0%

Italian

10.0%

Tagalog

10.0%
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Irrigation Worker Education

Schools

College of Southern Idaho

8.7%

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

8.7%

Fresno City College

8.7%

Texas State Technical College - Harlingen

4.3%

University of California - Merced

4.3%

University of Toledo

4.3%

Middle Georgia Technical College

4.3%

Yakima Valley Community College

4.3%

Merced College

4.3%

Suffolk County Community College

4.3%

New Mexico State University

4.3%

Washington State University

4.3%

University of Texas at El Paso

4.3%

Wichita Area Technical College

4.3%

College of the Redwoods

4.3%

Mississippi Valley State University

4.3%

University of West Georgia

4.3%

Clayton State University

4.3%

Palm Beach State College

4.3%

University of Oregon

4.3%
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Majors

Accounting

15.2%

Business

12.1%

Criminal Justice

9.1%

Mechanical Engineering

9.1%

Communication

9.1%

Sociology

3.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.0%

Management

3.0%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

3.0%

Social Sciences

3.0%

Precision Metal Working

3.0%

Biology

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

Geology

3.0%

Marketing

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

3.0%

Computer Science

3.0%

Plant Sciences

3.0%

Health Care Administration

3.0%

Elementary Education

3.0%
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Degrees

Other

41.5%

Bachelors

41.5%

Associate

14.6%

Certificate

2.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$24,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
ARB
Highest Paying City
Caldwell, ID
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does an Irrigation Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Irrigation Worker in the United States is $24,271 per year or $12 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $27,000.

Real Irrigation Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
General Farm/Irrigation Worker Robert J Meyers Farms, Inc. Gooding, ID Jan 03, 2016 $32,400
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Donley Farms, Inc. Shoshone, ID Mar 15, 2016 $31,200
Irrigation Worker Daniel J Fennessy Home Service Inc. NY Apr 01, 2015 $30,053
Irrigation Worker DGT Inc. NY Apr 01, 2015 $30,053
Irrigation Worker Grosch Irrigation Co. Inc. Silver Creek, NE Mar 08, 2016 $28,801
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Ferguson Valley Farms, LLC Rigby, ID Jan 03, 2016 $26,088
Vineyard/Irrigation Worker Adelsheim Vineyard, LLC Newberg, OR Feb 15, 2016 $25,921
General Farm/Irrigation Worker Corporation of The Presiding Bishop Burley, ID Mar 04, 2016 $25,044
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Dale Evans Dairy Arimo, ID Jan 04, 2016 $25,044
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Bell Cross Ranch, LLC Cascade, MT Mar 15, 2015 $25,044
General Farm/Irrigation Worker Dean Dreher Blackfoot, ID Jun 30, 2016 $25,044
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker J and S Ranch Kuna, ID Mar 15, 2016 $25,044
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Alexandre Dairy Cedarville, CA May 15, 2016 $25,044
Nursery/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Harding Nursery, Inc. Colorado Springs, CO Mar 15, 2015 $23,729
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Dreyer Foothill Ranch LLC Gardnerville, NV Apr 01, 2015 $23,729
General Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Provost Ranch Heber, UT Oct 06, 2016 $23,729
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Roy King & Sons, LLC Parker, CO Jan 04, 2016 $23,729
Nursery/Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Harding Nursery, Inc. Colorado Springs, CO Mar 15, 2016 $23,729
Farm/Irrigation/Livestock Worker Oreana Enterprises, LLC NV Mar 25, 2015 $23,729
General Farm/Irrigation Worker Last Hurrah Ranch, Inc. Yerington, NV Mar 15, 2016 $23,729
Sod/Irrigation Worker Big Valley Sod Farms, Inc. Calhan, CO Mar 15, 2016 $23,729

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Top Skills for An Irrigation Worker

  1. Complex Irrigation System
  2. Irrigation Systems
  3. Cleanup
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Install and maintain irrigation systems, various types of landscaping work.
  • Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops.
  • Measure, cut, glue and install Schedule 40, schedule 80 and class 200 PVC lateral piping and fittings.
  • Used forklift, skip loader, tractor, saws, drills and other power and hand tools.
  • Landscape design; Mowing and lawn care; Irrigation and sprinkler installation; Heavy equipment operations

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Top 10 Best States for Irrigation Workers

  1. Georgia
  2. Arizona
  3. Maryland
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Wyoming
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Minnesota
  9. Idaho
  10. New Mexico
  • (51 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Top Irrigation Worker Employers

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