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Become An Orchard Worker

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Working As An Orchard Worker

  • $26,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Orchard 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 Orchard 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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Orchard Worker Typical Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Agriculture Worker 2.1 years
Orchard Worker 2.0 years
Barn Worker 1.8 years
Irrigation Worker 1.6 years
Field Worker 1.5 years
Greenhouse Worker 1.5 years
Harvest Worker 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Orchard Worker
Cashier 9.4%
Assistant 7.5%
Waitress 7.5%
Internship 5.7%
Landscaper 5.7%
Janitor 5.7%
Porter 3.8%
Associate 3.8%
Top Careers After Orchard Worker
Cashier 15.2%
Internship 7.6%
Owner 7.6%
Assistant 6.3%
Cleaner 5.1%
Volunteer 3.8%
Supervisor 3.8%
Referee 2.5%

Do you work as an Orchard Worker?

Orchard Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

73.8%

Female

16.8%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

23.1%

Black or African American

6.8%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Orchard Worker Education

Schools

Washington State University

15.6%

Brigham Young University

9.4%

California State University - Chico

6.3%

Merced College

6.3%

Columbia Basin College

6.3%

Lehigh Carbon Community College

6.3%

Modesto Junior College

6.3%

Lake Michigan College

6.3%

West Hills College - Coalinga

3.1%

Western Washington University

3.1%

Bucknell University

3.1%

Northland Pioneer College

3.1%

University of Southern Maine

3.1%

Walla Walla Community College

3.1%

Yakima Valley Community College

3.1%

East Central College

3.1%

Houghton College

3.1%

Boise State University

3.1%

Green River Community College

3.1%

Drexel University

3.1%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

13.3%

Psychology

8.9%

Plant Sciences

8.9%

Mechanical Engineering

6.7%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

6.7%

General Studies

6.7%

Business

6.7%

Communication

6.7%

Education

6.7%

English

4.4%

Accounting

4.4%

Sociology

2.2%

Communication Disorders Sciences

2.2%

Veterinary Science

2.2%

Landscape Architecture

2.2%

Microbiology

2.2%

Animal Science

2.2%

Community Organization And Advocacy

2.2%

Political Science

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.1%

Other

39.4%

Associate

8.5%

Masters

5.6%

Certificate

1.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$26,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$23,000
Min 10%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pearson Education
Highest Paying City
Warren, MA
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does an Orchard Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Orchard Worker in the United States is $26,169 per year or $13 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $29,000.

Real Orchard Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Orchard Worker Yakima Valley Orchards, LLC Yakima, WA Jul 03, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Northwestern Orchards, LLC Tonasket, WA Sep 19, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Green Acre Farms, Inc. White Swan, WA Sep 08, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Mid Columbia Ag Services, LLC White Salmon, WA Jan 08, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Cherry Creek, Inc. Wenatchee, WA Aug 09, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Laurance Brothers, Inc. Parkdale, OR Jan 09, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Taylor Orchards LLC Naches, WA Aug 27, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Yakima Valley Orchards, LLC Yakima, WA Jan 08, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Northwestern Orchards, LLC Tonasket, WA Jan 08, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Mid Columbia Ag Services, LLC White Salmon, WA May 21, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Pride Packing Co. Wapato, WA May 13, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Northwestern Orchards, LLC Tonasket, WA Mar 15, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Custom Orchards, Inc.-North Orchards Chelan, WA Jun 03, 2016 $26,484
Orchard Worker Yakima Valley Orchards, LLC Mesa, WA Jul 03, 2016 $26,484
Farm/Ranch/Orchard Worker Shlomo Raz Ranch Ojai, CA Dec 07, 2016 $25,000
Cherry Orchard Worker SKZ Harvesting, Inc. Bigfork, MT Apr 15, 2016 $24,522
Orchard Worker Fowler Brothers, Inc. Wolcott, NY Aug 22, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker Fowler Brothers, Inc. Wolcott, NY Jun 22, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker K. S. Datthyn Farms Sodus, NY Jan 08, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker Ralph Lee Spencer Boyertown, PA Jul 25, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker Teeple Farms, Inc. Wolcott, NY Aug 09, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker Vandewalle Fruit Farm, LLC Sodus, NY Mar 21, 2016 $24,501
Orchard Worker Harvestime Enterprises Inc. Palisade, CO Jan 15, 2015 $22,727
Orchard Workers Pecan Grove Farms #2, LLC Cameron, TX Jan 16, 2015 $22,665
Orchard Worker National Fruit Orchards WV May 08, 2016 $22,644
Pecan Orchard Worker The Nuthouse Inc. Roseboro, NC Nov 15, 2016 $22,373
Orchard Worker Mt. Clifton Fruit Company, LLC Timberville, VA Jan 08, 2016 $22,373
Orchard Worker Nichols Farm LLC Middletown, VA Jun 09, 2016 $22,373
Orchard Worker Russell Orchards, LC Brookneal, VA Jun 09, 2016 $22,373
Orchard Worker Woodbine Farms, Inc. Winchester, VA Jul 09, 2016 $22,373

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Top 10 Best States for Orchard Workers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Minnesota
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Wyoming
  5. Vermont
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Nebraska
  8. Massachusetts
  9. South Dakota
  10. North Dakota
  • (10 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
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