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Agricultural Equipment Operator

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What is an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

Example of Agricultural Equipment Operator Job 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.

A Day in the Life of an Agricultural Equipment Operator

  • Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
  • Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.
  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks.
  • Direct and monitor the activities of work crews engaged in planting, weeding, or harvesting activities.
  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.

Agricultural Equipment Operator Skills

When polled, Agricultural Equipment Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Other Agricultural Equipment Operator Job Titles

  • Rake Operator
  • Farmer
  • Field Crop Farmworker
  • Elevator Worker
  • Dairy Machine Operator Farmworker

What Kind of Agricultural Equipment Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

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.

Agricultural Equipment Operator Salary

The typical yearly salary for Agricultural Equipment Operators is somewhere between $20,890 and $46,550.

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Agricultural Equipment Operators who work in Michigan, New York, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Agricultural Equipment Operators make 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

Tools & Technologies Used by Agricultural Equipment Operators

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

Individuals working as an Agricultural Equipment Operator have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?

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Where Agricultural Equipment Operators Are Employed

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Agricultural Equipment Operators work in the following industries:

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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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