What You Need to Know About Agricultural Equipment Operator
Occupation Description 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.
What Do Agricultural Equipment Operators Do On a Daily Basis?
- Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
- Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.
- Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.
- Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.
- Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
- Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
Qualities of an Agricultural Equipment Operator
Below is a list of the skills most Agricultural Equipment Operators say are important on the job.
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Rake Operator
- Fruit Thinner, Machine Operator
- Potato Bucker
- Bean Picker Machine Operator
Agricultural Equipment Operator Job Outlook
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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,200 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Average Agricultural Equipment Operators Salary
The typical yearly salary for Agricultural Equipment Operators is somewhere between $20,890 and $46,550.
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|
What Tools & Technology do Agricultural Equipment Operators Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Agricultural Equipment Operators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Access
How do I Become an Agricultural Equipment Operator?
Learn what Agricultural Equipment Operator education requirements there are.
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Agricultural Equipment Operators?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Image Credit: Alandmanson via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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