What Do Agricultural Workers, All Other Do?
General agricultural workers do not have any set job duties. Instead, their work falls into many categories. As an agricultural worker, you could work as a farmer, a fisher or a forester. The agriculture industry has many specialized job descriptions, so you can choose one based on your interests.
Agricultural Workers, All Other Skills and Abilities
You should have the knowledge and skills to perform basic maintenance and repairs on any tools you use in your trade. Agricultural workers require dexterity, physical strength, stamina and listening skills. You must have excellent hand-eye coordination, the ability to work well with other people and the ability to lift heavy objects. Agricultural jobs are very physical.
Agricultural Workers, All Other Duties
Your duties as an agricultural worker will depend on your specific job. If you decide to run a farm, you’ll have to plant and harvest crops, maintain ditches for irrigation of your farm’s soil and operate and maintain farm machinery. In many cases, you will be exposed to fertilizer and pesticide. If your farm raises livestock, your duties will include feeding the animals and ensuring their pens and yards are clean on a daily basis. You should be able to detect if they are sick or injured, and you must be comfortable branding them.If you are a fisher, you must be able to steer a boat and operate all of its equipment, including special equipment to locate fish. The ability to maintain and repair the boat is important. You’ll also need to be able to lift nets full of fish and prepare them for sale. Depending on the type of fish you bring in, you could be away from home for days, weeks or months at a time.Should you opt to work as a forester, you must monitor what is going on in the forest to ensure all parties are complying with their contracts and government regulations. Other duties include creating and implementing management plans, preparing sites for new trees, supervising projects and negotiating agreements.
Agricultural Workers, All Other Tools and Technology
As an agricultural worker, you can expect to work with a wide range of tools. If you work as a farmer, some of the machinery you might use most often includes:
- Fertilizer sprayers and irrigation systems
- Produce sorters
- Grain carts
- Milking machines
Fishers and foresters also use job-specific machinery, equipment and tools. Every agricultural worker should be trained in computers and their software. Database software and other management programs make it easier and more efficient to keep track of crops, supplies, animals and business partnerships.
Education and Training for Agricultural Workers, All Other
An agricultural worker may or may not need formal education above high school. The exact requirements depend on the job, but most workers receive on-the-job training. Many agricultural workers benefit from attending a vocational school that teaches mechanics or other skills that would be an asset on a farm, on a boat or in the wilderness.
Agricultural Workers, All Other Salary
In the United States, an agricultural worker who is just starting out can expect to make about $18,000 per year. After you’ve gained some experience, you’ll average about $27,000 per year. Workers who are in the top 10 percent of the industry make about $52,000 per year. Your specialization will also determine your annual income.
Agricultural Workers, All Other Jobs by Geography
There are currently about 14,500 agricultural workers in the United States, and about 500 jobs are expected to open up annually over the next few years. Iowa, California and Oregon currently have the most jobs in the industry, but job growth is expected in 28 states during the next few years.