Agricultural Equipment Operators

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.

Median Annual Wage: $26,910

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Equipment Operator; Tractor Operator; Farm Hand; Farm Laborer; Irrigation Worker; Rake Operator; Tractor Driver; Baler Operator; Cutter Operator; Hay Baler

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Agricultural Equipment Operators.

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  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
  • Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.
  • Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
  • Manipulate controls to set, activate, and adjust mechanisms on machinery.
  • 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.
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • 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.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Agricultural Equipment Operators.

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Agricultural Equipment Operators.

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