Agricultural Equipment Operators

Overview
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Experience

Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Education

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Job Training

Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Examples

These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, sewing machine operators, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.

Drive and control equipment to support agricultural activities such as tilling soil; planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops; feeding and herding livestock; or removing animal waste. 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.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $21K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $27K
Median Salary: $32K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $39K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $47K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.

Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.

Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.

Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.

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.

Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.

Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.

Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.

Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.

Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.

Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.

Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.

Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.

Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.

Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Farm Management Software Hay and Crop Manager
Map creation software
Martens Farms Farm Site Mate
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Agricultural and forestry and landscape machinery and equipment
Hay bale compressors
Consumer electronics
Novariant AutoFarm RTK AutoSteer
Containers and storage
Nurse tanks
Hand tools
Hay bale forks
Heating and ventilation and air circulation
Grain bin aeration fans
Heavy construction machinery and equipment
Skid steer loaders
Industrial pumps and compressors
Seed vacuums
Mass transfer equipment
Seed dryers
Material handling machinery and equipment
Manure augers
Measuring and observing and testing instruments
Seed scales
Motor vehicles
Subcompact tractors
Vehicle bodies and trailers
Grain wagons
Water and wastewater treatment supply and disposal
Manure separators
Top 10 Knowledge Required
English Language
68%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Mechanical
58%
Importance

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Mathematics
56%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Public Safety and Security
56%
Importance

Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Transportation
55%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Production and Processing
54%
Importance

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Chemistry
53%
Importance

Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Customer and Personal Service
53%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Law and Government
52%
Importance

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Design
48%
Importance

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Top 10 Skills
Operation and Control
78%
Importance

Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operations Monitoring
75%
Importance

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Troubleshooting
63%
Importance

Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Active Listening
60%
Importance

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
60%
Importance

Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Quality Control Analysis
60%
Importance

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Repairing
60%
Importance

Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Critical Thinking
58%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness
58%
Importance

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Coordination
55%
Importance

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Top 10 Abilities
Control Precision
78%
Importance

The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Multilimb Coordination
78%
Importance

The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Near Vision
73%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Depth Perception
68%
Importance

The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.

Far Vision
68%
Importance

The ability to see details at a distance.

Problem Sensitivity
68%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
65%
Importance

The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Oral Comprehension
65%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Rate Control
65%
Importance

The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.

Reaction Time
65%
Importance

The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Top 10 Work Activities
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
89%
Importance

Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
86%
Importance

Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Controlling Machines and Processes
84%
Importance

Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
84%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Handling and Moving Objects
83%
Importance

Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Processing Information
82%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Performing General Physical Activities
80%
Importance

Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
79%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
76%
Importance

Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
74%
Importance

Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Detailed Work Activities

Load agricultural or forestry products for shipment.

Prepare materials or solutions for animal or plant use.

Apply chemical solutions to plants to protect against disease or insects or to enhance growth.

Inspect equipment or facilities to determine condition or maintenance needs.

Operate farming equipment.

Maintain forestry, hunting, or agricultural equipment.

Confer with managers to make operational decisions.

Attach equipment extensions or accessories.

Load materials into equipment for processing.

Direct activities of agricultural, forestry, or fishery employees.

Measure physical characteristics of forestry or agricultural products.

Record agricultural or forestry inventory data.

Plant crops, trees, or other plants.

Operate conveyors or other industrial material moving equipment.

Operate irrigation systems.

Work Context
Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Outdoors, Exposed to Weather

How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Very Hot or Cold Temperatures

How often does this job require working in very hot (above 90 F degrees) or very cold (below 32 F degrees) temperatures?

In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment

How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?

In an Open Vehicle or Equipment

How often does this job require working in an open vehicle or equipment (e.g., tractor)?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Responsible for Others' Health and Safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls

How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

Work With Work Group or Team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Education
Majors
Major
Agricultural Power Machinery Operation
Interests
Realistic
100%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Conventional
29%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Enterprising
24%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Investigative
24%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Artistic
15%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Social
15%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Dependability
77%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Persistence
77%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Attention to Detail
76%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Cooperation
76%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Independence
75%
Importance

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Initiative
73%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Integrity
71%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Achievement/Effort
69%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Stress Tolerance
68%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Concern for Others
67%
Importance

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values
Support
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence
43%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Achievement
39%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Relationships
34%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Working Conditions
31%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition
24%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.