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Summary Report for:
19-4011.01 - Agricultural Technicians

Set up or maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens or record data to assist scientists in biology or related life science experiments.

Sample of reported job titles: Research Associate, Seed Analyst, Agricultural Research Technician, Laboratory Technician, Research Technician, Research Assistant, Agricultural Research Technologist, County Extension Agent, Technician, Agricultural Laboratory Technician

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Receive and prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.
  • Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.
  • Plant seeds in specified areas, and count the resulting plants to determine the percentage of seeds that germinated.
  • Collect samples from crops or animals so testing can be performed.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients used in testing or for purposes such as animal feed.
  • Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment, and prepare sites for testing.
  • Operate laboratory equipment such as spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, and potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests.
  • Adjust testing equipment, and prepare culture media, following standard procedures.
  • Examine animals and specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Animal husbandry equipment — Animal chutes; Animal head-locks; Dipping vats; Spray-dip machines
Cultivators — Chisel cultivators; Sweep cultivator shovels
Haymaking machinery — Balers; Rakes
Incubators or brooders for poultry — Egg incubators; Egg setters or hatchers
Sprayers — Chemical sprayers; Crop sprayers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Statistical software
Desktop publishing software
Electronic mail software — Email software
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software

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Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

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Skills

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Abilities

Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — 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.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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Work Activities

Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
36   Bachelor's degree
25   High school diploma or equivalent Help
16   Some college, no degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Life Sciences — Agricultural Animal Breeding; Agronomy and Crop Science; Animal Sciences; Animal Sciences, General; Dairy Science; Food Science and Technology

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Credentials

Find Training

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

Realistic — 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.
Investigative — 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.
Conventional — 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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Independence — 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.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Work Values

Relationships — 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.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

19-4011.02 Food Science Technicians
19-4021.00 Biological Technicians
19-4031.00 Chemical Technicians Green Occupation
19-4041.01 Geophysical Data Technicians Green Occupation
19-4051.02 Nuclear Monitoring Technicians
19-4093.00 Forest and Conservation Technicians Green Occupation
19-4099.02 Precision Agriculture Technicians   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
45-2011.00 Agricultural Inspectors   Green Occupation Green
45-2021.00 Animal Breeders
45-4011.00 Forest and Conservation Workers Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Agricultural and Food Science Technicians.
Employment data collected from Agricultural and Food Science Technicians.
Industry data collected from Agricultural and Food Science Technicians.

Median wages (2013) $16.72 hourly, $34,790 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 26,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 10,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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