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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: Agricultural Research Technician, Agricultural Research Technologist, Agricultural Technician, Laboratory Technician (Lab Tech), Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Specialist, Research Technician, Seed Analyst, Senior Agricultural Assistant

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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

  • Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients used in laboratory testing.
  • Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment as required for site testing.
  • Prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.
  • Examine animals or crop specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.
  • Collect animal or crop samples.
  • Supervise pest or weed control operations, including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting chemicals and application methods, or scheduling application.
  • Supervise or train agricultural technicians or farm laborers.
  • Respond to general inquiries or requests from the public.

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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.
Chemistry — 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.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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Skills

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
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.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
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.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.

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Abilities

Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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 Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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).
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
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

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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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?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
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?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations 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?
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?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

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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, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
32   Master's degree
29   Bachelor's degree
18   Associate's 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

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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.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
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.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

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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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