Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
45-2091.00 - 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Tractor Operator, Equipment Operator, Farm Hand, Farm Laborer, Irrigation Worker, Rake Operator, Tractor Driver, Baler Operator, Cutter Operator, Hay Baler

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

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

  • Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
  • 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.
  • Direct and monitor the activities of work crews engaged in planting, weeding, or harvesting activities.
  • Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks.
  • 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.

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Container trailers — Feed mixer wagons; Forage boxes; Seed bins; Silage wagons
Fertilizer spreaders or distributors — Granular applicators; Manure spreaders; Silo spreaders; Straw and chaff spreaders
Graders or land levelers — All terrain vehicle ATV rakes; Bed shapers; Bedding hippers; Land finishers
Harvesters — Forage harvesters; Garlic harvesters; Seed strippers; Tomato harvesters
Haymaking machinery — Hay balers; Haybines; Swath turners; V hay rakes
Seed drills — Air carts; Coulter drills; Grass drills; Min-till drills
Sprayers — 3-point sprayers; Flotation sprayers; Sprayer booms; Sprayer chassis

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Martens Farms Farm Trac
Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Farm Management Software Hay and Crop Manager
Map creation software — Martens Farms Farm Site Mate

back to top

Knowledge

Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
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.
Customer and Personal Service — 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.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

back to top

Skills

Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
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.

back to top

Abilities

Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination — 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 — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Depth Perception — 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.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

back to top

Work Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities — 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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

back to top

Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — 99% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather
In an Open Vehicle or Equipment
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment
Telephone — 76% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 57% responded “More than half the time.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures
Exposed to Contaminants — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
Not available High school diploma or equivalent Help
Not available Less than high school diploma
Not available Post-secondary certificate Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

back to top

Interests

Interest code: R

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.

back to top

Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult 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.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

back to top

Work Values

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

back to top

Related Occupations

47-2072.00 Pile-Driver Operators   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
47-2151.00 Pipelayers
47-3012.00 Helpers--Carpenters Bright Outlook   Green Occupation Green
49-9096.00 Riggers Bright Outlook
51-7041.00 Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
53-7031.00 Dredge Operators
53-7032.00 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
53-7033.00 Loading Machine Operators, Underground Mining
53-7073.00 Wellhead Pumpers
53-7081.00 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors Green Occupation

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $12.58 hourly, $26,170 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 59,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 20,200
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.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

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.

  • Agricultural Workers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

back to top