Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products
45-2041.00

Grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, color, or condition.

Sample of reported job titles: Agriculture Laborer, Apple Sorter, Corn Lab Technician, Distribution Technician, Egg Grader, Egg Worker, Grader, Potato Grader, Potato Sorter, Sorter

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Place products in containers according to grade and mark grades on containers.
  • Weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.
  • Discard inferior or defective products or foreign matter, and place acceptable products in containers for further processing.
  • Grade and sort products according to factors such as color, species, length, width, appearance, feel, smell, and quality to ensure correct processing and usage.
  • Record grade or identification numbers on tags or on shipping, receiving, or sales sheets.
  • Separate fiber tufts between fingers to assess strength, uniformity, and cohesive quality of fibers.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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 materials.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing — 79% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 34% responded “Very important.”
  • Contact With Others — 41% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 43% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Limited responsibility.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education
Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related 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.
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.
Job Zone 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.
SVP Range
Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

No skills met the minimum score.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 64%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 27%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 5%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$14.25 hourly, $29,630 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
32,500 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Decline (-1% or lower)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
4,700
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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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