Agricultural Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 0% (Little or no change)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Advancement
Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.
Licenses/Certifications
Some agricultural workers, especially those who operate equipment, need a valid driver’s license. Agricultural workers who handle pesticides might need a pesticide applicator license. And in a few states, certain types of animal breeders must be licensed.
Median pay: How much do Agricultural Workers make?
$22,540 Annual Salary
$10.83 per hour

Agricultural workers maintain crops and tend to livestock. They perform physical labor and operate machinery under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

What do Agricultural Workers do?

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries and administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Careers for Agricultural Workers

  • Agricultural equipment operators
  • Animal breeders
  • Aquaculture workers
  • Artificial inseminators
  • Barn hands
  • Barn workers
  • Cane cutters
  • Cane flume chute operators
  • Carrot harvesters
  • Cat breeders
  • Cattle branders
  • Cattle drivers
  • Chicken handlers
  • Chicken vaccinators
  • Citrus pickers
  • Combine drivers
  • Combine operators
  • Corn detasseler machine operators
  • Corn pickers
  • Cotton ginners
  • Cotton picker operators
  • Cotton pickers
  • Cow tenders
  • Crop pickers
  • Crop scouts
  • Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers
  • Custom harvesters
  • Dairy husbandry workers
  • Dog breeders
  • Drivers, tractor
  • Egg gatherers
  • Equine breeders
  • Farm and ranch animal farmworkers
  • Farm tractor operators
  • Farmhands
  • Farmworkers
  • Farrowing workers
  • Flower pickers
  • Goat herders
  • Greenhouse transplanters
  • Greenhouse workers
  • Harvest workers
  • Harvesters
  • Hatchery workers
  • Hay balers
  • Hay stacker operators
  • Horse breeders
  • Irrigation workers
  • Laborers, agricultural
  • Livestock breeders
  • Livestock handlers
  • Livestock showmen
  • Nursery workers
  • Orchard hands
  • Orchard workers
  • Pecan gatherers
  • Pepper pickers
  • Poultry debeakers
  • Poultry inseminators
  • Rake operators
  • Ranch hands
  • Replanting machine operators
  • Sheep shearers
  • Shrimp pond laborers
  • Stallion managers
  • Tractor operators
  • Vineyard tenders
  • Wheat combine drivers

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