Agricultural Equipment Operators
SOC: 45-2091.00

Description:

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
57,800 employed

Projected (2024):
60,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Agricultural Equipment Operator
  • Agricultural Plow Operator
  • Baler
  • Baler Operator
  • Bean Picker Machine Operator
  • Berry Picker Machine Operator
  • Broomcorn Thresher
  • Bulbs Farmworker
  • Cane Flume Chute Operator
  • Cane Flume Feeding Machine Operator
  • Cane Piler
  • Chopper Operator
  • Combine Driver
  • Combine Operator
  • Corn Cutter
  • Corn Detasseler Machine Operator
  • Corn Husker Machine Operator
  • Cotton Baler
  • Cotton Chopper
  • Cotton Ginner
  • Cotton Picker Operator
  • Cotton Stripper
  • Cultivator
  • Custom Applicator
  • Custom Harvester
  • Cutter Operator
  • Dairy Machine Operator Farmworker
  • Diversified Crops Farmworker
  • Equipment Operator
  • Equipment Operator Wage Hand
  • Farm Equipment Operator
  • Farm Hand
  • Farm Laborer
  • Farm Machine Tender
  • Farm Manager
  • Farm Tractor Operator
  • Farm Worker
  • Farmer
  • Fertilizer Applicator
  • Fertilizing Machine Operator
  • Field Crop Farmworker
  • Field Crops Harvest Machine Operator
  • Field Hauler
  • Fruit Farmworker
  • Fruit Harvest Machine Operator
  • Fruit Harvester, Machine Operator
  • Fruit Loader, Machine Operator
  • Fruit Picker, Machine Operator
  • Fruit Thinner, Machine Operator
  • General Farmworker
  • Gin Operator
  • Ginner
  • Ginning Operator
  • Grain Combine Driver
  • Grain Combiner
  • Grain Farmworker
  • Grain Thresher
  • Harvester Operator
  • Hay Baler
  • Hay Chopper
  • Hay Rake Operator
  • Hay Stacker Operator
  • Irrigation Worker
  • Laborer
  • Lime Spreader
  • Liquid Fertilizer Servicer
  • Loader Operator
  • Machine Farmworker
  • Machine Milker
  • Machine Operator Cane Cutter
  • Machine Operator Farmworker
  • Machine Operator Hay Stacker
  • Machine Operator Hop Picker
  • Machine Operator Hop Worker
  • Machine Operator Picker
  • Machine Operator Replanter
  • Machine Operator Transplanter
  • Machine Pecan Gatherer
  • Machine Pecan Picker
  • Machine Tender
  • Mechanic
  • Milking Machine Operator
  • Mushroom Growth Media Mixer
  • Nut Sheller Machine Operator
  • Orange Picker Machine Operator
  • Packing Tractor Machine Operator
  • Peanut Picker
  • Peanut Shaker
  • Picker Operator
  • Planter
  • Planting Machine Crewman
  • Planting Machine Operator
  • Plowman
  • Portable Feed Mill Operator
  • Potato Bucker
  • Potato Picker
  • Rake Operator
  • Raking Machine Operator
  • Replanting Machine Crewman
  • Replanting Machine Operator
  • Rice Farmworker
  • Seed Potato Arranger
  • Sprayer
  • Straw Baler
  • Sugar Cane Planter Machine Operator
  • Sugar Cane Planting Equipment Operator
  • Thresher
  • Tobacco Primer Machine Operator
  • Tractor Driver
  • Tractor Operator
  • Tractor Operator Helper
  • Truck Driver
  • Vegetable Farmworker
  • Vegetable Harvest Machine Operator
  • Vegetable Loader Machine Operator
  • Wheat Combine Driver
  • Windrower Operator


  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed

    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.

    Education:

    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    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.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Telecommunications


  • 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.
  • Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
  • Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.
  • Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.
  • Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.
  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.
  • Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 2-point sprayers
  • 3-point sprayers
  • Air carts
  • Air drill seeders
  • Air reels
  • Air seeders
  • All terrain vehicle ATV discs
  • All terrain vehicle ATV harrows
  • All terrain vehicle ATV manure spreaders
  • All terrain vehicle ATV plows
  • All terrain vehicle ATV post hole diggers
  • All terrain vehicle ATV rakes
  • All terrain vehicle ATV seeders
  • All terrain vehicle ATV sprayers
  • All terrain vehicles ATV
  • Auger movers
  • Auger wagons
  • Backhoes
  • Batch grain dryers
  • Bed shapers
  • Bedding hippers
  • Bucket elevators
  • Cargo trucks
  • Chaff spreaders
  • Chisel disks
  • Chisel plows
  • Combine cylinders
  • Combine draper headers
  • Combine grain headers
  • Combine header transports
  • Combine headers
  • Compact tractors
  • Compost turners
  • Continuous flow grain dryers
  • Coulter disks
  • Coulter drills
  • Coulter rippers
  • Crop dividers
  • Crop lifters
  • Crop shredders
  • Disk rippers
  • Ditchers
  • Dry bulk storage tanks
  • Farm tractors
  • Feed conveyors
  • Feed grinders
  • Feed mixer wagons
  • Fertilizer blenders
  • Fertilizer spreaders
  • Field cultivators
  • Field rollers
  • Flat-ended shovels
  • Flotation sprayers
  • Forage blowers
  • Forage boxes
  • Forage harvesters
  • Forage tractors
  • Forage wagons
  • Forklifts
  • Garlic harvesters
  • Grain augers
  • Grain bin aeration fans
  • Grain combines
  • Grain drills
  • Grain heaters
  • Grain pumps
  • Grain vacuums
  • Grain wagons
  • Granular applicators
  • Grass drills
  • Grass seeders
  • Gravity wagons
  • Hammermills
  • Harrow baskets
  • Hay bale accumulators
  • Hay bale compressors
  • Hay bale conveyors
  • Hay bale elevators
  • Hay bale feeders
  • Hay bale forks
  • Hay bale loaders
  • Hay bale movers
  • Hay bale shredders
  • Hay bale spears
  • Hay bale stackers
  • Hay bale trailers
  • Hay bale unrollers
  • Hay bale wrappers
  • Hay balers
  • Hay conditioners
  • Hay tedders
  • Haybines
  • Header carriers
  • Horizontal feed mixers
  • Land finishers
  • Land levelers
  • Land planes
  • Land rollers
  • Land scrapers
  • Lime spreaders
  • Liquid ferilizer applicators
  • Liquid storage tanks
  • Litter spreaders
  • Manure augers
  • Manure chopper pumps
  • Manure injection systems
  • Manure scrapers
  • Manure separators
  • Manure spreaders
  • Manure storage tanks
  • Min-till cultivators
  • Min-till drills
  • Min-till planters
  • Mist blowers
  • Mower conditioners
  • Novariant AutoFarm RTK AutoSteer
  • Nurse tanks
  • Offset disks
  • Pasture renovators
  • Peanut digger inverters
  • Peanut digger shakers
  • Peanut diggers
  • Peanut dryers
  • Peanut dump carts
  • Peanut harvesters
  • Plows
  • Portable sprayers
  • Post drivers
  • Post hole diggers
  • Power winches
  • Rock windrowers
  • Roller packers
  • Rotary hay rakes
  • Rotary hoes
  • Rotary tillers
  • Row crop cultivators
  • Seed bins
  • Seed conveyors
  • Seed drills
  • Seed dryers
  • Seed hoppers
  • Seed mixers
  • Seed scales
  • Seed strippers
  • Seed tenders
  • Seed vacuums
  • Self-propelled sprayers
  • Shavings spreaders
  • Silage baggers
  • Silage bins
  • Silage boxes
  • Silage distributors
  • Silage feeders
  • Silage mills
  • Silage wagons
  • Silage wrappers
  • Silo spreaders
  • Skid sprayers
  • Skid steer hay bale spears
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Skid steer post drivers
  • Skid steer post hole diggers
  • Skid steer post pullers
  • Skid steer rock grapples
  • Skid steer rotary tillers
  • Skid steer tree cutters
  • Soybean combine harvesters
  • Sprayer booms
  • Sprayer chassis
  • Straw and chaff spreaders
  • Stump grinders
  • Subcompact tractors
  • Subsoilers
  • Swath turners
  • Tandem disks
  • Telehandlers
  • Threshers
  • Tomato harvesters
  • Tower grain dryers
  • Track tractors
  • Tractor guidance systems
  • Transfer augers
  • Utility vehicles
  • V hay rakes
  • Weed wipes
  • Wheel loaders
  • Windrow inverters
  • Windrowers
  • Farm Management Software Hay and Crop Manager
  • Martens Farms Farm Site Mate
  • Martens Farms Farm Trac


  • farming fishing and forestry


    industry stats

    SOC: 45-0000

    Total Employed: 454,230

    Average Annual Salary: $26,360