Agricultural Equipment Operators

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.

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.

Skills

Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Mathematics
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Abilities

Number Facility
The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Mathematical Reasoning
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

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.
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.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

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.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress 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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

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 Husker Machine Operator
Cotton Baler
Cotton Chopper
Cotton Ginner
Cotton Picker Operator
Cotton Stripper
Cultivator
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

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$12.43 hourly, $25,860 annual.
Employment (2008):
22,820 employees