Agricultural Technician

Acidity Tester, Agricultural Research Technician, Agricultural Research Technologist   More Names
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An agricultural technician deals with all the details of running a successful farm, from choosing the best crops for a particular type of soil or environment to operating the numerous machines available to make farm jobs a little easier. They also understand the basics of accounting, record keeping, and human resources. While some work directly on farms, many work behind the scenes in agricultural technology facilities.

Becoming an agricultural technician usually requires a two-year associates degree. In some cases, employers will accept a high school diploma and some experience in the field in lieu of the degree. In other cases, employers want their agricultural technicians to have a four-year degree in a field such as science or mathematics. Those looking to get into the job field should look into the specific requirements of their area's employers to determine the best educational path. Computers have become an important tool in the agricultural industry, so those who want to become an agricultural technician should have some familiarity with the different programs used.

The duties of an agricultural technician vary significantly from day to day, and from facility to facility. These duties include everything from preparing laboratory samples to working directly with animals. Agricultural technicians may also work with the public, such as educating children on field trips to the farm about the less scientific details that go into running an agricultural business. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to frequently changing job demands are essential qualities in prospective agricultural technicians.

Agricultural technicians that practice sustainable techniques perform tasks with an overall eye toward the work’s  impact on the local ecosystem. Considerations include: assess comparative soil erosion from various planting or tillage systems, such as conservation tillage with mulch or ridge till systems, no-till systems, or conventional tillage systems with or without moldboard plows; conduct studies of nitrogen or alternative fertilizer application methods, quantities, or timing to ensure satisfaction of crop needs and minimization of leaching, runoff, or denitrification; and record environmental data from field samples of soil, air, water, or pests to monitor the effectiveness of integrated pest management (IPM) practices.


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Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
5% - Slower than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $29,700 - $47,980    Hourly: $14 - $23
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

Technicians work in a variety of settings including offices, laboratories, and in processing plants. Technicians who work in processing plants may face unpleasant working conditions, such as noise from processing machinery.

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Legal Requirements
Similar Careers

Precision Agriculture Technician
Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree (High School + 4 or more Years)
Salary (National): $34,890 - $60,260

(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

Master's and Above (High School + 6 or more Years)
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Percent Job Growth:

5% - Slower than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $29,700 - $47,980

Hourly: $14 - $23