Agricultural Technicians

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About the Job

Set up or maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens or record data to assist scientists in biology or related life science experiments.

It is also Called

  • Urban Gardening Specialist
  • Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
  • Senior Agricultural Assistant
  • Seed Tester
  • Seed Technician
  • Seed Specialist
  • Seed Laboratory Technician
  • Seed Laboratory Assistant
  • Seed Expert
  • Seed Analyst
View All

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Determine the germination rates of seeds planted in specified areas.
  • Prepare or present agricultural demonstrations.
  • Transplant trees, vegetables, or horticultural plants.
  • Prepare culture media, following standard procedures.
  • Devise cultural methods or environmental controls for plants for which guidelines are sketchy or nonexistent.
  • Perform general nursery duties, such as propagating standard varieties of plant materials, collecting and germinating seeds, maintaining cuttings of plants, or controlling environmental conditions.
  • Perform tests on seeds to evaluate seed viability.
  • Perform laboratory or field testing, using spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, or potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests.
  • Operate farm machinery, including tractors, plows, mowers, combines, balers, sprayers, earthmoving equipment, or trucks.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in California was $43,270 with most people making between $26,560 and $61,370

Outlook

1.86%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,300 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,100 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 80 openings due to growth and about 140 replacement openings for approximately 220 total annual openings.