Agricultural Equipment Operator Career

Job Description: Drive and control equipment to support agricultural activities such as tilling soil; planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops; feeding and herding livestock; or removing animal waste. 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.


Is Agricultural Equipment Operator the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Agricultural Equipment Operator Career

What Agricultural Equipment Operators do:

  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
  • Manipulate controls to set, activate, and adjust mechanisms on machinery.
  • Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • 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.
  • Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
  • Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Holland Code Chart for an Agricultural Equipment Operator