Agricultural Technicians

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ABOUT AGRICULTURAL TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Advances in food and agriculture science are designed to bring healthier conditions and better production value for crops and farm animals and result in new or better food on our tables. Agricultural and food science technicians help scientists in these fields to conduct research, run lab tests, and keep records. Their specific duties differ: Agricultural technicians study ways to increase the productivity of crops and animals. They operate laboratory equipment and collect crop or animal samples to test them for disease or to confirm scientific experiments. They also perform agricultural labor with added recordkeeping duties. Food science technicians investigate new processing techniques. They inspect foodstuffs, chemicals, and additives, compile and analyze test results, and prepare presentations to share research findings. Agricultural and food science technicians work in laboratories, processing plants, farms and ranches, greenhouses, and offices. Workers may be exposed to loud noise, extreme temperatures, and odors from chemicals or animals. They are often physically active throughout the day. Agricultural and food science technicians typically work standard full-time schedules. Some positions require travel. Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate's degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field. However, requirements may vary from a high school diploma and related work experience to a bachelor's degree.

SNAPSHOT
Work with agricultural scientists in plant, fiber, and animal research, or assist with animal breeding and nutrition. 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. Conduct tests and experiments to improve yield and quality of crops or to increase the resistance of plants and animals to disease or insects.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Respond to general inquiries or requests from the public.

Supervise pest or weed control operations, including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting chemicals and application methods, or scheduling application.

Supervise or train agricultural technicians or farm laborers.

Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.

Examine animals or crop specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.

Measure or weigh ingredients used in laboratory testing.

Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.

Set up laboratory or field equipment as required for site testing.

Collect animal or crop samples.

Prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.