Salaries for Agriculture and Food Professionals

Find out the salaries for employment in the fields of agriculture, food production, and food distribution. Use the career salary information tool to determine trends in the food industry and agriculture business and pinpoint educational requirements. Get local job and salary trends for various food related careers such as animal scientists, environmental engineers, food health and safety positions, and jobs in agriculture and farming.

Agricultural Equipment Operators

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...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Agricultural Inspectors

Inspect agricultural commodities, processing equipment, and facilities, and fish and logging operations, to ensure compliance with regulations and laws governing health, quality, and safety.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in the agricultural sciences. Includes teachers of agronomy, dairy sciences, fisheries management, horticultural sciences, poultry sciences, range management, and agricultural soil conservation. Includes...
Most have a doctoral degree

Animal Breeders

Select and breed animals according to their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. May require knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and equipment use. May involve keeping records on heats, birth...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Animal Scientists

Conduct research in the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.
Most have a doctoral degree

Butchers and Meat Cutters

Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products

Purchase farm products either for further processing or resale. Includes tree farm contractors, grain brokers and market operators, grain buyers, and tobacco buyers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal,...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Commercial Divers

Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment....
Most have a vocational certificate

Continuous Mining Machine Operators

Operate self-propelled mining machines that rip coal, metal and nonmetal ores, rock, stone, or sand from the mine face and load it onto conveyors or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas

Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill hole.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Environmental Compliance Inspectors

Inspect and investigate sources of pollution to protect the public and environment and ensure conformance with Federal, State, and local regulations and ordinances.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Environmental Engineering Technicians

Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Environmental Engineers

Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health

Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialist....
Most have a bachelor's degree

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters

Place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures. Includes seismograph shooters.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Fallers

Use axes or chainsaws to fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques to control direction of fall and minimize tree damage.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Farm and Home Management Advisors

Advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes, or home economics activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems; and...
Most have a master's degree

Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, dairy equipment, and irrigation systems.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop

Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts, horticultural specialties, and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include...

Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals

Attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Financial Managers, Branch or Department

Direct and coordinate financial activities of workers in a branch, office, or department of an establishment, such as branch bank, brokerage firm, risk and insurance department, or credit department.
Most have a bachelor's degree

First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of agricultural crop or horticultural workers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

First-Line Supervisors of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of animal husbandry or animal care workers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

First-Line Supervisors of Aquacultural Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of aquacultural workers.
Most have a bachelor's degree

First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of agricultural, forestry, aquacultural, and related workers.

First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities. Work may involve reviewing contracts to ascertain service, machine, and workforce requirements; answering...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

First-Line Supervisors of Logging Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of logging workers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of retail sales workers in an establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Fish and Game Wardens

Patrol assigned area to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

Use nets, fishing rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals from rivers, lakes, or oceans, for human consumption or other uses. May haul game onto ship.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders

Operate or tend food or tobacco roasting, baking, or drying equipment, including hearth ovens, kiln driers, roasters, char kilns, and vacuum drying equipment.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Food Batchmakers

Set up and operate equipment that mixes or blends ingredients used in the manufacturing of food products. Includes candy makers and cheese makers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

Operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Food Scientists and Technologists

Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein;...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Forest and Conservation Technicians

Provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Forest and Conservation Workers

Under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect areas such as forests, forested areas, woodlands, wetlands, and rangelands through such activities as raising and transporting...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Foresters

Manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators

Operate steam, gas, electric motor, or internal combustion engine driven compressors. Transmit, compress, or recover gases, such as butane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and natural gas.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Gas Plant Operators

Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Geological and Petroleum Technicians

Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in both laboratory and production activities to obtain data indicating potential resources such as metallic ore, minerals,...

Geological Sample Test Technicians

Test or analyze geological samples, crude oil, or minerals to detect presence of petroleum, gas, or mineral deposits indicating potential for exploration or production or to determine physical or chemical properties to...
Most have some college

Geophysical Data Technicians

Measure, record, or evaluate geological data, using sonic, electronic, electrical, seismic, or gravity-measuring instruments to prospect for oil or gas. May collect or evaluate core samples or cuttings.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products

Grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, color, or condition.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Helpers--Extraction Workers

Help extraction craft workers, such as earth drillers, blasters and explosives workers, derrick operators, and mining machine operators, by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying equipment or...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Hunters and Trappers

Hunt and trap wild animals for human consumption, fur, feed, bait, or other purposes.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Loading Machine Operators, Underground Mining

Operate underground loading machine to load coal, ore, or rock into shuttle or mine car or onto conveyors. Loading equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scraper or scoop, or...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Log Graders and Scalers

Grade logs or estimate the marketable content or value of logs or pulpwood in sorting yards, millpond, log deck, or similar locations. Inspect logs for defects or measure logs to determine volume.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Logging Equipment Operators

Drive logging tractor or wheeled vehicle equipped with one or more accessories such as bulldozer blade, frontal shear, grapple, logging arch, cable winches, hoisting rack, or crane boom, to fell tree; to skid, load,...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

Use hand or hand tools to perform routine cutting and trimming of meat, poultry, and seafood.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators

Operate machinery such as longwall shears, plows, and cutting machines to cut or channel along the face or seams of coal mines, stone quarries, or other mining surfaces to facilitate blasting, separating, or removing...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Mine Shuttle Car Operators

Operate diesel or electric-powered shuttle car in underground mine to transport materials from working face to mine cars or conveyor.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Natural Sciences Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Nonfarm Animal Caretakers

Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise care for pets and other nonfarm animals, such as dogs, cats, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos,...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Nursery Workers

Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, harvesting, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree

Parts Salespersons

Sell spare and replacement parts and equipment in repair shop or parts store.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Pest Control Workers

Apply or release chemical solutions or toxic gases and set traps to kill or remove pests and vermin that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation

Mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation, or chemical application on trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops. Usually requires specific training...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Precision Agriculture Technicians

Apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers

Tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Range Managers

Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances.

Recycling Coordinators

Supervise curbside and drop-off recycling programs for municipal governments or private firms.

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Rock Splitters, Quarry

Separate blocks of rough dimension stone from quarry mass using jackhammer and wedges.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Roof Bolters, Mining

Operate machinery to install roof support bolts in underground mine.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas

Set up or operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas, or remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Roustabouts, Oil and Gas

Assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. Perform other tasks as needed.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

Set up, operate, or tend wood sawing machines. May operate CNC equipment. Includes lead sawyers.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining

Operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. May also perform similar services in mining exploration operations. Includes...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Slaughterers and Meat Packers

Work in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments performing precision functions involving the preparation of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Soil and Plant Scientists

Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical,...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Soil and Water Conservationists

Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Tree Trimmers and Pruners

Using sophisticated climbing and rigging techniques, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Veterinarians

Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.
Most have a doctoral degree

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and...
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Wellhead Pumpers

Operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce flow of oil or gas from wells in oil field.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental...
Most have a master's degree
Food and agricultural scientists and other management ensure productivity, food safety, and efficient distribution of agricultural labors. Generally speaking, the more scientific fields inside of the industry work in laboratories, processing plants, and inside of governmental agencies.

Careers in food safety, production, engineering, and science/technology usually require advanced and/or specialized degrees. Specialized degree programs include food, soil, farm management, genetic engineering, animal science, and plant science degrees. Due to increases in employment and global exports, careers in agriculture and food are expected to remain stable, with an average salary (in 2010) of a little under $60,000/year.
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