Job Profile:      Agriculture Field Technician

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.

Job Information
36,840 42,070 79,030

Select Tasks
Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results. Conduct insect or plant disease surveys. Perform general nursery duties, such as propagating standard varieties of plant materials, collecting and germinating seeds, maintaining cuttings of plants, or controlling environmental conditions.
Operate farm machinery, including tractors, plows, mowers, combines, balers, sprayers, earthmoving equipment, or trucks. Perform crop production duties, such as tilling, hoeing, pruning, weeding, or harvesting crops. Devise cultural methods or environmental controls for plants for which guidelines are sketchy or nonexistent.
Maintain or repair agricultural facilities, equipment, or tools to ensure operational readiness, safety, and cleanliness. Transplant trees, vegetables, or horticultural plants. Supervise or train agricultural technicians or farm laborers.
Prepare or present agricultural demonstrations. 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.
Record environmental data from field samples of soil, air, water, or pests to monitor the effectiveness of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Measure or weigh ingredients used in laboratory testing. Set up laboratory or field equipment as required for site testing.
Prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively. Examine animals or crop specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems. Collect animal or crop samples.
Supervise pest or weed control operations, including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting chemicals and application methods, or scheduling application. Respond to general inquiries or requests from the public. Prepare land for cultivated crops, orchards, or vineyards by plowing, discing, leveling, or contouring.
Perform laboratory or field testing, using spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, or potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests. Perform tests on seeds to evaluate seed viability. Prepare culture media, following standard procedures.
Determine the germination rates of seeds planted in specified areas.

Select Abilities
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures. The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns. The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you. The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources). The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part. The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists. The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects. The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object. The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath. The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs. The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion. The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). The ability to see details at a distance. The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
The ability to see under low light conditions. The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead. The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting. The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated. The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Tools Used
Aerosol generators Agricultural tractors Air compressors
Air samplers Animal chutes Animal head-locks
Animal measuring sticks Animal tatooers Artificial insemination syringes
Balers Bed shapers Benchtop centrifuges
Blood collection syringes Callicrate banding systems Chemical sprayers
Chisel cultivators Combine harvesters Compound binocular light microscopes
Crop sprayers Cultivators Desktop computers
Dipping vats Disks Drying ovens
Egg incubators Egg setters or hatchers Elastrator bands
Electronic bench scales Electronic counters Fertilizer or seed spreaders
Gas welders Grain augers Granule applicators
Harrows Harvesters Heavy cargo trucks
Hypodermic syringes Infrared lamps Insect collectors
Laboratory mechanical convection incubators Laboratory separators Ladders
Laser printers Light trucks Livestock scales
Metal inert gas MIG welders Milk cooling equipment Milking machines
Moisture meters Mowers Nitrogen test meters
Notebook computers Personal computers Personal digital assistants PDA
pH meters Planters Planting sleds
Plows Pollen collectors Portable refractometers
Power dusters Power saws Pruning shears
Rakes Reach pole saws Reverse osmosis systems
Sample vials Shielded arc welding tools Soil moisture neutron probes
Soil sterilizers Spectrometers Spray-dip machines
Steam autoclaves Steam sterilizers Surface thermometers
Sweep cultivator shovels Tablet computers Temperature controlled reach-in growth chambers
Temperature gauges Threshers Tracked bulldozers
Trenchers Vaccination syringes Vacuum blood collection tubes
Water samplers Weather instruments Weight meters

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