Agricultural Equipment Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Agricultural Equipment Operators

Agricultural Equipment Operators 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.

Becoming One
Very Easy
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

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 husking, shelling, threshing, and ginning.

  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • 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.
  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
Read more about what does an Agricultural Equipment Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$32620 per year

Average hourly wage
$16 per hour

Agricultural Equipment Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $20890 and $25510 while the more experienced ones can earn over $38100 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
ND $19 $39,760
MI $19 $39,640
NE $19 $39,020
SD $19 $38,780
NY $18 $37,430

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Agricultural Equipment Operator is to move to a higher paying state like ND. Right now, the highest paying states for Agricultural Equipment Operators are ND, MI, NE, SD and NY.

However, a higher pay at ND doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at ND might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Agricultural Equipment Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Agricultural Equipment Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had less than a High School Diploma followed by a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Agricultural Power Machinery Operation
Read more about how to become an Agricultural Equipment Operator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Agricultural Equipment Operator.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
One of the lowest paying jobs
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

62% of Agricultural Equipment Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 57% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Agricultural Equipment Operators

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Job Description

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