There is currently a shortage of skilled trade workers, and the industry keeps growing. The agriculture industry is full of well-paying and fulfilling opportunities for those looking for skilled trade jobs. While many students may not think of agriculture when considering trade work, the industry has much to offer.
Why Consider Skilled Trade Jobs in Agriculture?
Students studying skilled trades have great opportunities to work in agriculture. Many times, the number of open roles is much greater than the number of students or workers trained to fill them. Since agriculture is an ever-innovating industry, there are more jobs and work available every year.
The type of training and education needed for skilled trade jobs depends on the work a person performs. In some trades, such as logging and welding, an individual learns directly through apprenticeship. Others, such as veterinary technicians or electricians, may require the completion of a trade program along with an apprenticeship. Other types of work may require a certification or specialized course.
The field is wide open, and these are just nine of the most lucrative and exciting skilled trade jobs in the ag industry.
Electronics Technicians and Electricians
Agriculture in the United States is increasingly automated, particularly in production plants. Electricians looking for skilled trade jobs in agriculture can find work installing and maintaining lighting systems, wiring sheds, greenhouses, generators, and water pumps. Many electricians in the industry also provide emergency services around the clock, as production in these facilities is nonstop.
Service Technicians and Mechanics
Mechanics in the agriculture industry are in very high demand. Most mechanics and service technicians tend to enter the mining, automotive, or gas industries, leaving more skilled trade jobs in agriculture. Mechanics generally work on repairing and maintaining farm machinery or automated systems, perform preventative maintenance, keep equipment inventory, and assemble and disassemble equipment and machinery.
Research and Development Technicians
Research and development (R&D) technicians can fit into a wide variety of subsectors in the agriculture industry. Food science and technology, product analysis, greenhouse trials, and more are ways to use research and development in this field. As the government and individual farmers work to increase production, food quality, and lower production costs, R&D technicians become invaluable assets.
Aerial applicators, informally referred to as crop dusters, make good wages and need a year or less of training to perform this work. These pilots fly planes or helicopters low to the ground to spread pesticides and other chemicals on the fields. This method of delivery is much easier over large areas.
Aerial applicators are experts in pesticides, fungal treatments, fertilizers, and chemicals and also maintain airplanes and equipment alongside airplane mechanics. Some may consider this job too dangerous due to the low flying height; however, it can also be an exciting way to fly and contribute to the agriculture industry.
Welders and Sheet Metal Workers
Welders have flexible opportunities when performing skilled trade jobs in agriculture. Many work in manufacturing farming equipment, and others work installing equipment, repairing machinery, or in grain storage. They can also install dairy equipment, weld and patch sheet metal, repair irrigation pipes, and install and maintain holding pens and feeders. The agriculture industry also needs welders who can assemble steel frames for barns and other outbuildings or storage buildings.
Sheet metal workers, specifically, can manufacture or install HVAC and duct systems. These systems are essential in everything from small dairy farms to large chicken processing plants.
It isn't necessary to get a veterinary degree to work with animals. Veterinary technicians are skilled trade workers. These workers help vets care for livestock and pets. Veterinary technicians perform blood tests and urinalyses, assist in treatments and euthanizations, and aid in record keeping for all animals treated. They may also help develop X-rays, communicate with owners about caring for and feeding animals, and operate other medical equipment.
Pesticide technicians apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides to plants. Their services are very important to farm operations, just as much as other skilled trade jobs. Pesticide technicians know how to mix chemicals and keep application records, and they may use sprayers or tractors to apply the chemicals on crops. They can work under the direction of a crop advisor to treat crops.
Logging professionals cut down or trim trees. They may climb trees, trim branches, scale logs, operate logging equipment, or set chains. There are opportunities in the agriculture industry for loggers to clear land or trim trees in fields. Loggers not only know how to remove trees but also must learn about reforestation and compliance with local environmental laws.
Forklift operators can find work in food production plants, processing plants, or even on farms. Special farm forklifts can cross rough terrain and help in feeding, stacking bales, and transporting loads of produce. Skilled trade jobs involving forklifts or farm cranes are in demand because safely operating forklifts and other farm equipment takes special training to avoid accidents.
Where is the Best Place to Find Skilled Trade Jobs in Agriculture?
AgHires.com is a great platform for finding skilled trade jobs in the agriculture, horticulture, and food production industries. With over 10,000 jobs and new job postings added daily, it’s easy for you to find the perfect job. Make sure you connect with top employers in the industry by adding your resume at AgHires.com to be found by ag employers hiring. AgHires is also dedicated to helping top talent succeed in their job search and career path. You can find job search tips, career advice, resume tips, interview advice, and more in the AgHires Career Advice Blog. Start your search today!