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Career profile Agricultural Product Technician

Also known as Agriculture Laborer, Apple Sorter, Corn Lab Technician, Distribution Technician, Egg Grader, Egg Worker, Grader, Potato Grader, Potato Sorter, Sorter

Agricultural Product Technician

Also known as Agriculture Laborer, Apple Sorter, Corn Lab Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$20,340 - $36,040 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Food Production
Core tasks
  • Place products in containers according to grade and mark grades on containers.
  • Weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.
  • Grade and sort products according to factors such as color, species, length, width, appearance, feel, smell, and quality to ensure correct processing and usage.
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What does an Agricultural Product Technician do?

Agricultural Product Technicians grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, color, or condition.

What kind of tasks does an Agricultural Product Technician perform regularly?

Agricultural Product Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Place products in containers according to grade and mark grades on containers.
  • Weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.
  • Grade and sort products according to factors such as color, species, length, width, appearance, feel, smell, and quality to ensure correct processing and usage.
  • Discard inferior or defective products or foreign matter, and place acceptable products in containers for further processing.

The above responsibilities are specific to Agricultural Product Technicians. More generally, Agricultural Product Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is an Agricultural Product Technician salary?

The median salary for an Agricultural Product Technician is $28,220, and the average salary is $29,620. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Agricultural Product Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Agricultural Product Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Agricultural Product Technicians earn less than $20,340 per year, 25% earn less than $25,170, 75% earn less than $31,120, and 90% earn less than $36,040.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Agricultural Product Technicians is expected to change by -1.2%, and there should be roughly 4,700 open positions for Agricultural Product Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$28,220
Typical salary range
$20,340 - $36,040
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-1.2%

What personality traits are common among Agricultural Product Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Agricultural Product Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Agricultural Product Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Agricultural Product Technicians typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Agricultural Product Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Agricultural Product Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Agricultural Product Technicians very slightly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Agricultural Product Technicians very slightly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Agricultural Product Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Agricultural Product Technicians, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Agricultural Product Technicians need?

Working as an Agricultural Product Technician may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Agricultural Product Technicians need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Agricultural Product Technicians

  • 52.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 29.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 9.6% completed some college coursework
  • 2.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 4.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Agricultural Product Technicians

Agricultural Product Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or food production knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Agricultural Product Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
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.
Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

Important Abilities needed by Agricultural Product Technicians

Agricultural Product Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Agricultural Product Technicians need abilities such as manual dexterity, near vision, and category flexibility in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Agricultural Product Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Category Flexibility
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Agricultural Product Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Agricultural Product Technicians frequently use skills like monitoring, speaking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Agricultural Product Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.