Agricultural Technicians
SOC: 19-4011.01


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
33,000 employed

Projected (2024):
34,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Acidity Tester
  • Agricultural Research Technician
  • Agricultural Research Technologist
  • Agricultural Researcher
  • Agricultural Specialist
  • Agricultural Technician
  • Agriculture Research Laboratory Assistant
  • Agriculture Technician
  • Biological Aide
  • Biotechnician
  • Blood Tester
  • Cattle Tester
  • County Extension Agent
  • Cow Tester
  • Culture Media Laboratory Assistant
  • Extension Associate
  • Faculty Research Assistant
  • Feed Research Aide
  • Feed Research Technician
  • Field Service Poultry Technician
  • Fowl Blood Tester
  • Insect Control Aide
  • Laboratory Technician (Lab Tech)
  • Landscaping Specialist
  • Moisture Tester
  • Permaculture Contractor
  • Plant Control Aide
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Research Specialist
  • Research Technician
  • Research Technologist
  • Seed Analysis Laboratory Assistant
  • Seed Analyst
  • Seed Expert
  • Seed Laboratory Assistant
  • Seed Laboratory Technician
  • Seed Specialist
  • Seed Technician
  • Seed Tester
  • Senior Agricultural Assistant
  • Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
  • Urban Gardening Specialist

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.
  • 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.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Aerosol foggers
  • 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
  • Data entry software
  • Desktop publishing software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • SAP software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Statistical software
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software

  • life physical and social science

    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220