Precision Agriculture Technicians
SOC: 19-4099.02

Description:

Apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping, or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps or remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests, or weather.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
78,200 employed

Projected (2024):
83,500 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:

  • Agronomist
  • Agronomy Consultant
  • County Extension Agent
  • Crop Specialist
  • Extension Precision Agriculture Specialist
  • GPS Field Data Collector (Global Positioning System Field Data Collector)
  • Migration Specialist
  • Nutrient Management Specialist
  • Precision Agriculture Department Manager
  • Precision Agriculture Specialist
  • Precision Agriculture Technician
  • Precision Agronomist
  • Precision Crop Manager
  • Precision Farming Coordinator
  • Precision Farming Specialist
  • Remote Agent
  • Research Soil Scientist


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    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.

    Education:

    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
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • 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
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Program farm equipment, such as variable-rate planting equipment or pesticide sprayers, based on input from crop scouting and analysis of field condition variability.
  • Compare crop yield maps with maps of soil test data, chemical application patterns, or other information to develop site-specific crop management plans.
  • Install, calibrate, or maintain sensors, mechanical controls, GPS-based vehicle guidance systems, or computer settings.
  • Collect information about soil or field attributes, yield data, or field boundaries, using field data recorders and basic geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.
  • Demonstrate the uses and applications of geospatial technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), automatic tractor guidance systems, variable rate chemical input applicators, surveying equipment, and computer mapping software.
  • Divide agricultural fields into georeferenced zones, based on soil characteristics and production potentials.
  • Compile and analyze geospatial data to determine agricultural implications of factors such as soil quality, terrain, field productivity, fertilizers, and weather conditions.
  • Develop soil sampling grids or identify sampling sites, using geospatial technology, for soil testing on characteristics such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content, pH, and micronutrients.
  • Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.
  • Recommend best crop varieties or seeding rates for specific field areas, based on analysis of geospatial data.
  • Create, layer, and analyze maps showing precision agricultural data, such as crop yields, soil characteristics, input applications, terrain, drainage patterns, or field management history.
  • Contact equipment manufacturers for technical assistance, as needed.
  • Prepare reports summarizing field productivity and profitability in graphical or tabular form.
  • Process and analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps.
  • Analyze remote sensing imagery to identify relationships between soil quality, crop canopy densities, light reflectance, and weather history.
  • Apply knowledge of government regulations when making agricultural recommendations.
  • Document and maintain records of precision agriculture information.
  • Draw or read maps, such as soil, contour, or plat maps.
  • Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.
  • Apply precision agriculture information to specifically reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
  • Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.
  • Provide advice on the development or application of better boomspray technology to limit the overapplication of chemicals and to reduce the migration of chemicals to areas other than the fields being treated.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air clutches
  • Automatic boom control systems
  • Automatic land leveling systems
  • Autosteering systems
  • Desktop computers
  • Fertilizer spreading equipment
  • Field personal computers PC
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Laptop computers
  • Lightbar guidance systems
  • Moisture monitors
  • Personal computers
  • Seed drills
  • Soil electrical conductivity measurement devices
  • Soil samplers
  • Sprayer application equipment
  • Tractor mounted soil probes
  • Variable rate applicators
  • Yield monitor systems
  • Ag Leader Technology SMS Advanced
  • AGCO GTA Software Suite
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcPad
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Farm Works Site Pro
  • GeoAgro GIS
  • John Deere Apex Farm Management
  • MapShots EASi Suite
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Novariant AutoFarm AF Viewer
  • SST Development Group SSToolbox
  • Trimble AgGPS EZ-Map
  • Trimble AgGPS MultiPlane
  • Web browser software


  • life physical and social science


    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220