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Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop
SOC Code: 45-2092.02

Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; cleaning, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.

Sample of reported job titles: Farm Laborer, Farm Worker, Field Irrigation Worker, Field Worker, Harvester, Hired Hand, Hoe Worker, Irrigator, Orchard Worker, Picker


  • Set up and operate irrigation equipment.
  • Operate tractors, tractor-drawn machinery, and self-propelled machinery to plow, harrow and fertilize soil, or to plant, cultivate, spray and harvest crops.
  • Repair and maintain farm vehicles, implements, and mechanical equipment.
  • Harvest fruits and vegetables by hand.
  • Apply pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to crops.
  • Inform farmers or farm managers of crop progress.
  • Identify plants, pests, and weeds to determine the selection and application of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Direct and monitor the work of casual and seasonal help during planting and harvesting.
  • Clear and maintain irrigation ditches.
  • Record information about crops, such as pesticide use, yields, or costs.
  • Dig and plant seeds, or transplant seedlings by hand.
  • Repair farm buildings, fences, and other structures.
  • Participate in the inspection, grading, sorting, storage, and post-harvest treatment of crops.
  • Load agricultural products into trucks, and drive trucks to market or storage facilities.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - BCL Landview Systems WinCrop; Farm Works Software Trac
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Mobile location based services software - Global positioning system GPS software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches - Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Agricultural tractors - Multipurpose tractors
  • All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled - All terrain vehicles ATV
  • Cargo trucks - Grain trucks; Tractor-trailers
  • Claw hammer - Claw hammers
  • Combine harvesters
  • Conveyor screw - Feed conveyors
  • Cultivators - Soil cultivators
  • Desktop computers
  • Dump trucks
  • Fertilizer spreaders or distributors - Fertilizer spreaders
  • Forestry saws - Pruning shears
  • Forklifts
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Hand trucks
  • Harvesters - Corn pickers; Soybean harvesters
  • Haymaking machinery - Hay balers; Hay rakes; Haybines
  • Hex keys - Allen wrenches
  • Hoes
  • Irrigation overheads - Field watering systems
  • Ladders - Step ladders
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles - Pickup trucks
  • Mowers - Rotary mowers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Paint brushes - Paint application brushes
  • Paint sprayers - Paint application sprayers
  • Planters - Crop planters
  • Ploughs - Plows
  • Pollination equipment or supplies - Detasselers
  • Power drills
  • Power saws
  • Putty knives
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
  • Seed drills
  • Shovels
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Sprayers - Pesticide sprayers
  • Threshing machines - Threshers
  • Trowels
  • Utility knives - Budding knives
  • Wood chisels


  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.


  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • 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.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.


  • Interest code: R
    • Realistic - 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.

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 64% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Degree of Automation
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
  • Consequence of Error
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 47% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 86% responded “Some freedom.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 25% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Work Schedules - 27% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 23% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Level of Competition - 27% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Time Pressure

Work Styles

  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $11.24 hourly, $23,380 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 504,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 76,800

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