Farm Crop Production Technicians
Approximately 29,200 agricultural and food science technicians are employed in the United States. With a background in crop production, the farm crop production technician is able to find work in a variety of settings. Although some may work directly for farmers, most technicians work in businesses that support agriculture. They can work for feed and supply companies, inspection departments and other government agencies, nurseries, grain elevators, and farm equipment sales and service companies. They work under the supervision of agricultural scientists, farm managers, and agribusiness professionals.
Once you are in a postsecondary training program, you will be encouraged to decide as early as possible which phase of crop technology you prefer to enter, because contacts made while in school can be helpful in obtaining a job after the program's completion. You will find that students are often hired by the same firm they worked for during a work-study program. If that firm does not have a position open, a recommendation from the employer will help with entry to other firms.
Most faculty members in a technical program have contact with prospective employers and can help place qualified students. You can also take advantage of the services provided by your school's career services office, which arranges interviews between students and prospective employers.
Technicians in the field of farm crop production have many opportunities for advancement. Early advancement will be easier for those who combine a formal technical education with work experience. Those who have had several jobs in the industry will probably advance to managerial levels more rapidly than those who have not. As more postsecondary schools are established in local communities, it becomes easier for employed persons to continue their education through evening classes while they work. Although a bachelor's degree in agriculture may be required to advance to some positions, technicians may be able to substitute a great deal of experience for the degree. Some technicians are able to become managers, supervisors, sales representatives, and agribusiness or farm owners.
Tips for Entry
Talk with farm crop production technicians about their jobs. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.
Visit http://www.agcareers.com and https://www.careerplacement.org for job listings.
Stay up to date on industry developments, network, and learn about job openings on Twitter as well as LinkedIn, which hosts many agricultural-related groups.
To learn more about this field, read:
- FBNews: http://fbnews.fb.org
- Agronomy Journal: http://www.agronomy.org/publications/aj
- Crop Science: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/cs
- Crops & Soils: https://www.agronomy.org/publications/crops-and-soils