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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Technicians in Riverside, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for agricultural technicians in the Riverside, California area. Currently, 3,500 people work as agricultural technicians in California. This is expected to grow by 11% to about 3,900 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for agricultural technicians are expected to grow by about 8.8%. In general, agricultural technicians set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals.

Agricultural technicians earn about $18 hourly or $38,220 annually on average in California and about $16 hourly or $33,990 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as agricultural technicians in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. People working as agricultural technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: seed analysis laboratory assistant, seed laboratory assistant, and pest management technical support specialist.

The Riverside area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Riverside where you can get a degree as an agricultural technician. The most common level of education for agricultural technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an agricultural technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Agricultural Technician

In general, agricultural technicians set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. They also prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.

Every day, agricultural technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for agricultural technicians to record data pertaining to experimentation and animal care. They are often called upon to ready data summaries and analyses that include results and graphs to document research findings and results. They also collect samples from crops or animals so testing can be performed. They are sometimes expected to adjust testing equipment, and ready culture media, following standard procedures. Somewhat less frequently, agricultural technicians are also expected to transplant trees or horticultural plants.

Agricultural technicians sometimes are asked to measure and mark plot areas, and plow, disc and otherwise ready land for cultivated crops, orchards and vineyards. They also have to be able to furnish routine animal care such as taking and recording body measurements and assisting in the birthing process and conduct insect and plant disease surveys. And finally, they sometimes have to examine animals and specimens to establish the presence of diseases or other problems.

Like many other jobs, agricultural technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Riverside include:

  • Biological Sciences Technician. Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Forensic Investigator. Collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, or biochemistry.
  • Forestry and Wildlife Manager. Compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats, and help provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Agricultural Technician Training

College of the Desert - Palm Desert, CA

College of the Desert, 43-500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260. College of the Desert is a medium sized college located in Palm Desert, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,632 students. College of the Desert has an associate's degree program in Crop Production.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Riverside, California

Riverside, California
Riverside, California photo by SoCal L.A.

Riverside is located in Riverside County, California. It has a population of over 295,357, which has grown by 15.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Riverside, 123, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Riverside cost $328,500 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, sixty-nine new homes were built in Riverside, down from three hundred forty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Riverside are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.1% of Riverside residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Riverside is 15.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Riverside residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.0%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Episcopal Church, All Souls Universalist Church and Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church are all churches located in Riverside. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Riverside is home to the Riverside Art Museum and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium and Soldiers Memorial Building as well as Evans Park and Fairmount Park. Shopping malls in the area include Adams Plaza Shopping Center, Jurupa Grand Center Shopping Center and Five Points Shopping Center. Visitors to Riverside can choose from Airport-Inn, Arlington Motor Inn and Best Western of Riverside for temporary stays in the area.