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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Technicians in Sacramento, California

For those living in the Sacramento, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for agricultural technicians. 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 national trend for agricultural technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.8% over the next eight years. In general, agricultural technicians set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals.

Agricultural technicians earn approximately $18 hourly or $38,220 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $16 per hour or $33,990 yearly. Earnings for agricultural technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Life Science Technical in California and not quite as good as general Life Science Technical category earnings nationally. Agricultural technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: laboratory assistant, research technician, and technician.

The Sacramento area is home to forty-two schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Sacramento where you can get a degree as an agricultural technician. Given that the most common education level for agricultural technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Sacramento 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

San Joaquin Delta College - Stockton, CA

San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207. San Joaquin Delta College is a large college located in Stockton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,480 students. San Joaquin Delta College has 2 areas of study related to Agricultural Technician. They are:

  • Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production, two to four year.
  • Crop Production, two to four year.

University of California-Davis - Davis, CA

University of California-Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8678. University of California-Davis is a large university located in Davis, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,270 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of California-Davis has 3 areas of study related to Agricultural Technician. They are:

  • Animal Sciences, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated 103 and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Food Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty, nine, and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Agronomy and Crop Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Sierra College - Rocklin, CA

Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin, CA 95677-3397. Sierra College is a large college located in Rocklin, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,608 students. Sierra College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California photo by Urdangaray

Sacramento is located in Sacramento County, California. It has a population of over 463,794, which has grown by 13.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Sacramento, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Sacramento are valued at $185,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, nine hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Sacramento, down from 1,337 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Sacramento are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 23.9% of Sacramento residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sacramento is 14.7%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Sacramento residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Pearly Gate Missionary Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Parkview Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Sacramento. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Assemblies of God.

Sacramento is home to the Southern Pacific Shops and the Bing Maloney Golf Course as well as Alkali Flat North Historic District and Silva Field. Shopping centers in the area include Farmers Center Shopping Center, Florin Square Shopping Center and Franklin and Florin Shopping Center. Visitors to Sacramento can choose from Best Western Sutter House, Best for Less Motel-Cababa Lodge and AAA Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.