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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Equipment Operators in Greensboro, North Carolina

There are many career and education opportunities for agricultural equipment operators in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. There are currently 1,290 jobs for agricultural equipment operators in North Carolina and this is projected to shrink 15% to 1,100 jobs by 2016. Agricultural equipment operators generally drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops.

The income of an agricultural equipment operator is about $9 hourly or $20,660 yearly on average in North Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 per hour or $22,710 per year on average. Earnings for agricultural equipment operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Farming in North Carolina and not quite as good as general Farming category earnings nationally.

There are thirty schools of higher education in the Greensboro area, including one within twenty-five miles of Greensboro where you can get a degree to start your career as an agricultural equipment operator. Agricultural equipment operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be an agricultural equipment operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Agricultural Equipment Operator

Agricultural Equipment Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, agricultural equipment operators drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. They also may perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking.

Agricultural equipment operators operate or tend machinery used in agricultural production, such as tractors and irrigation machinery. They also manipulate controls to set and adjust mechanisms on machinery. Equally important, agricultural equipment operators have to observe and listen to machinery operation to uncover equipment malfunctions. They are often called upon to attach farm implements such as plows or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools. They are expected to drive trucks to haul crops or farm staff. Finally, agricultural equipment operators adjust and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.

Every day, agricultural equipment operators are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to coordinate both hands in a single activity. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for agricultural equipment operators to operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant and spray crops. They are often called upon to load hoppers or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks. They also spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers. They are sometimes expected to mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery. Somewhat less frequently, agricultural equipment operators are also expected to weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying data.

Agricultural equipment operators sometimes are asked to load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks or transfer augers. They also have to be able to weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying data and walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals. And finally, they sometimes have to attach farm implements such as plows or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.

Like many other jobs, agricultural equipment operators must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Greensboro include:

  • Crop and Horticultural Worker. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of agricultural crop or horticultural workers.
  • Farm Labor Contractor. Recruit, hire, and supervise seasonal or temporary agricultural laborers for a fee. May transport, house, and provide meals for workers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Agricultural Equipment Operator Training

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Power Machinery Operation which graduated seven students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina photo by Yassie

Greensboro is situated in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 250,642, which has grown by 11.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Greensboro, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Greensboro are priced at $140,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seven hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Greensboro, down from 1,516 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Greensboro are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 33.9% of Greensboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Greensboro is 10.5%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Greensboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Muirs Chapel, Mount Tabor Church and Bass Chapel are all churches located in Greensboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Greensboro is home to the Holden Plaza and the English Market as well as Shannon Woods Park and Lake Daniel Park. Shopping centers in the area include Greenbriar Mall, Golden Gate Shopping Center and Carolina Circle Shopping Mall. Visitors to Greensboro can choose from Greensboro Days Inn, Execustay by Marriot and Biltmore Hotel for temporary stays in the area.