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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for agricultural equipment operators in the High Point, North Carolina area. There are currently 1,290 working agricultural equipment operators in North Carolina; this should shrink 15% to 1,100 working agricultural equipment operators in the state by 2016. In general, agricultural equipment operators drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops.

A person working as an agricultural equipment operator can expect to earn about $9 per hour or $20,660 annually on average in North Carolina and about $10 hourly or $22,710 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Agricultural equipment operators earn less than people working in the category of Farming generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Farming category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of High Point where you can study to be an agricultural equipment operator, among twenty-nine schools of higher education total in the High Point area. The most common level of education for agricultural equipment operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 High Point 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: High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina photo by Yassie

High Point is located in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 101,835, which has grown by 18.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in High Point, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in High Point cost $189,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety new homes were constructed in High Point, down from four hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in High Point are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is furniture and related product manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 25.5% of High Point residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in High Point is 11.0%, which is greater than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of High Point residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Hickory Chapel, Mount Carmel Church and Conrad Memorial Church are among the churches located in High Point. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

High Point is home to the Emerywood Country Club and the Uwharrie Council Camp as well as Washington Terrace Park and Armstrong Park. Visitors to High Point can choose from Brookline Furniture CO, Hampton Inn High Point and Fairfield Inn and Stes High Point/Archdl for temporary stays in the area.