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Career and Education Opportunities for Agricultural Technicians in Salem, Oregon

Agricultural technician career and educational opportunities abound in Salem, Oregon. About 330 people are currently employed as agricultural technicians in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to about 380 people employed. 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. Agricultural technicians generally set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals.

A person working as an agricultural technician can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $30,100 annually on average in Oregon and about $16 hourly or $33,990 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Agricultural technicians earn less than people working in the category of Life Science Technical generally in Oregon and less than people in the Life Science Technical category nationally. Agricultural technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: agricultural research technologist, poultry diagnostics research specialist, and food science technician.

The Salem area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Salem 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. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Salem include:

  • 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.
  • 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

Linn-Benton Community College - Albany, OR

Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, OR 97321. Linn-Benton Community College is a medium sized college located in Albany, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,576 students. Linn-Benton Community College has an associate's degree program in Animal Sciences which graduated two students in 2008.

Oregon State University - Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University, , Corvallis, OR 97331. Oregon State University is a large university located in Corvallis, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,308 students and an admission rate of 86%. Oregon State University has 3 areas of study related to Agricultural Technician. They are:

  • Animal Sciences, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated seventy-two and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Food Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Agronomy and Crop Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has 2 areas of study related to Agricultural Technician. They are:

  • Crop Production, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Food Science, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon photo by Aboutmovies

Salem is located in Marion County, Oregon. It has a population of over 153,435, which has grown by 12.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Salem, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Salem are valued at $215,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-nine new homes were constructed in Salem, down from five hundred forty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Salem are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.1% of Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Salem is 10.2%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Salem is home to the Oregon Women's Correctional Center and the Oregon State Penitentiary as well as Waldo Park and Olinger Pool Park. Visitors to Salem can choose from Red Lion Hotel-Salem Reservations, Shilo Inn Salem and Econo Lodge Salem for temporary stays in the area.