Ditch Rider

Control irrigation systems to convey water to farms in assigned areas.
picture of Ditch Rider

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $26,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Ditch Riders do?

Controls irrigation system to convey water to farms in assigned area, according to rights, or as instructed by WATER CONTROL SUPERVISOR or other officials, for irrigating fields and crops: Contacts water users to determine quantity of water needed, and time and duration of delivery. Computes and requisitions quantity of water required. Operates gates, checks, turnouts, and wasteways to regulate waterflow into canals and laterals. Measures or estimates diversions of water from canals and to water users, and calculates and records quantities delivered for use in computing charges to farmers. Patrols assigned area by foot, horseback, or motor vehicle to detect leaks, breaks, weak areas, or obstructions and damage to irrigation system. Removes debris and makes emergency repairs to banks, structures, gates, and canal roads. Fills holes and exterminates rodents. Writes reports and records daily deliveries, number of users, amount of water used, and other data required by law or company. May prepare reports on condition of system and equipment, and replacements or repairs needed. May supervise crew workers cleaning ditches, raising ditch banks, repairing concrete and wooden structures, erecting fences and gates, and other maintenance work after irrigating season has passed. May take annual crop census and make weed and other surveys. May patrol canal at night to determine that water is flowing in prescribed volume into users’ ditches.

Should I be a Ditch Rider?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Ditch Cleaner, Ditch Digger, Ditcher, Ditch Tender, Roguer, Tile Ditcher, Zanjero

    How to become a Ditch Rider

    Ditch Riders generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Ditch Rider-related education!
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