Farm-Machine Operator

Drive and operate farm machines.
picture of Farm-Machine Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $38,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Farm-Machine Operators do?

Drives and operates one or more farm machines, such as tractors, trucks, and harvesters to perform specified farm activity as cutting hay, picking cranberries, and harvesting wheat: Hitches soil conditioning implement, such as plow or harrow to tractor, and operates tractor and towed implement to furrow and grade soil. Drives tractor and operates designated towed machine, such as seed drill or manure spreader, to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops. Prepares harvesting machine by adjusting speeds of cutters, blowers, and conveyors and height of cutting head or depth of digging blades according to type, height, weight, and condition of crop being harvested, and contour of terrain. Attaches towed- or mounted-type harvesting machine to tractor, using handtools, or drives self-propelled harvesting machine to cut, pull up, dig, thresh, clean, chop, bag, or bundle crops, such as sod, vine fruits, or livestock feed. Moves switches, pulls levers, and turns knobs and wheels to activate and regulate mechanisms. Refuels engine, lubricates machine parts, and monitors machine operations to ensure optimum performance. Drives truck to haul materials, supplies, or harvested crops to designated locations. May load and unload containers of materials and products on trucks, trailers, or railcars by hand or driving forklift truck. May mix specified materials and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery. May oversee activities of field crews. May drive horses or mules to tow farm machinery. May be identified with crop, such as hay, onions, and cranberries, or machine, such as baler, chopper, and digger.

Should I be a Farm-Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Baler Operator, Bean Picker Machine Operator, Berry Picker Machine Operator, Binder Operator See More

    How to become a Farm-Machine Operator

    Most Farm-Machine Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9eaaaa&chl=no+college+%2893%25%29|certificate+%286%25%29||bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,93,93
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