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Career Definition of a Precision Agricultural Technician
Precision agricultural technicians use technology to assist with farming. They use geographic information systems (GIS) and other systems to help locate pests and identify other potential issues that can affect crop production. They can also use various forms of technology to assess soil conditions.
By using the technology at their disposal, precision agricultural technicians can break down a property in a very precise way so that what's planted on each inch of ground will have the optimal conditions for growth. This means looking at factors such as soil composition or water table levels. By using the existing conditions more efficiently, precision agricultural technicians can help farms avoid using things like fertilizer when it isn't necessary.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Computer skills, analytical skills, communication skills, mathematical skills, problem solving skills, good eyesight|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$41,700 (agricultural technician)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||10% (life, physical and social science technicians, all other)|
Sources: *PayScale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It can be possible to enter this career field without a bachelor's degree but most employers require applicants to have completed four years of postsecondary study. According to the O*NET OnLine, 59% of precision agricultural technicians have a bachelor's degree while an additional 11% have a master's degree. Degrees in precision agricultural technologies are offered by some colleges and concentrate on preparing individuals for a career as a precision agricultural technician.
Precision agricultural technicians use computers for a range of tasks, including analyzing data, obtaining information and storing data in spreadsheets. This means that they need to have good computer skills. They also need analytical skills in order to assess relevant data when performing tasks. Mathematical skills are needed to apply mathematical principles to their work and perform calculations. Precision agricultural technicians need good communication skills to interact with others and they also need to produce written reports related to their work. Problem solving skills are valuable because they must assess options and be able to determine the best way to address any potential issues.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) career classification 'life, physical and social science technicians, all other' includes precision agricultural technicians. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS expects this career field to see jobs increase by a rate of 10%. This is above the predicted 7% job growth rate for all occupations during the same ten-year period. According to PayScale, agricultural technicians earned a median income of $41,700 per year in 2017.
Those who are interested in becoming precision agricultural technicians may be interested in focusing on the environment, concentrating on a career that emphasizes food production or pursuing employment options that involve surveying. Using the links listed below, it's possible to learn about a number of career options that use some of the skills precision agricultural technicians use or that have similar objectives concerning food production.