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Details for Agricultural Technicians


Description

Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.

Tasks

  • Receive and prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.
  • Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, and animal care.
  • Collect samples from crops or animals so testing can be performed.
  • Prepare data summaries, reports, and analyses that include results, charts, and graphs to document research findings and results.
  • Adjust testing equipment, and prepare culture media, following standard procedures.
  • Operate laboratory equipment such as spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, and potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients used in testing or for purposes such as animal feed.
  • Provide food and water to livestock and laboratory animals, and record details of their food consumption.
  • Plant seeds in specified areas, and count the resulting plants to determine the percentage of seeds that germinated.
  • Supervise pest or weed control operations including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting chemicals and application methods, scheduling application, and training operators.
  • Measure and mark plot areas, and plow, disc, level, and otherwise prepare land for cultivated crops, orchards and vineyards.
  • Conduct insect and plant disease surveys.
  • Examine animals and specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.
  • Perform general nursery duties such as propagating standard varieties of plant materials, collecting and germinating seeds, maintaining cuttings of plants, and controlling environmental conditions.
  • Operate farm machinery including tractors, plows, mowers, combines, balers, sprayers, earthmoving equipment, and trucks.
  • Perform crop production duties such as tilling, hoeing, pruning, weeding, and harvesting crops.
  • Devise cultural methods and environmental controls for plants for which guidelines are sketchy or nonexistent.
  • Maintain and repair agricultural facilities, equipment, and tools to ensure operational readiness, safety, and cleanliness.
  • Provide routine animal care such as taking and recording body measurements, applying identification, and assisting in the birthing process.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment, and prepare sites for testing.
  • Transplant trees, vegetables, or horticultural plants.
  • Supervise and train agricultural technicians and farm laborers.
  • Prepare and present agricultural demonstrations.
  • Respond to inquiries and requests from the public that do not require specialized scientific knowledge or expertise.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Related Careers

  • Animal Breeders
  • Nonfarm Animal Caretakers
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Wages for this career
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