Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop

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About the Job

Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; cleaning, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.

It is also Called

  • Fruit Thinner
  • Fruit Picker
  • Fruit Packer
  • Fruit or Nut Farmworker
  • Fruit or Nut Farmer
  • Fruit Loader
  • Fruit Harvester
  • Fruit Harvest Worker
  • Fruit Farmworker
  • Fruit Cutter
View All

What They Do

  • Load agricultural products into trucks, and drive trucks to market or storage facilities.
  • Participate in the inspection, grading, sorting, storage, and post-harvest treatment of crops.
  • Repair farm buildings, fences, and other structures.
  • Dig and plant seeds, or transplant seedlings by hand.
  • Record information about crops, such as pesticide use, yields, or costs.
  • Clear and maintain irrigation ditches.
  • Direct and monitor the work of casual and seasonal help during planting and harvesting.
  • Identify plants, pests, and weeds to determine the selection and application of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Inform farmers or farm managers of crop progress.
  • Apply pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to crops.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: R.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $24,250 with most people making between $16,690 and $35,380

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 30,140 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 29,770 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 800 replacement openings for approximately 800 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education