by Cameron Macht
As the state’s farmers gear up for harvest, several agriculture-related occupations are in demand. Farm laborers, livestock handlers, agronomists, truck and tractor drivers, and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists are all experiencing higher levels of hiring activity.
While hiring activity is more seasonal for farm laborers and truck drivers, demand has remained steady for truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. These service technicians earn an average annual wage of about $35,000 to $45,000 with a postsecondary vocational award or long-term on-the-job training.
In addition to current demand, the state is expected to need almost 15 percent more truck mechanics, diesel engine specialists and farm equipment mechanics over the next 10 years, making them among the fastest growing agriculture-related occupations. Here is a list of some other growing agriculture-related occupations:
- Supervisors of farming workers
- Animal farm workers
- Agricultural product graders and sorters
- Crop farmworkers
- Agricultural inspectors
In sum, the state is projected to have 2,500 total openings for agricultural workers from 2010 to 2020.
A search for “agriculture” or “farm” or “tractor” and “mechanic” on MinnesotaWorks.net, the state’s no-fee job bank for employers and jobseekers, yields more than 500 jobs posted statewide. A large number of these jobs – specifically those for mechanics and diesel engine specialists – were located in Southwest Minnesota. As harvest time approaches, workers with these skills will be in high demand.