Agriculture is one of the best pathways to choose for students because of the sheer amount of opportunity within the industry. Innovations in sustainable agriculture, precision technology, and plant/soil science are creating exciting new skilled trade roles each year.
Some of the roles that are in the most difficult to fill are within the skilled trade realm. There are simply not enough students entering these career pathways to fulfill the vacancy demand within agriculture. If you are in high school just considering your career path, or are mature, and open to retraining for a second career; consider training in a skilled trade. These roles can span every industry type within agriculture, and often include mechanics, welders, electricians, technicians, and specialists.
Welder – Welders would appreciate the flexibility that comes with the role within agriculture. Not only can you find jobs within manufacturing for long and short line equipment manufacturing, but there are often welding roles available outside of the shop too for roles like dairy equipment installation, mobile repair units for machinery, or grain storage.
Mechanic/Service Technician – There tends to be more competition from other industries for mechanics, like oil/gas and mining. This makes the skilled trade demand greater for agricultural mechanics – often to generous signing packages. Credits for tools, uniforms, training credits, or a signing bonus are often included, or can be negotiated in to your employment contract.
Electrician / Electronics Technician – increased efficiencies and automation within certain plants and also on the farm have opened a more specialized need for electrical technologists and technicians within agriculture. There are lots of roles around installation and maintenance as well as opportunity in programing and automation for technologist graduates.
Veterinary Technician – Veterinary technicians are able to pursue their love of animal husbandry without needing a PhD. There are many tiers to this role, some of which, like research, may require a bachelor’s degree. Other areas are ultrasound/radiology techs, health and nutritional recommendations, and injury management.
Precision Agriculture Specialist – in this fairly new career stream, you can expect to be at the head of cropping technology. Different areas of this role would require soil/plant/crop input knowledge, software development, mechanical knowledge, or experience with GPS.
R & D Technician – Research and Development technicians can, again, span a variety of sub-sectors within agriculture. Product analysis, food development technology/science, as well as greenhouse or test plot trials can all fall under the research and development umbrella.
These are just 6 of the many skilled trade pathways. Click the links above, or head to our Career Profiles page, to view many more. Each career profile details what high school courses you should have, the required education, career outlook, and potential openings on AgCareers.com.
You can also subscribe to our monthly Skills and Trade Profession Newsletter when creating a profile on AgCareers.com!