Agricultural Workers: Salary Overview
Agricultural workers harvest and inspect crops, tend to livestock, and perform a variety of other tasks on a farm.
Their job description may also include irrigating farm soil, operating and servicing farm machinery, spraying fertilizers, moving plants and trees, feeding livestock, examining animals to detect symptoms of illness, marking livestock using tags or tattoos, and herding livestock to pastures.
Their exact job responsibilities vary depending on their role within the farm.
For example, agricultural equipment operators use farm equipment to plow or sow seeds while animal breeders select and breed animals in order to produce offspring that have the desired traits and characteristics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for agricultural workers was $25,840 in May of 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Wages vary widely depending on their role within the farm, the region of employment, experience level, and a variety of other factors.
The lowest 10 percent of all animal workers reportedly earned less than $22,850 while the highest 10 percent made more than $38,990 annually.
Agricultural Worker Salary by Job Title
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agricultural workers held about 902,900 jobs in the United States in 2019, most of them specializing in crops, nursery, and greenhouses.
Of all agricultural workers, animal breeders reported the highest average annual wage.
They reportedly earned a median salary of $42,920 per year as of May 2019.
The median annual wage reported by agricultural equipment operators was $31,950.
Farmworkers who worked with farm, ranch, and aquacultural animals reported a median annual wage of $27,830.
The median annual wage was $25,440 for farmworkers and laborers specialized in crop, nursery, and greenhouses and $29,590 for agricultural workers who had a different specialty.
For each one of the above job titles, salaries vary depending on the industry of employment, the region, and a variety of other factors.
Agricultural Worker Salary by Industry of Employment
Salaries for farmworkers who specialize in plating, cultivating, and harvesting vegetables, fruits, nuts, field crops, and horticultural specialties- which were included in the category farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse- range between less than $23,000 and more than $36,910 per year.
Most workers in this occupation were employed in the field of support activities for crop production and were remunerated, on average, with $27,280 as of May 2019.
Those who worked for merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods reported earned $28,250 per year, on average, while those who worked for lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores reportedly earned $28,650 per year.
Salaries for animal breeders, on the other hand, varied between less than $26,030 and more than $69,550 depending on the industry, education level, experience, region, and a variety of other factors.
Animal breeders who worked in the field of support activities for animal production reportedly earned $46,980 per year on average, while those who worked for companies that provide management services for other companies and enterprises, reportedly earned $51,900 per year, on average.
Farmworkers who worked with farm, ranch, and aquacultural animals earned between less than $18,930 per year and more than $43,700.
Those who were employed by companies that provide support activities for animal production earned $29,920 per year on average while those who worked for farm product raw material merchant manufacturers were remunerated, on average, with $26,920 per year.
The average annual wage reported by farmworkers who worked in the field of animal slaughtering and processing was $33,920.
Farmworkers employed by merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods reported an average annual salary of $33,280 while those who worked in the field of support activities for crop production reportedly earned $29,620 annually.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Agricultural Workers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.