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Career Profile: Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments. May hire, train, and supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the managed operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, and financial and marketing activities.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 888,300 people employed as farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers in the United States. The median annual salary is $68,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $35,090 per year and senior employees earn approximately $130,760 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Collect and record growth, production, and environmental data.
  • Manage nurseries that grow horticultural plants for sale to trade or retail customers, for display or exhibition, or for research.
  • Direct and monitor trapping and spawning of fish, egg incubation, and fry rearing, applying knowledge of management and fish culturing techniques.
  • Direct and monitor the transfer of mature fish to lakes, ponds, streams, or commercial tanks.
  • Determine how to allocate resources and to respond to unanticipated problems, such as insect infestation, drought, and fire.
  • Determine plant growing conditions, such as greenhouses, hydroponics, or natural settings, and set planting and care schedules.
  • Devise and participate in activities to improve fish hatching and growth rates, and to prevent disease in hatcheries.
  • Position and regulate plant irrigation systems, and program environmental and irrigation control computers.
  • Prepare reports required by state and federal laws.
  • Inspect facilities and equipment for signs of disrepair, and perform necessary maintenance work.
  • Maintain financial, operational, production, or employment records for farms or ranches.
  • Coordinate clerical, record-keeping, inventory, requisitioning, and marketing activities.
  • Direct the breeding or raising of stock, such as cattle, poultry, or honeybees, using recognized breeding practices to ensure stock improvement.
  • Negotiate with buyers for the sale, storage, or shipment of crops or livestock.
  • Coordinate the selection and maintenance of brood stock.
  • Analyze soil to determine types or quantities of fertilizer required for maximum crop production.
  • Provide information to customers on the care of trees, shrubs, flowers, plants, and lawns.
  • Analyze market conditions to determine acreage allocations.
  • Supervise the construction of farm or ranch structures, such as buildings, fences, drainage systems, wells, or roads.
  • Replace chemical insecticides with environmentally friendly practices, such as adding pest-repelling plants to fields.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
888,300
Annual Openings:
84,800
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-1%
Annual Salary Range:
$35,090 - $130,760
Education Requirements:
High school diploma