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Agricultural Worker Supervisors

At a Glance

  • Hire, train, and supervise other employees
  • Work outdoors
  • Work long hours during planting and harvest
  • Usually work only part of the year
  • Often speak Spanish
  • Have years of work experience

Career summary

Agricultural worker supervisors hire and supervise workers who tend and harvest crops, animals, ornamental plants, and trees.

#4/11/19 lh

Agricultural worker supervisors work for different employers and with a variety of products but share many of the same tasks. They discuss labor needs and contract details with farm, nursery, or other managers. They check work sites to determine what needs to be done. Supervisors make sure special equipment needs are met and solve safety concerns. They may provide transportation for work crews or arrange for housing.

Supervisors hire workers and explain the requirements of the job to them. They:

Agricultural worker supervisors record the number of hours each worker works. Supervisors pay workers and order supplies. They make sure the work is done carefully. They make sure that crops or animals are not damaged and that workers are safe. Supervisors sometimes work alongside workers, but their primary task is to supervise. They report work progress, labor costs, supplies used, and harvest or production totals to managers.

Some agricultural worker supervisors contract with farmers to weed or harvest crops. They supply their own work crews instead of hiring workers on site. These supervisors and their workers travel from farm to farm as planting and harvest needs change.

Related careers

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to agricultural worker supervisors.

Common work activities

Agricultural worker supervisors perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, agricultural worker supervisors:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Agricultural worker supervisors frequently:

It is important for agricultural worker supervisors to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for agricultural worker supervisors to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Agricultural worker supervisors need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an agricultural worker supervisor, you typically need to:

Education after high school

No formal education is required beyond high school. Courses in a language other than English, such as Spanish, are helpful.

Work experience

Most people become supervisors after working for many years as an agricultural worker. Growing up on a farm provides good work experience. It is also helpful if you join clubs such as 4-H or the National FFA Organization while in high school.

On-the-job training

Agricultural worker supervisors usually receive informal training on the job from experienced workers. During training, you learn:

Training may last up to a month.

In certain specialized agricultural fields, higher levels of education and training may be required.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

Many agricultural worker supervisors are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers look for agricultural worker supervisors who have the ability to motivate workers. They also look for supervisors with experience and knowledge of the work. Supervisors are usually hired from the ranks of experienced agricultural workers.


Supervisors who apply pesticides must be licensed by the state and pay an annual fee.

For information on pesticide application licensing, contact:

Washington State Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Management Division (external link)
PO Box 42560
Olympia, WA 98504-2560

#Fine 2/9/11 lh Info in this section still ok, 2/6/12 & 1/31/14, 2/2/16 cj. Updated PO Box in tag insert file 1/30/18 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


The minimum wage for Washington State as of January 1, 2020 is $13.50 per hour. Some areas of the state may have a higher minimum wage.

First-line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers (SOC 45-1011)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $12.16 $17.47 $25.55 $32.48 $40.38
Monthly $2,107 $3,028 $4,428 $5,629 $6,998
Yearly $25,280 $36,330 $53,150 $67,550 $83,990
    Bellingham Hourly $11.69 $21.21 $32.36 $37.91 $41.36
Monthly $2,026 $3,676 $5,608 $6,570 $7,168
Yearly $24,313 $44,130 $67,306 $78,852 $86,024
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $12.23 $13.48 $19.63 $26.89 $30.00
Monthly $2,119 $2,336 $3,402 $4,660 $5,199
Yearly $25,426 $28,043 $40,823 $55,926 $62,412
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $17.42 $21.75 $27.15 $33.71 $39.96
Monthly $3,019 $3,769 $4,705 $5,842 $6,925
Yearly $36,233 $45,242 $56,478 $70,113 $83,128
    Longview Hourly $16.91 $19.50 $27.91 $28.93 $31.67
Monthly $2,931 $3,379 $4,837 $5,014 $5,488
Yearly $35,165 $40,560 $58,055 $60,177 $65,873
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $11.69 $12.45 $18.90 $26.73 $31.86
Monthly $2,026 $2,158 $3,275 $4,632 $5,521
Yearly $24,306 $25,895 $39,322 $55,591 $66,286
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $11.68 $11.69 $20.47 $23.14 $34.02
Monthly $2,024 $2,026 $3,547 $4,010 $5,896
Yearly $24,301 $24,312 $42,567 $48,113 $70,757
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $11.96 $17.76 $27.09 $33.98 $45.05
Monthly $2,073 $3,078 $4,695 $5,889 $7,807
Yearly $24,876 $36,955 $56,352 $70,689 $93,706
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $15.72 $19.52 $22.60 $28.20 $28.93
Monthly $2,724 $3,383 $3,917 $4,887 $5,014
Yearly $32,700 $40,606 $47,001 $58,661 $60,179
    Vancouver Hourly $13.68 $20.29 $24.33 $28.66 $32.24
Monthly $2,371 $3,516 $4,216 $4,967 $5,587
Yearly $28,467 $42,201 $50,589 $59,607 $67,066
    Walla Walla Hourly $15.86 $16.78 $18.30 $19.84 $28.93
Monthly $2,749 $2,908 $3,171 $3,438 $5,014
Yearly $32,988 $34,895 $38,074 $41,268 $60,179
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.88 $22.72 $27.54 $30.10 $34.04
Monthly $2,925 $3,937 $4,773 $5,216 $5,899
Yearly $35,110 $47,249 $57,284 $62,624 $70,811
    Yakima Hourly $12.01 $12.50 $17.79 $30.86 $38.99
Monthly $2,081 $2,166 $3,083 $5,348 $6,757
Yearly $24,980 $26,011 $37,017 $64,193 $81,094
United States Hourly $13.67 $17.10 $22.57 $30.04 $37.94
Monthly $2,369 $2,963 $3,911 $5,206 $6,575
Yearly $28,420 $35,570 $46,960 $62,470 $78,920

Some supervisors are paid by seasonal contracts. For example, supervisors contract with a farmer to harvest a crop. Supervisors supply the crew, pay the crew, and keep the remaining money as their income. Wages vary by area of the country, crop, and employer.

Few jobs on farms and ranches provide benefits such as retirement and health care. In addition, because many agricultural worker supervisors travel the country following the crops, they have several employers during the year. Thus, agricultural worker supervisors must provide their own insurance and other benefits. Self-employed supervisors must also provide their own insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers (SOC 45-1011)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 4,506 12.8% 16.1% 747
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 1,285 10.7% 13.4% 205
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 252 8.7% 8.6% 39
    Benton and Franklin Counties 582 19.2% 15.0% 106
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 76 5.3% 11.9% 11
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 86 8.1% 15.2% 13
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 279 5.0% 14.1% 40
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 390 10.0% 14.6% 61
    King County 175 8.6% 19.6% 27
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 1,133 16.4% 13.8% 200
    Pierce County 73 26.0% 15.2% 14
    Snohomish County 93 4.3% 12.4% 13
    Spokane County 78 14.1% 13.9% 13
United States 55,700 1.4% 5.2% 8,400

National employment

About 18% of agricultural worker supervisors are self-employed.

Agricultural worker supervisors work in all states. However, most work in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for agricultural worker supervisors is increasing slowly. 

There are opportunities for supervisors in plant nurseries and greenhouses due to demand for landscaping plants.

Other resources

AgCareers.com (external link)
Western USA Office
AgForLife (external link)
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057
Washington State Tree Fruit Association (external link)
2900 Euclid Avenue
Wenatchee, WA 98801


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupations

O*Net job zones (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational clusters