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Precision Agriculture Technicians

At a Glance

  • Help to improve agricultural practices
  • Use computers and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Are good at math and science
  • Train through one- and two-year programs

Career summary

Precision agriculture technicians use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) to improve agricultural practices.

Precision agriculture technicians make farming more efficient. They use data from technology such as GPS and GIS to advise farmers on how to manage crops. They make recommendations to farmers and agricultural engineers about watering, planting, and pesticide application.

Technicians rely on data and mapping from GPS and GIS systems. These kinds of maps give information. Examples include where pests are or what areas need water. They can also give information about soil type, the best kinds of fertilizers to use, the types of weeds in fields, and what kinds of crops to plant.

Technicians advise farmers on crop selection. For example, they tell farmers if planting corn would be better for the soil than growing cotton. Their data can help farmers reduce the amount of chemicals they use. Using fewer chemicals helps farmers save money. Technicians also improve weed identification and automatic spraying systems. Combined with these and other green farming practices, precision agriculture lowers the impact on the land.

Precision agriculture technicians must know about agriculture and GIS and GPS systems. They also need to know soil and crop science. To find and test data, they use sophisticated computer software. Technicians must also be knowledgeable about changes in farming laws and how they impact the environment.

Related careers

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to precision agriculture technicians.

Common work activities

Precision agriculture technicians perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, precision agriculture technicians:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Precision agriculture technicians frequently:

It is important for precision agriculture technicians to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for precision agriculture technicians to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Precision agriculture technicians need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

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 a precision agriculture technician, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most people prepare for this occupation by getting a certificate or associate degree in this field. Certificates typically take one year to complete while associate degrees usually take two. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer one-year programs in this field.

Because this degree combines two distinct fields, it is becoming more common for schools to offer bachelor's degrees in precision agriculture.

Work experience

Working in jobs that give you practical experience in the areas you wish to work is good background for this occupation. The fields of civil engineering and geography are very helpful as they focus on use of the Geographic Information Software (GIS). Work on a farm or ranch setting is helpful, too.

On-the-job training

As a new technician, you perform routine tasks while closely supervised by an experienced technician or agricultural engineer. As you gain experience, you work on tasks that are more difficult.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

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

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 precision agriculture technicians who have at least a one-year degree in this field. Employers also look for applicants with strong technical, computing, and mechanical skills. Good communication skills are very important because technicians work with engineers and other team members. An interest in math, science, and farming is also important.

Costs to workers

Some workers may wish to join a professional association, which may have annual dues.

#new occ 12/2010


Currently, there is no specific statewide wage information available for precision agriculture technicians. However, this occupation is part of the larger group called "all other life, physical, and social science technicians."

Life, physical, and social science technicians, all other (SOC 19-4099)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $17.41 $20.82 $25.81 $31.57 $38.31
Monthly $3,017 $3,608 $4,473 $5,471 $6,639
Yearly $36,220 $43,310 $53,690 $65,660 $79,670
    Bellingham Hourly $12.42 $24.86 $28.37 $34.63 $37.89
Monthly $2,152 $4,308 $4,917 $6,001 $6,566
Yearly $25,832 $51,706 $59,007 $72,040 $78,807
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $13.97 $16.68 $22.41 $28.63 $35.11
Monthly $2,421 $2,891 $3,884 $4,962 $6,085
Yearly $29,056 $34,680 $46,615 $59,553 $73,040
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $17.81 $21.41 $26.28 $30.47 $36.11
Monthly $3,086 $3,710 $4,554 $5,280 $6,258
Yearly $37,061 $44,531 $54,653 $63,370 $75,112
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $16.34 $20.90 $25.27 $29.31 $34.23
Monthly $2,832 $3,622 $4,379 $5,079 $5,932
Yearly $33,978 $43,458 $52,575 $60,972 $71,190
    Vancouver Hourly $18.09 $22.64 $26.92 $30.37 $37.33
Monthly $3,135 $3,924 $4,665 $5,263 $6,469
Yearly $37,622 $47,082 $55,989 $63,172 $77,650
United States Hourly $14.34 $18.24 $23.88 $30.45 $38.64
Monthly $2,485 $3,161 $4,138 $5,277 $6,696
Yearly $29,830 $37,940 $49,670 $63,340 $80,370

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The individual's specialty and level of experience and responsibility also affect wages. Those who have supervisory duties usually earn higher wages.

Precision agriculture technicians who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.

National wage information is not available specifically for precision agriculture technicians. However, they are part of the larger group of "all other life, physical, and social science technicians."

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

#Currently, there is no specific statewide outlook information available for precision agriculture technicians. However, this occupation is part of the larger group called "all other life, physical, and social science technicians."

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.

Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other (SOC 19-4099)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 1,642 11.7% 16.1% 238
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 26 7.7% 13.4% 3
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 26 3.8% 8.6% 3
    Benton and Franklin Counties 73 11.0% 15.0% 10
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 489 3.7% 11.9% 61
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 37 13.5% 15.2% 5
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 26 3.8% 14.6% 3
    King County 651 15.7% 19.6% 102
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 30 3.3% 13.8% 4
    Pierce County 85 7.1% 15.2% 11
    Snohomish County 88 19.3% 12.4% 14
    Spokane County 89 16.9% 13.9% 14
United States 72,400 6.9% 5.2% 9,400

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation is strong. The growing number of people in the world will increase demands for food and energy. Precision agriculture technicians will be needed to find better ways to produce food. Advanced technologies, such as GPS and GIS, will continue to increase both the accuracy and productivity of these workers. This will limit job growth to some extent.

Job prospects will be best for technicians with strong technical, computing, and communication skills. Job openings will continue to arise from the need to replace workers who leave this occupation.

Employment and outlook information is not available specifically for precision agriculture technicians. However, they are part of the larger group of "all other life, physical, and social science technicians."

Other resources

AgCareers.com (external link)
Western USA Office
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (external link)
4420 West Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50014
Engineer Girl! (external link)
National Academy of Engineering
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (external link)
National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (external link)
100 Pineberry Drive
Vonore, TN 37885
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (external link)
P.O. Box 3838
Butte, MT 59702
Technology Student Association (external link)
1904 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1540


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

Holland occupational cluster