Description: Farmers engage in agriculture to raise field crops, orchards, vineyards, or livestock to sell for a living. In advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers.
Knowledge Required: Farmers must be able to supervisor crop production, operate and repair machinery, and understand how to raise crops according to market conditions, climate, and soil conditions.
Skills: Communication, critical thinking, analytical skills, machine operation, knowledge of safety regulations, bookkeeping or accounting skills
Career Path: Many farmers gain experience through farm apprenticeships. Completing a degree in agriculture at a college is another way to pursue a career in farming. Common programs of study include business with a concentration in farm management, dairy science, agricultural economics, and agronomy.
Best Cities for this job: Seattle, Illinois, Detroit, and other non-urban areas.
Median Annual Income: National: $60,750, CA: $40,785
Future Growth: Despite the projected decline in overall employment of this occupation, an increasing number of small-scale farmers have developed successful market niches that involve personalized, direct contact with their customers, through organic food production, which is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture.
From the field: "I have to be out in the field. I have to understand the sciences that are involved in the soil, the plants, fertilizers, etc.” – Ron Enos
Did You Know?: Today’s farmer grows twice as much food as his or her parents did–using less land, energy, water and fewer emissions.View more Day in the Life videos »