Employment of agricultural workers is projected to decline 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. Agricultural workers should have good job prospects overall.
Despite international demand for crops and other agricultural products, fewer agricultural workers may be needed as these establishments continue to consolidate. In addition, technological advancements in farm equipment are raising output per farmworker, a factor that also could affect employment for agricultural workers.
Still, agricultural workers may find opportunities at smaller farms that sell their products directly to consumers through venues such as farmer's markets. These direct-to-consumer farms have grown in popularity, and farmers may hire agricultural workers as an alternative to expensive machinery.
Job prospects for agricultural workers—especially agricultural equipment operators and crop, greenhouse, and nursery farmworkers—should be strong because workers frequently leave the occupation due to the intense physical nature of the work.
Prospects will be best for those who can speak both English and Spanish.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program