Agricultural Pilots

Plane Crop Dusts Field

Agricultural pilots, also called ag pilots, crop dusters, and aerial applicators, perform flying jobs related to the farming industry. They are skilled professionals who operate aircraft for such purposes as transporting cargo to market, aerial applications (also known as crop dusting), hauling feed, or planting seed. In addition to flying aircraft, agricultural pilots perform a variety of safety-related tasks involving both the aircraft and the cargo. They may be self-employed or work for large pest control companies or government agencies. There are approximately 43,500 commercial pilots (a category that includes agricultural pilots) employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Aerial Applicators, Ag Pilots, Crop Dusters
Duties Operate aircraft for such purposes as transporting cargo to market, crop dusting, hauling feed, or planting seed
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the United States
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Flight experience
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must be 17 years or older, pass physical
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Self-Employed, or Cargo Pilot, or Agricultural Aviation Manager
  • Experienced Agricultural Pilot
  • Entry-Level Agricultural Pilot

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