Custom Applicator

Custom Applicator

Custom applicators are responsible for the operation of spray equipment and the effective application of pesticides or fertilizer. They mix, load and apply pesticides and fertilizers to fields at approved applicable rates. Custom applicators also operate and maintain a variety of equipment and vehicles including sprayers, spreaders and trucks. They must maintain accurate application records and communicate with customers.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?: 
  • Operate and maintain all equipment and vehicles
  • Mix, load and apply pesticides and fertilizers
  • Apply pesticides and fertilizers at applicable rates to the appropriate fields
  • Handle and deliver bulk and packaged chemicals
  • Perform daily vehicle inspections
  • Clean and maintain equipment
  • Maintain application/spray records
  • Manage customer service relations
  • Organize and coordinate application timetable with customers
  • Knowledgeable of seed, chemicals and fertilizer to make informed decisions
  • Recertify spraying technician license and safety training every two years
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, science, biology, chemistry, mathematics and business.
Education/Training Required: 
Certification as a commercial applicator is needed. An associate degree is not required but would enhance the opportunity to obtain the job.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Custom applicators can be employed by seed companies, crop protection companies, cooperatives and large farms. There are also opportunities for self-employment.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Weed Science Society of America
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • National Farmers Organization 
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$32,298
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.