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A Guide for International Job Seekers with American Work Visas

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If you have professional farming abilities, adept in crop cultivation, livestock breeding, or other agricultural sectors, then the US has lucrative employment opportunities for you in 2024, amidst the height of skill shortages in the farming industry.

Recent surveys by the USDA ERS suggest that over 21 million farming jobs, constituting about 10.5% of the US job market, are available.

This gives a vivid picture of the vast opportunities awaiting in the US agricultural industry.

The current skill gap in the US farming industry has triggered the country to invite international farming professionals, providing them an opportunity to apply for agricultural work visas.

If you’re interested, your first step would be to familiarize yourself with the US work visa you’d be applying for. Here’s some crucial information to assist you.

Understanding US Agricultural Work Visa

Differentiating Between H-2A and H-2B Visas Understanding the type of US work visa suitable for you is crucial.

For agricultural employment in America, there’s a specific H-2A work visa.

However, many often confuse it with the H-2B visa meant for non-agricultural purposes.

Application for H-2A Agricultural Work Visa for USA: Fees starting at US$460 (Source: Farmers.gov)

Your next step involves securing a US agricultural employer hiring under the H-2A visa program.

A hint for your search: most farming jobs are available in California, Texas, and Florida (Source: blog.aghires.com, Google & Forbes).

2024 Salary Trends in the US Agricultural Industry

Salaries in the US agricultural industry are appealing, largely because of skill shortages.

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The median salary in 2024 was projected to be approximately US$96715, a 2.8% increase from the previous year (Source: USDA).

To give a perspective on income range, the lowest agriculture job position offers around US$36k while a highly skilled worker can earn over US$104k per year (Talent.com).

High-Demand Agricultural Job Roles in the US

If you’re eager to explore the US farming industry, it’s important to note that most entry-level roles (like laborers or crop farming workers) do not demand educational qualifications, just experience. However, for those eyeing high-paying roles, here is a list for you:

  • Wildlife biologist (Salary $107,644)
  • Agronomist (Salary $74,978)
  • Veterinarian (Salary over US$100k)
  • Agricultural engineer (Salary $74,345)
  • Agricultural economist (Salary $126k)
  • Geneticist (Salary $82k)
  • Farm manager (Salary $52k)
  • Horticulturist (Salary $70k)
  • Forester (Salary $49k)
  • Water treatment worker (Salary $60k)
  • Grower (Salary $26k)
  • Fruit picker (Salary $35k)
  • Ecologist (Salary $70k)
  • Harvester (Salary $27k)
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