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US Agricultural Work VISA Jobs 2024 With Application Process

The United States agricultural sector is facing critical skill shortages in 2024, creating unique opportunities for international job seekers. If you have expertise in crop harvesting, animal breeding, or other agricultural areas, the US might have high-paying job options for you.

The Extent of the Shortage in US farming Sector in 2024

A recent survey by the USDA Economic Research Service reveals over 21 million agricultural jobs in the US, making up approximately 10.5% of American employment. This significant figure highlights the vast opportunities in the US agricultural sector, especially for those with specialized skills.

Factors Contributing to the Skill Shortage in US Farm Sector:

  • High Demand: The agricultural sector constantly needs skilled labor across various farming specialties, including crop production, animal husbandry, agricultural technology, and more.
  • Labor Shortage: This is due to an aging farm population, stricter immigration policies, physically demanding work conditions, and comparatively lower entry-level wages.
  • Skill Gaps: There’s a growing demand for jobs requiring specialized skills in precision agriculture, sustainable agriculture, genetics, and animal breeding.

If you’re exploring opportunities in the US farming industry, understanding the various work visa options is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned farmer, an agricultural specialist, or a professional in related fields, the right visa can open doors to a wealth of opportunities. Here’s a breakdown of the key work visas – H-2A, H-2B, TN, and EB-3 – to help you determine which is the best fit for your agricultural aspirations in the USA.

1# H-2A Visa: The Go-To for Seasonal Farm Work

The H-2A visa is specifically tailored for temporary agricultural work. It’s ideal if you’re looking to engage in seasonal farm activities like planting, cultivating, and harvesting.

    • Duration: Up to 1 year, with extensions possible.
    • Pros: It’s relatively easier to obtain compared to other visas, as it’s designed to address the seasonal nature of farming.
    • Cons: It’s temporary and doesn’t lead to permanent residency.

2# H-2B Visa: Beyond Traditional Farming

While the H-2B visa is for non-agricultural jobs, it’s relevant for roles indirectly related to farming, such as landscaping or nursery operations.

    • Duration: Up to 1 year, extendable in some cases.
    • Pros: Suitable for a broader range of jobs that are not strictly classified as agriculture but are essential to the industry.
    • Cons: There’s an annual cap, making it more competitive and limited in availability.

3# TN Visa: A Special Avenue for North Americans

If you’re a Canadian or Mexican professional, the TN visa under NAFTA offers a streamlined path for agricultural roles like agronomists or animal scientists.

    • Duration: Up to 3 years, renewable.
    • Pros: Less rigorous application process and relatively quicker approval.
    • Cons: Exclusive to Canadian and Mexican citizens and limited to certain professional categories.

4# EB-3 Visa: For the Skilled and Professional

The EB-3 visa is for skilled workers, professionals, or other workers seeking permanent residency in the US.

    • Duration: Permanent residency.
    • Pros: It’s ideal if you’re looking for long-term employment and a path to citizenship.
    • Cons: Requires a job offer and labor certification; more complex and time-consuming process.

Which of above mentioned US Agriculture Work Visa is Right for You?

Let me ask you some questions below which will help you in narrowing down the right type of US work visa for you to start working in its agriculture field in 2024:

  • Are you seeking seasonal farm work? The H-2A visa is your best bet. It’s tailored for short-term, seasonal agricultural jobs.
  • Looking for agricultural-related roles beyond farming? Consider the H-2B visa, especially if your job isn’t covered by the H-2A category.
  • A professional from Canada or Mexico? The TN visa is an excellent choice for ease of application and renewal.
  • Aiming for long-term employment and residency? The EB-3 visa paves the way for permanent residency and a broad range of job opportunities.

You can also read my detailed article on where to find farming sector jobs in USA that offer work visas in 2024.

Salaries in the Agricultural Sector of USA Recently

In 2023, the median salary in the US agricultural sector was estimated at around $96,715, a 2.8% increase from 2022. Salaries range from $36k for entry-level positions to over $104k per year for highly skilled workers.

List of High Demand Agricultural Job Occupations in the USA

For those seeking employment in the US agricultural sector, here’s a list of high-demand occupations:

    1. Agronomist: Average Salary $74,978
    2. Wildlife Biologist: Average Salary $107,644
    3. Harvester: Average Salary $27k
    4. Forestor: Average Salary $49k
    5. Agricultural Engineer: Average Salary $74,345
    6. Veterinarian: Average Salary over $100k
    7. Geneticist: Average Salary $82k
    8. Farm Manager: Average Salary $52k
    9. Horticulturist: Average Salary $70k
    10. Water Treatment Worker: Average Salary $60k
    11. Agricultural Economist: Average Salary $126k
    12. Grower: Average Salary $26k
    13. Ecologist: Average Salary $70k
    14. Fruit Picker: Average Salary $35k

Notably, most entry-level agricultural jobs (like laborers or crop farming workers) may not require an educational degree but value work experience. However, for high-paying roles, specialized qualifications and experience are often essential.

Conclusion

The skill shortage in the US agricultural sector opens up a myriad of opportunities for international job seekers. With a variety of visa options available, skilled farmers and agricultural professionals from around the world have a significant chance to pursue lucrative careers in the United States. It’s vital to understand the different visa requirements and to identify the most suitable option based on your qualifications and the nature of the job you seek. The high demand for skilled labor, combined with competitive salaries, makes this an opportune time to explore agricultural careers in the US.

Zahira Bano

(Associate Editor) Zahira holds a PhD in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashables and some other beauty and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time. She is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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